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by Debbie A. Heaton

Pub Date: July 13th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1450238076
Publisher: iUniverse

Romance, betrayal, ghosts and history mingle in this fast-paced thriller about a young woman coming to terms with a broken heart.

Riley married Tristan on a passionate whim at the tender age of 20. Two years later she fled him and their home, Wolfe Haven, out of a volatile mix of rage and shame. Now, three years older and wiser, she’s returned to find out whether or not she still loves him. Tristan, however, is seeing another woman—one he thinks can save the family from financial ruin—and is not happy to see his estranged wife. To complicate matters, Tristan’s brother Colin, whom Riley had flirted with when she was still living at Wolfe Haven, seems intent on making Riley as uncomfortable as possible, despite the fact his girlfriend Zoe is staying at the house. If romantic intrigue isn’t enough, there’s also a possibly murdered caretaker, a suspicious hit-and-run accident and strange whispers in Riley’s ear. Riley finds herself caught in a dangerous maze of secrets and deceptions as she tries to figure out who wants to sabotage Tristan’s work with alternative motor vehicles and how to win him back. The writing is upbeat and lively, and Heaton proves talented at keeping complicated plot lines clear and focused. Readers who enjoy romance novels touched with a hint of the macabre will find much to admire here. However, Heaton tends to hatch barely believable coincidences for the sake of her story, and characters sometimes shift in their roles to accommodate the many twists and turns. For instance, Abby, the current mistress of Wolfe Haven, transforms from collected matriarch to crazy woman forcefully reading auras too quickly to be swallowed. Likewise, Riley and Tristan’s escapade in the woods immediately after a car crash intense enough to result in a death feels a bit forced.

If readers can look past the occasionally inauthentic moment, they’ll be treated to an entertaining yarn.