Out Of The Dark (Silhouette Intimate Moments) - Justine Davis Horse trainer Tory Flynn is desperate and heart sick. Three horses under her care have died under mysterious circumstances. It appears that someone is trying to put her Uncle's ranch out of business and they've got to find out who and why before another innocent animal dies and their reputation is shattered.

When Tory walks into Cole Bannister's office and requests his investigative services he initially turns her down. After three terrible tragedies that he holds himself responsible for he refuses to get involved. But against his better judgment he does.

This is a romance so it's no surprise that the culprits are found and the two fall in love but first they have to overcome a lot of personal baggage. Cole is drop dead gorgeous and the heroine despises him on sight. You see, her Dad was a beautiful, lying, sack of doggy dung who was the worst kind of womanizer. With only her dad as an example Tory believes all pretty men are ugly on the inside. So she's scared to death of her attraction to Cole and fears she's following in her doormat Mom's footsteps and fights it for all she's worth. Completely understandable. Cole, naturally, is much more than a pretty face but he'd like the world to see him that way so he hides his painful emotions and only dates air-heads who don't care if he has feelings. In his mind any decent woman is too good for him. He has a lot of healing to do and personal demons to face before he can love with all of his heart. He's a classic wounded hero.

Tory loses her baggage sooner than Cole does, he carries his around for the entire story. A bit too long for my tastes. I wanted to see them both happy and in love for a few more pages than I got. This is what would be classified as a very angst-filled read. Fortunately, there were quiet moments of humor to relieve the tension; Cole's cat, whom he denies is his, made me smile and brought out Cole's gentle side early on. His vehement denial of ownership is just such a man thing that I couldn't help but laugh every time the cat popped up.

A Justine Davis book is always a treat and I recommend this one, especially for those who like wounded characters and loads of internal conflict, but if you're not quite up to reading 240 plus pages of angst you may want to hold off on reading this one until another day.