REVIEW: RIVER ROAD, BY JAYNE ANN KRENTZ

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On a summer night, sixteen-year-old Lucy Sheridan had been invited to a party with the cool kids. Since she only occasionally visits Summer River, to stay with her Aunt Sara, she doesn’t know many kids. She is flattered by the attention.

But before the party even gets under way, Mason Fletcher has pulled her away from the party, and is driving her home. He uses words like danger, etc., and Lucy thinks he is worried about her getting into drugs or alcohol.

Before the next day is over, Lucy is flown back to her parents, as if she has been whisked away.

Now thirteen years later, Lucy is back, getting her aunt’s home ready for sale, since her aunt and friend Mary Colfax had died in a car crash. In the subsequent years, she has partnered with some friends to launch a company that investigates and finds lost heirs.

Mason is back, too, also visiting, taking a break from his investigating of cold crimes, and before long, the two of them are caught up in solving the mysteries of that long ago summer. As it turned out, one of the party attendees, Tristan Brinker, whose father was in business with Quinn Colfax’s father, had gone missing soon after as well.

What happened that long ago night? How did the events of that one evening inform all of their lives? And how does Lucy’s inherited shared of the Colfax Corporation seem to be stirring up all kinds of infighting in the Colfax family?

When Mason and Lucy find something unexpected in Aunt Sara’s fireplace, the possibilities grow exponentially, as they dig further into what might have happened long ago. And along the way, the sparks fly between them as well.

River Road was a page-turning romantic suspense story that had me guessing throughout. There were many red herrings along the way, but even guessing what might have happened did not lessen my enjoyment. There were some formulaic and predictable elements, but ultimately, I was quite surprised by the final denouement. Recommended for all who enjoy romantic suspense. 4.0 stars.

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REVIEW: WHISKEY BEACH, BY NORA ROBERTS

 

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Eli Landon has come back to Bluff House in Whiskey Beach, beaten down and troubled after a traumatic year in Boston. His grandmother Hester, who has lived in the home for years, is recuperating in Boston after a fall one night that left her without her memories of what had transpired.

The big old house is filled with sentimental objects and reminders of the family legacy. Abra Walsh, his grandmother’s housekeeper, has taken on the project of helping Eli recover from his horrendous year, and her little reminders of healthy living in the form of post-its are amusing and delightful. Will a special connection develop between these two?

What Eli must try to piece together is what really happened to his wife Lindsay, who was found murdered in their Back Bay home. One bulldog cop named Wolfe is sure that Eli killed her, but neither he nor the DA have been able to make a case. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, is Wolfe’s line of thought.

Starting over in Whiskey Beach will become complicated by some troubling events that happen soon after Eli’s return. A break-in, an assault on Abra, a P.I. who is investigating Eli, and then the death of that same P.I.

And who is digging trenches in the Bluff House basement? What is the truth behind the legend of Esmeralda’s Dowry, a supposedly buried treasure? Are all these events somehow connected? And what long buried secrets will be unearthed?

Whiskey Beach is a gorgeously written tale that wrapped itself around this reader, reeling me in with each page, wondering about the mysteries while enjoying the interaction between the characters. The settings, and most especially the gorgeous Bluff House, with its nooks and crannies and secret passages, that felt like another character, made me want to savor the moments in this story. I also enjoyed the historical references to Prohibition days as they related to the whiskey barons in this story. Recommended for those who enjoy romantic suspense. I didn’t have everything figured out before the end, but I liked that I correctly guessed some of the plot twists and turns. 5.0 stars.