Short Take Reviews: Lost & Found series (Catherine Cowles) | Glimmers of You | Shadows of You | Ashes of You

 

With the recent release of Ashes of You, Catherine Cowles has wrapped up another fantastic small-town romantic suspense series. I previously reviewed Whispers of You and Echoes of You, the first two books in the Lost & Found series, and my thoughts on the remaining three books are below. Have you read the Lost & Found series? 

Glimmers of You
by Catherine Cowles
Series: Lost & Found #3
Pub: 8/1/2023
Format: Kindle
4.25 stars

Caden and Grae were the best of friends – until they weren’t. When Caden pulled away, and then moved away, Grae was hurt but refused to let it show. Their once close friendship turned into barbed teasing and snarky comments. Caden returned to Cedar Ridge just as Grae was dealing with a clingy ex. When he stepped in and posed as her new boyfriend to save her from the pushy ex, he realized they could help each other out. Her ex would move on and leave her alone, and Caden’s father would get off his back about settling down with someone suitable. When it became apparent that someone was gunning for Grae, Caden was determined to stick close and keep her safe. As the situation became ever more dangerous, their feelings for one another grew just as intense.

It’s no surprise that even the prologue of this one had me feeling all the feels. Cowles is Queen of the Emotional Prologues. I’m a sucker for a couple that has a past, and getting to watch as Caden and Grae rekindled their friendship and allowed more to develop was so satisfying. Their history lent an ease to their relationship that I loved. As always, Cowles delivered a solid suspense plot with escalating tension, red herrings, and a villain in their midst. The Lost & Found series continues to be a hit for me.

Tropes: brother's best friend, fake dating, forced proximity, hate to love, small town, romantic suspense

by Catherine Cowles
Series: Lost & Found #4
Pub: 10/19/2023
Format: Kindle
4.5 stars

Forced to flee with her young daughter, Aspen had made a home for them in the small town of Cedar Ridge. She tried to put down roots but was also ever vigilant and didn’t allow others to get too close. That changed when she had a run-in with Roan, the grumpy, taciturn Hartley brother who had long distanced himself from townspeople and family alike, living an almost solitary life. Aspen’s precocious daughter Cady immediately befriended Roan and a tentative friendship formed between Roan and Aspen as well. Roan sensed a kindred spirit in Aspen, someone who had also been hurt in the past, and he was determined to protect she and Cady at all costs. That determination was put to the test when Aspen’s past caught up with her and threatened her life in Cedar Ridge, and everything she held dear.

This was the book in the Lost & Found series that I’d been waiting for. Roan had been an enigma from the beginning and his story did not disappoint. Aspen’s easy acceptance of Roan went a long way in allowing him to lower some of his walls and start to open himself up again, both to Aspen and Cady, and his large, loving family. Speaking of Cady, the chatty six year old stole every scene she was in. From calling Roan “Mr. Grizz” (because he was like a grizzly bear coming out of hibernation) and declaring that they would be “bestest friends”, to her epic friendship with Charlie (Roan’s nephew), she was an adorable dynamo. The romance between Aspen and Roan was everything and Cowles, as always, provided the perfect balance between romance and suspense. Shadows of You is my absolute favorite in the Lost & Found series.

Tropes: grumpy x sunshine, single mom, forced proximity, broken hero, heroine in hiding, suspense

by Catherine Cowles
Series: Lost & Found #5
Pub: 2/8/2024
Format: Kindle/Audio
4.25 stars

Five years ago, Hallie escaped from a sadistic serial killer. She never knew the name of the man who found her, half frozen in the snowy woods, but she never forgot his blue eyes. They gave her hope. Years later, trying to make a fresh start, Hallie arrives in Cedar Ridge and applies for a job as a nanny. When she arrives for the interview all she sees is… blue. The eyes of the man she has never forgotten. Lawson is just as shaken to see Hallie standing before him, she and her ordeal having haunted him the last five years. Hallie is instantly a ray of sunshine in the Hartley home, providing a warm, comforting environment and a stable presence for Lawson’s three boys: sweet six year old Charlie, thirteen year old charmer Drew, and surly sixteen year old Luke. Hallie revels in being part of the rambunctious family, even as the undeniable attraction between she and Lawson grows. But the monster from Hallie’s past is closer that she could ever imagine.

It's been a long wait for Lawson’s story and it definitely delivered. We finally got Lawson’s backstory, the reason for his crippling guilt, and his desire to do right by his kids. Hallie was such a sympathetic character and I admired her strength. Still suffering from PTSD and panic attacks from her previous trauma, she worked hard to forge a meaningful life for herself and reclaim what a madman had tried to take away. It was heartwarming to see her be welcomed by the entire Hartley clan and she basked in the love and acceptance of her found family. While Lawson’s determination to keep his distance from Hallie seemed to flip in the blink of an eye (I practically got whiplash from how quickly he switched from “this can’t happen to “I’m all in”), I loved how attuned he was to Hallie, always observant and recognizing her triggers and emotional needs. I was surprised at the identity of the killer since I had discounted him earlier, and while the climactic scene at the end was over in the blink of an eye, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment. Cowles delivered a solid end to the series with an epilogue that guaranteed the Hartley family will stay with me for a long time to come.

Tropes: single dad x nanny, age gap, serial killer, touch her and die, forced proximity, found family


Do you enjoy romantic suspense?


11 comments

  1. This series is so good! I am glad you've enjoyed it. I still need to read the newest one.

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  2. I love that the little kid was able to get through to the grump. From cute little kid to serial killer. Whoa! Glad you enjoyed these so much

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  3. I have read and enjoyed Cowels, but haven't got to this series yet. I do love that she includes a suspense element in her romances. Makes them more exciting!

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  4. I've started this series and am looking forward to finishing it this spring/summer. There's just so many books on my TBR list I sometimes find it hard to fit them all in. But I do really love Catherine Cowles. :D

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  5. I love her small town romances! You encouraged me to read more of these!

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  6. I have really enjoyed the series. Books 1,2 and 5 are my top faves though. I really love how much emotion and heart she places in her books. I do love romantic suspense, I would say she writes light romantic suspense though. Sometimes I wish the suspense aspects were a bit heavier.

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  7. Yes, Catherine Cowles definitely did an amazing job with this series. I loved them as well! I think I loved Caden and Grae's story the most.. but it's impossible to choose! I can't wait to find out more about the next series she will be writing!

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  8. I hadn't heard of this series.. sounds good.

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  9. I've only read two books in this series so far but I absolutely loved them both and can't wait to read the rest. I think I first encountered Cowles on your blog so thanks for putting her on my radar. :)

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    Replies
    1. Suzanne - I'm so glad I could introduce you to Cowles! And I'm excited that you already love the series. Hope you get to continue with it soon!

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