The first book I ever read from J Lynn Bailey was Standing Sideways, and I loved it so much that I swore I would read anything this author produces from that moment on. Her writing is phenomenal and I urge everyone to check out her stories. I am a huge fan of suspenseful romances when done right, and Peony Red was absolutely done the way I like it. I was captivated and hooked from the Prologue and it kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
Ever since Alex Fisher lost her husband three years ago nothing has been the same since. She is at a stand-still in her life and has no idea how to move forward. When she is not busy staring at an empty computer screen, because her career as a writer is going nowhere fast, she is helping her mother look after her father; her father who more and more frequently doesn’t even know who she is. Her one constant in her life, the one person she can always count on is her best friend Bryce.
Alex is heartbroken, so incredibly sad and is unsure how she is ever going to get past the internal pain and suffering she is drowning in. When Alex receives a personal invitation to visit the town of Granite Harbor, she knows it is probably the best thing for her. A fresh start, new town and new beginnings; a place where no one knows her and knows of her grief. She does however feel a large amount of trepidation about such a move and leaving behind her life as she knows it, even if it is for a short time. But when you’ve hit rock bottom the only way is up. She ultimately decides to take the plunge and start her new life in the hope of a new and reinvigorated lease on life.
Eli Young is a game warden. Prior to reading Peony Red I had no idea what a game warden was or what they do; I had never even heard of a game warden before, but I soon learnt they are involved in law enforcement to serve, protect and patrol woods and difficult terrain. I just fell in love almost instantly with Eli; he’s strong, protective, sweet and an all-round good guy. If you want to meet a hero that is sure to make you swoon beyond all belief then I urge you to meet Eli Young. He is sure to warm your heart.
Eli too has been through a rough time in the last three years, which includes separating from his soon-to-be ex-wife and loves nothing more than immersing himself in his job as a game warden to escape his troubles.
From the moment Eli meets Alex he feels this intense, undeniable attraction towards her and knows he should stay away, but the pull towards her is too strong that no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t walk away.
“Life doesn’t scare me.
Living without you does.”
One of the things I loved most about Peony Red is the prologue and the air of mystery it portrayed to open up this story. I was confused at first, but that was only because I had no idea how fundamentally important it would be and how it would impact the story. I just loved, loved, loved it.
I love nothing more than stories that are set in a small town, because when written well, the town plays such an important character and J. Lynn Bailey did a phenomenal job of setting the scene within Granite Harbor. If I closed my eyes I could really picture the town and the residents.
“There was no way I couldn’t have fallen in love with Eli. There wasn’t a way to escape the way this all has worked out. Avoid it. Because, as much as I tried to resist, fate always wins. Love always wins.”
I really adored Peony Red; J. Lynn Bailey intertwined just the right amount of suspense with a beautiful love story. This story is about the ultimate pain that comes with grief and heartache, it’s about finding yourself and finding that heart racing love a second time around. I could not recommend Peony Red enough and if you love your suspenseful love stories, then this one simply cannot be missed.