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Publisher's Summary

A summer at his grandparents' South Dakota ranch is not 11-year-old Cooper Sullivan's idea of a good time. But things are a bit more bearable now that he's discovered the neighbor girl, Lil Chance, and her homemade batting cage. Even horseback riding isn't as awful as Coop thought it would be. Each year, with Coop's annual summer visit, their friendship deepens from innocent games to stolen kisses, but there is one shared experience that will forever haunt them: the terrifying discovery of a hiker's body.

As the seasons change and the years roll, Lil stays steadfast to her dreams of becoming a wildlife biologist and protecting her family land, while Coop struggles with his father's demand that he attend law school and join the family firm. Twelve years after they walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills when people and things they hold most dear need them most.

An investigator in New York, Coop recently left his fast-paced life to care for his aging grandparents and the ranch he has come to call home. Though the memory of his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something . . . or someone . . . has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil's beloved cougar, recollections of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe.

Lil and Coop both know the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. But now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey.

©2009 Nora Roberts; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
  • Esther
  • Robina, Australia
  • 01-29-11


I really loved this book and the reader Nick Podehl is a genius. I don't understnad some of the reviews here. The story was great and the characters, male and female were brought to life by the reader. Thank you and well done.

  • Overall


This is an intense story. There is a little gratuitous violence, and the conflict between the love interest was a little unbelievable, but this is fiction. It was a "page-turner" to be sure. It is reminiscent of Northern lights in its feel. So I have to say that it was well worth the listen for me, despite some of the unnecessary trappings.
And unlike some, I liked the narrator--not the best rhythm, but I do like the quality of his voice. I think that the smooth quality of his voice was necessary to balance out the intensity of the storyline. I liked enough to listen to it again at some point.

  • Overall
  • Joie
  • California
  • 10-18-10


This book was entirely too long. It's the first time that I've wished that I'd purchased the abridged version. I also had to stop and figure out who was speaking although I have to say that I am glad that Nick didn't use falsetto when speaking women's voices like a lot of men narrators.

  • Overall
  • Jane
  • Dothan, AL, USA
  • 03-25-10

Great Story, Poor Narration

I would give the story 4 stars, but the narrator gets zero! I couldn't tell who was speaking and had to do several rewinds. The characters voices were all very flat. I really liked the story, and the length was great for me since I listened commute a long distance every day. There is one element in the end that I thought was a little cheesy, but overall I really enjoyed the story.

  • Overall


I love Audible and listen to a lot of books. I can even get through some of the very long, very drawn out historical romances... but I thought this book would NEVER end! I wish I had listened to an abridged edition, or not a all. It went over and over the same issues again and again. By the time the story was worked out I didn't care anymore.

  • Overall
  • Ginny
  • Upland, CA, USA
  • 12-26-09

A good read

A bit drawn out in sections. Outcome a foregone conclusion, but still an enjoyable read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jean
  • livonia, MI, USA
  • 12-14-09

problem with download

It's a great book...sure wish I had the last chapter.

  • Overall

Very good listening

The only thing I did not care for in this book was the amount of curse words. The story would be a better story without all the foul language and then it would be more appropriate to listen to when there are children present.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • tina
  • elkton, MD, United States
  • 12-05-09


I read the book the day it came out but then i downladed this and it like hearing it in a different perspective

  • Overall

Worth a listen

I am not a huge fan of Nora Roberts. But i have read a few books of hers. About as many as i have hated i have liked, so i keep her as a back up when i am looking for something to kill time. Black Hills i think is the best book i have read by her. Which is funny because one of my complaints about her is she is unoriginal. Which this title proves since it is in essence Montana Sky. It is like she wanted a "redo" on Montana Sky and came up with this one instead. The character/ plot developement seemed much more thought out than some of her other titles. While it wasnt a "keep you guessing" mystery, it was well conceived. The narrator is also good. Not the best book i have ever read but it is the best Nora Roberts.