Six years later, Cassie is back in town to bury her mother and settle the estate. When her sister was murdered, Cassie did not return. When her father died, she stayed away. Now, Cassie is the only one left in the family and she has no choice but to return. However, Cassie is determined to stay as far away from Cole Martin as she possibly can. Unfortunately, in a town as small as Stoneham, that might just prove to be impossible.
Cole Martin is stunned when he spots Cassie Fitzgerald at the small grocery store in town. There are things that Cole desperately needs to tell Cassie about his marriage to her sister. He needs for her to understand the reason he did what he felt was necessary at the time. Cole also needs to discuss Diane's brutal murder, which happened just three months after their wedding. Although he has always been the prime suspect in Diane's murder, Cole maintains his innocence. Convincing Cassie of his innocence and the need to give their relationship another chance may be the most important thing that Cole has ever done in his life.
When someone breaks into Cassie's family home, she turns to Cole for help. She is positive that the break-in has something to do with Diane's murder. She just needs to find whatever item that the thief is looking for before it falls into the wrong hands. Cole knows this is his chance to win Cassie back once and for all. He does not hesitate to lend his assistance. Someone in town does not want the truth about Diane's murder to be brought to light. The murderer will do whatever it takes to keep their identity and secret safe. With everyone in town acting strangely, Cassie and Cole don't know who, if anyone, they can trust. Can Cole and Cassie discover who killed Diane or will the killer stop them?
Cole knows that, no matter what happens, he must keep Cassie safe. He also knows that he never wants to let her leave him again. Will Cassie be able to forgive Cole for the pain he caused all those years ago? Do they have a future together? But then again, do they even have a future if the murderer catches up with them?
Desiree Holt has written a wonderful story filled with romance, suspense, and mystery. ONCE BURNED is a great story of first love and second chances. The road to forgiveness is often rocky for these two wounded characters but the destination is more than worth the difficult trip. Somewhere in every woman's history is a bad boy who tempted them to stray from their good girl ways. Cole Martin is the epitome of a bad boy. Who would not want to take a walk on the wild side with this sexy stud? However, Cole proves he is more than just a walking advertisement for a wild night of passion. He has a big heart, but it is just as wounded as Cassie's heart. Cole is such an irresistible hero that I quickly fell in love with him. Cassie is a captivating heroine with strong beliefs and values. She is a perfect match for the town bad boy.
ONCE BURNED is as hot as the title would suggest. The love scenes will singe you if you get too close to the computer screen. Ms. Holt has crafted a real winner in this intensely engaging book. Purchase a copy of this story, sit back, relax and enjoy a night of hot and steamy entertainment. Be warned, you might need a cold drink and a big fan to cool off while reading this hot number!