Kiss the Moon
Kiss the Moon has what many romantic suspense novels are missing – romance and suspense. You don’t have to read half the book before the hero and heroine meet. The main characters meet early on, and though they don’t always work together, they both try to unearth the truth. Kiss the Moon is more than just an exciting read, though; the reader really comes to care about the characters.
In the woods near Cold Spring, New Hampshire, Penelope Chestnut finds the remains of a small plane. This is the plane in which Colt Sinclair, an heir to a fortune, ran away with Frannie Beaudine 45 years ago. Penelope announces her discovery to the media, but for reasons of her own, she takes back her claim. Unfortunately, few people believe her retraction. Wyatt Sinclair, the nephew of Colt Sinclair, is among the doubters. He comes to Cold Spring to find out what happened to his uncle. Wyatt is sure Penelope found the plane. So why did she retract her discovery? Is she trying to protect someone? Then someone starts sending threatening notes to Penelope. Meanwhile, Penelope’s father grounds her from flying (he owns the small company she works for), and she’s at her wit’s end. On top of all this she must also cope with her growing attraction to Wyatt Sinclair.
Penelope’s impulsive nature sometimes places her in danger. Yet unlike the characters in so many other romantic suspense novels, she shows common sense. When she gets a threatening note, Penelope has the sense to be scared. Both Penelope and Wyatt are reluctant to trust each other, but at times Penelope’s judgement of Wyatt seems unreasonable. She is prepared to distrust him from the start just because he is a Sinclair. But she bristles at Wyatt for things she herself is guilty of doing. For example, she gets upset at him for searching her house, yet she was prepared to search his room. But to be fair, Wyatt is also leery about love.
The secondary characters flesh out this book. In particular, Penelope’s cousin, Harriet, generates reader sympathy. As a baby, Harriet was left on the doorstep of the local church shortly after Colt and Frannie went missing. Since she was young, Harriet has fantasized about being their child. Is her fantasy of being a Sinclair simply a pathetic dream? Though Harriet proves herself to be a strong woman as she runs the local inn, she still feels inadequate. Her self-doubt is heartbreaking.
The plot progressed logically, yet it was never dull. Mysterious incidents and dangerous goings-on heated up the suspense. The ending was a little too melodramatic compared to what had gone on before. Still, along the way, there were plenty of surprises.
Setting and background combined to enrich this novel. Besides flying small planes, Penelope and others made maple sugar. Penelope could often be found on a hike, checking the taps. Penelope’s isolated lakeside cabin also figured prominently in the plot. Besides enhancing the setting, the secluded location increased the suspense. Yet the suspense didn’t overwhelm the plot; Carla Negger’s witty style kept this book from being a downer.
Kiss the Moon is the first original Mira novel I have enjoyed. If you’ve read other Mira novels and thought they were “woman’s fiction” instead of romance, rest assured that this isn’t like those books. While the suspense plot is a strong part of this book, it is still a novel about two people falling in love, even if they are dragged into the relationship kicking and screaming.