Artist Natalie Armstrong is returning to the town of Sapphire Lake after being away for years. She’s been living in Venice, developing what has become an extremely successful art career. When she was younger, she and her mother lived in the town with her grandparents, and their cottage and the two and surrounding area in Montana bring back wonderful memories. Her grandparents have died, and they left their cottage to Natalie and her mother. But when she returns, she finds that part of her grandparents’ cottage has been rented – her mother, who lives in Indianapolis, didn’t expect Natalie to return.
Gabe Lanigan is an author, a bestselling writer of suspense thrillers. He’s based in New York City; that’s where he grew up and where his agent and publisher are. Gabe is also a former police detective, and he still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after seeing his partner and almost-girlfriend gunned down. He left the police force years before. He’s in Sapphire Lake for one reason – he’s being stalked but someone who’s staging scenes from Gabe’s books, and the threats are becoming more violent. He’s renting part of the Natalie’s cottage.
Natalie and Gabe get over their initial animosity and soon find they’re strongly attracted to each other. Natalie’s afraid that a relationship will sidetrack her career; Gabe doesn’t think he’ll ever be ready for a relationship after seeing his girlfriend die. But the attraction keeps building.
And then the stalker shows up.
Falling for You by Leeanna Morgan tells the story of Gabe, Natalie, and their friends. What begins as almost completely a romance story turns into a suspense story before becoming a suspense / romance story.
Morgan has published several series, all of which are set in Montana (the author herself lives with her family in New Zealand). The series include Montana Brides (10 books), The Bridesmaids Club (four books), Emerald Lake Billionaires (four books), The Protectors (eight books), Santa’s Secret Helpers (four books), and Sapphire Bay (six books). Falling for You is the first in the Sapphire Bay series.
The novel is stronger on the romance side than the suspense side; we don’t really learn much about the stalker and what the motivations might be. But it is a successful romance story that leaves the reader guessing until the end whether these two people will overcome their pasts.