Sticks & Stones by Glenna Thompson is the story of Abby Warren. Ten years ago, Abby Warren left her home town of Mills Pond to escape ridicule from her peers. Blamed for the death of her best friend, Abby leaves everything behind including her relationship with her father and a budding romance with her high school crush Chad Austin. When her dad is hospitalized while recovering from injuries, Abby comes home to help her mother out with the family business. Abby’s return causes a stir among the town folk. While Chad is happy to have a chance to renew his pursuit of Abby, his brother Chase’s hatred of her is reawakened. The man actually responsible for her friend’s death is upset that she is back, and he believes that she knows he is the guilty party. Since he couldn’t make her stay away he renews his campaign to get her to leave town again and will stop at nothing to make sure that she can’t come back.
When Chad steps in to protect Abby and to redeem her with the locals, he has some concerns about how much his brother Chase was involved with what happened in the past and with what is happening now. Chad also wants to convince Abby to stay so that they can have a life together. For Abby, she finally has a chance to clear her name with her family and the locals, and she as a chance to have a real relationship with the man of her dreams. In order to do this, she has to find out who is after her and stay ahead of his game so that she can stay alive.
Sticks & Stones by Glenna Thompson is a romance that has the perfect blend of mystery mixed into the story. The author does an excellent job of bringing us back with Abby into her painful past. She also helps get us caught up in Abby’s hopes and dreams of her budding relationship. Abby’s story was real enough to me that I actually felt indignant about the injustices that she faced as a teen and the severity of the losses that she incurred. Knowing that a killer and rapist walked away from his crime unscathed riled me up and compelled me to keep reading the story so that I could see him finally brought to justice. Sticks & Stones is a well written novel that will be enjoyed by fans of mystery and romance. It would be a great selection for a women’s reader group.