Once You're Mine is the 4th book in the Cousins part of the Callaway Series by Barbara Freethy!! So book 4 in the Callaway Cousins and book 12 in the Callaways Series! I know, confusing!
Please also know that I've seen it as the 5th book instead of the 4th in the Callaway Cousins Series!
This is Dylan's story. He's another son to Tim and Sharon Callaway!!
Dylan's a firefighter just like his father and uncle. And the setting is in San Francisco, just like the majority of this series!
Tori Hayden is the younger sister to Dylan's best friend Scott. She's moved back to San Fran and is a reporter just like her late father was.
I found another book cover that's way too similar, even published the same year.
This book is classified as a contemporary romance as well as a suspense novel.
So while this is a romance between Dylan and Tori, there's also a huge mystery that they work together to solve.
And as an investigative reporter, Tori is inquisitive and curious and loves to ask questions.
As the younger brother to Dylan's best friend, she was always the annoying sister that they needed to cart around for Scott's parents.
There're very few details in the sexy scenes, but not many.
As a mystery, this story is filled with danger and excitement, secrets and conspiracies.
This story takes place not long after the last book, Closer to You, where we get to know Ian and Grace. And we also get to know how several of the Callaways are doing as there's scenes with many family members in them.
Because Tori grew up with Dylan and her brother Scott, the story takes us back to their childhood and spends some time looking back and reminiscing.
But the story takes place 10+years after high school. Tori has moved back to town to take a job at the local newspaper office. As a reporter, she's been assigned to finding and investigating the homeless situation in San Fran.
But that's not what she's thinking about. Ever since she's moved back to town, she's felt like she's been watched and followed. And once she even followed the man into a building. And as luck would have it, that building blew up just as she ran out the door!
And that brought her into Dylan's world again. As the responding fire dept, he's the one that helps her after the explosion.
He volunteer's his time and protection, as Scott is busy getting married.
With Scott otherwise occupied and Tori in need of someone to help her, that makes it that Dylan is put together with Tori for a huge chunk of the story.
And it's during that time that they get to know each other as adults and realize that they make a good team and their friendship turns to love.
Okay, so a ton happens. Tori starts digging into fires that keep happening. She gets death threats and her life is in peril. You know, all the fun story stuff.
And Dylan is right there beside her not only helping her but also supporting her in her quest to find the truth.
And what they find out is out there and keeps you on the edge of your seat. And there's even a twist in this one that you don't see coming. And I'm trying not give spoilers!!
So the story does end happy like a romance should. And this story, while follows the pattern that the rest of this series follows, still gives an entertaining spin on it that makes for an interesting and exciting story.
I was completely captivated with this story.
A lot happens to make sure that Dylan and Tori band together to solve the mystery and spend the necessary time together to fall in love and commit to each other!!
I enjoyed getting to know both characters. We had seen Dylan a bit before in the first 11 books in this series. And Freethy does a good job of being consistent with the character building from the beginning.
I really liked the spin that this one has. And while I'm not going to give spoilers this time, I do wonder how this one's "what happens next" is going to fit into the rest of the stories that could potentially happen.
It was definitely worth reading!!
Next up is Annie's story in Can't Let Go, book 5/13!!
Check out the other books in the Callaway Cousins Series:
If you liked If I Didn't Know Better, you might like: