Review of MISSING IN THE DESERT by Dana Mentik

I really enjoy a good romantic suspense book and when it’s a Love Inspired book, that is even better because faith becomes a focus of the characters as they work to resolve their problems. This is the second book in a series, but it is the first one that I have read by this author so I can attest to the fact that it can be read as a standalone. The main characters are Mara Castillo and Levi Duke. Levi has partnered with Mara’s brother Seth to purchase a failing ranch in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Furnace Falls is not a paradise by any means but Levi and Seth hope to turn the ranch around and raise horses. Unfortunately, before Seth can even arrive, he is seriously injured and in a coma, leaving Mara to fill in the gaps on the ranch. I really enjoyed how responsible Levi was, to Seth and to Mara and to his own obligations. I read intently as Mara’s character developed from one who was bitter about what she has had to give up into one who accepts things the way they are. The plot is complicated by the fact that Mara’s sister Corinne disappeared about five years earlier and now it seems that Mara has received a text from her. So, in addition to finding out what happened to Corinne, visiting her seriously injured brother in the hospital, dealing with her feelings for Levi and working on the ranch, Mara is trying to discover the secrets that seem to be threatening her life. There were surprising twists along the way to the end of the story and a lot of back-and-forth romance between Levi and Mara. The suspense never let up and the romance was a light one, in the background but always there. The animals were my absolute favorites of the story! There was Banjo the intuitive dog, a kitten named Tiny whom Banjo seems to adopt as his own and a Rabbit living under the porch. Plus, of course, there were lots of horses on the ranch. I enjoyed the story, the characters, the themes of family and persevering and the intrigue of a good mystery.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

A clean romantic suspense that can be read by all who enjoy a good mystery and a light romance.
Four stars for a good book that left me wanting to know more about the characters and the story
Photo from the author’s website at

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a national bestselling author. She has been honored to win two Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion, and a Reviewer’s Choice award. She’s authored more than thirty novels to date for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and Harlequin Heartwarming. Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her at

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