This had nearly everything I enjoy in a romantic suspense novel; it was fast-paced, intriguing and the characters were engaging. My only quibble was that because it took place in a short period of time, the romance was somewhat rushed.
Sarah Dunnemore is an historical archaeologist; her job involves researching and preserving historical sites, not ancient ruins or dinosaurs. Her work started as a fascination with her neighbors in Tennessee, the Poe family. She spent years preserving the historic home and researching the family, thanks to a close relationship with two elderly sisters who adopted a baby left on their doorstep. That baby later became the president of the United States; John Wesley Poe even dated Sarah’s mother, Betsy, and he has always been in her life and the life of her family.
Sarah is at loose ends because her job is finally completed. The Poe house will be turned into a museum, and she has returned to her family home, Night’s Landing, to focus on her next move. Her parents are world renowned diplomats and are often abroad, so she has the entire place to herself, except for the presence of the enigmatic caretaker, Ethan.
While Sarah is ruminating over her future, she receives a call from her brother Rob, a U.S. Marshal. Rob was shot in Central Park after a press conference he attended with another Marshal, Nate Winter. Nate was also shot, although his injuries are less severe, and he informs Sarah the paramedics are arriving to take them both to the hospital.
Sarah and Rob are twins, and Sarah is understandably upset and worried for her brother. She rushes to New York to find her brother in critical condition. Nate was not seriously wounded, and is chomping at the bit to find who shot his partner and why, even though the investigation is an FBI matter. Rob asks Sarah to return to Tennessee for her own safety until they know what happened, and although she is extremely reluctant to do so, she acquieses.
After she receives a letter threatening her own life, Nate heads down to Tennessee to provide protection for Sarah and do some investigating of his own. The suspense plot is intense and involves some wonderful secondary characters, especially fellow U.S. Marshal, Juliet Longstreet, and Ethan, who is not what he seems. The plot against Sarah’s family is intricate, and although I knew who the villain was before the end, I never knew why until the author chose to reveal the secret.
The book’s weakness is definitely the romance. Nate and Sarah know each other for merely a couple of weeks, and the situation was tense and potentially dangerous for most of that time. As a result, there wasn’t much time dedicated to romance, although I enjoyed both characters immensely. Although Sarah is a headstrong woman, she is smart as well, and knows enough to let Nate do his job. Nate is a bit more of an enigma since he is focused on the investigation, however, what I knew of him, I liked. Characters from the previous book, Cold Ridge make a brief appearance, enough to convince me to give their book a try.
I’m looking forward to the next book in the series which I hope will feature Ethan, who was definitely someone I want to read more about. Despite the fact that romance takes a backseat to the suspense, I still had a great time with this book. Fans of the genre will most likely want to pick it up.