The debut novel by Winter Austin (aka Winter Peck) is a romantic suspense titled Relentless published by Crimson Romance as a general market e-book.
Featuring displaced Cajun Detective Remy LeBeau now working for the Dallas Police Department, there's a serial killer attacking women on the rodeo circuit called the Rodeo Sweetheart Killer. Remy's first acquaintance with the pretty redheaded barrel racer Cody Lewis goes far better than their second meeting after she finds a carved up female victim in her horse trailer.
Victims with red hair and green or blue eyes just like Cody's features start mounting up as the investigation proceeds, and Remy's contact with the spitfire of a cowgirl proves more difficult than he anticipated. There's tension, attraction, and hard-headed back and forths between them, making the decision to put her under protective custody nearly impossible.
The strange events around the case are amped up when LeBeau receives voice-altered messages on his private cell number which indicate the killer has a personal vendetta against him. This brings the secretive events of his former life in New Orleans to the forefront of the story without revealing what they are. Detective Remy LeBeau obviously suffers in silence at his losses and holds himself responsible for some tragic and perhaps incriminating occurrences from his past, and throughout the story he's been unable to allow anyone into his private circle of trust. Including the reader.
When deviations surface from the killer's normal routine, the detectives involved wonder if there's a copycat or two partners. When LeBeau's Lieutenant calls in a former cop who worked on the original case, now a PI, to assist with the case, Remy's resentment is hard-pressed to accept the man. However, as they all work furiously to identify the killer by the faintest of clues, things begin to suggest a culprit right when they need it the most.
Winter presents a romantic tale in a unique setting with escalating suspense and a fair amount of twists plus lots of the typical sparring, sighing, denying, stomach tingling, self-contradictions and arguments, etcetera, of category romance. Fitting snugly into the desired genre, Remy and Cody provide two explosive characters with things to hide. Remy's biggest secrets remain hidden in this story written in a spirited voice by newcomer Winter Austin. This sets the stage for a next novel without leaving the reader in a lurch.
A good story and a quick read, Relentless touches ever so lightly on the element of faith and includes the use of mild expletives here and there. Recommended for lovers of category romance with emphasis on a suspenseful plot.
Father, please continue to provide those stories you have just for Winter to tell. Watch over her and her family and bless all that she does for you. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.