Atonement by B.J. Daniels

March 14th, 2014 Kimberly Blog Tour, Review 48 Comments

14th Mar
Atonement by B.J. Daniels
by B.J. Daniels
Series: Beartooth Montana #4
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: Tour
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Just how far are people willing to go to keep their secrets? Protecting the citizens of Beartooth, Montana, is never an easy job. One year later, Sheriff Dillon Lawson still feels guilty that he couldn't save his twin brother, Ethan. But the biggest test of his bravery comes when Tessa Winters arrives, claiming to be pregnant…with Ethan's baby. At first, Dillon can't decide if this beautiful woman is a con artist or a victim. If Ethan didn't die in that car crash, then where is he—and why is he hiding? Now, Dillon is prepared to do anything to uncover the truth…anything except admit his growing feelings for Tessa. But with violence threatening, Tessa and Dillon must trust in each other to save not only themselves…but also Tessa's unborn child.

The cover and synopsis of Atonement by B.J. Daniels sold me, and then after I realized it was the fourth book in the Beartooth, Montana series. Worries about jumping in late were quickly dismissed as each book can be read as a standalone. Daniels did an excellent job of reintroducing older characters and making me feel comfortable. Mini review: suspenseful, multiple story threads and a slow-building romance kept me captivated.

Under Sheriff, Dillon Lawson is still feeling guilty about the death of his twin brother, Ethan even after a year. A very pregnant Tess Winters arrives at his ranch demanding he sign papers and return the money he stole he quickly realizes she thinks he is Ethan. Is she a con artist or victim? How can this babe be Ethan’s if he died a year ago? If he didn’t die in a car crash then where and why is he hiding? The tale that unfolds is action-packed with a few mysteries and a whole lota danger.

Right away I liked the characters we meet in Beartooth, Montana. Dillon is a noble, stand-up guy who blames himself for not being able to keep his brother straight. Tessa knew Ethan was trouble, but fell for his charismatic ways and the glimpse of the man inside him. The tale is told from several povs as we learn about Ethan and the crazy trouble he ran into. We also learn of further developments and troubles of local store owner Nette and the troubled Sheriff Frank. The characters each had a unique voice from the villains to the secondary characters adding to the suspense. The chemistry between Tess and Dillon was a slow burning and forbidden as they tried to find Ethan.

Atonement is pure suspense and a real whodunit with a clean, satisfying side of romance. Ethan’s troubles quickly become Dillon and Tessa’s as they uncover clues and stir up a hornet’s nest. We begin to see the players emerge and boy howdy are we all in trouble. The mystery thread regarding Frank and Nette was secondary but had me guessing and flipping the pages. Daniels balanced things wonderfully as she drove us towards the climatic endings. Forbidden romance is one of my favorite tropes and the slight triangle made me feel torn, but there was little to no angst and this thread remained on the side. When things did begin to develop they felt genuine and natural. Sometimes I felt a little disconnected, I think in part from jumping in at book four and then there was the multiple threads that left little page time with each.

Fans of mystery and suspense served with a side of romances will find Atonement to be a satisfying read. The previous books, Unforgiven, Redemption and Forsaken along with the novella Fallen are all available from paperback to eBook. The next book Mercy will release later this year.

Three and half cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

48 Responses to “Atonement by B.J. Daniels”

  1. Lindy

    I love when an author recaps previous books in a series for readers that are jumping in late, or even for a refresher! I’m glad you enjoyed this story, and weren’t lost despite starting in the middle 🙂

  2. Sharon - Obsession with Books

    I think I might have the first book in this series – your review has prompted me to pick it up! I enjoy a good suspense/mystery + romance, this sounds great!

    A wonderful review Kimba.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These work well as standalone, but I wouldn’t mind reading 1-3 too 🙂

  3. sherry fundin

    When I was quite a bit younger, I used to read a lot of my dad’s westerns. I have recently read of zombies in the wild west and thought it was fantastic. Sounds like Daniels books are a good read.

  4. Kimberly

    *hangs head in shame* I still haven’t given this author a try even though I see her books all the time. This year will be the year though. Love the cover too but I don’t get a big suspense vibe off it but I like it 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this one Kimberly

    • kimbacaffeinate

      the suspense is there and it has two threads. Thanks Kimberly 🙂

  5. aurian

    Another review for this book, I really need to pick up the one I still have from this author.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Aurian, now I need to come see if you loved Murder of Crows as much as me 🙂

  6. Michelle

    How mysterious! And there’s twins! (Though one is missing/dead) I really like how the book sounds and I’m definitely interested i reading about Dillon! Really happy that this could be read as a stand alone! 🙂

  7. Berls

    This sounds right up my alley – I love the cover and the synopsis is great. I’m so glad it can be read as a standalone, I would have been hesitant based on the synopsis, but sounds like it worked for you! Great review!

  8. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Yep, I see you are ganging up with me with others trying to get me into cowboy romances. Darn it! I never thought romantic suspense would be in a “cowboy” (well, sheriff) type of book. I enjoy those. Will try to read these from the beginning so I don’t feel disconnected. Still didn’t seem like it was too much of a problem for you.

  9. Braine Talk Supe

    At least this one worked out well for you. I remember that book you read the other day where you jumped mid-series too and it didn’t quite pan out. Happy weekend, Kimberly!

  10. Heidi

    I love a good Western mystery and this one sounds like a terrific read. I love companion novel series that you can just jump in at anytime! Happy weekend!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Right, but then I read the synopsis and was all in 🙂

  11. Lauren

    It’s great that you were able to jump into this without having read the prior books, I hate when I do that and I’m lost! I love whodunits and romance, and no, it does not hurt that the guy on the cover is gorgeous to look at. Fab review! 🙂

  12. Silvia

    A mystery suspense with a smexy cowboy? And it can be read as a stand-alone? Ok, I have to check this one out!

  13. A Voracious Reader

    It’s been years since I read B.J. Daniels, but then again it’s been quite some time since I read a Harlequin. After I joined Goodreads in 2010 I just sorta dropped my Harlequins for other books. I really need to get back to them!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well you know me Carol I read from all publishers and all genres..LOL

  14. Debbie Haupt

    Kimba, great review. I’ve read some of her novels before but it’s been a while and this is just the kick in the pants to get this one.

  15. Jenny

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Montana. My dad thought that would be an epic name for his baby girl, but my mom vetoed it so Jennifer I am. Kind of boring. But anyway, I’ve always been extra curious about Montana as a result, and I love that this book is set there! A huge yay for a solid mystery and romance as well, this one sounds like an all-around winner:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      We love visiting Montana Jenny. Mom’s and their vetoes..LOL

  16. Jenea

    The mystery of where Ethan is sounds pretty good. And so does the romance between Tess and Dillon. Great review.

  17. Chene Sterckx

    Hmm this sounds like my cup of tea! A smexy cowboy and an intriguing mystery suspense.. I will have to look this one up. I admire you for jumping in at book 4, I’m not sure I could do that and would probably go back and read the first 3 books first!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Truly don’t it was a totally case of cowboy cover and not doing my research before accepting..but it turned out ok 🙂

  18. kindlemom1

    I love when series can be read and a stand alone and I am glad you were able to jump right into this one and not feel lost.

    Have a great weekend Kim! I hope you are able to relax some and destress. 😉

  19. Melliane

    I love when there is a good mystery in a book, I’m always so curious to find out what is happenning. I’m glad you didn’t have any problems by starting with this one, but I think it’s usually ok with this genre, mainly when the characters are different.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Melliane, this was a solid read and I enjoyed it.