Howard does a tour de force bringing together this dysfunctional family with such strongly drawn characters. With a seamless Mutli-POV (point of view) she brings them all into vivid life for the reader, making this a pleasure to read.
Roanna was a gawky ugly duckling when she came to live with her wealthy grandmother in the sprawling mansion in Alabama. Left orphan at the early age, she feels so alone. Her beautiful, older cousin Jessie does not welcome her. Her grandmother makes it clear she is doing her family duty, and little else. So while the mansion was straight out of Gone With The Wind, Roanna was so very alone in the big house. Except for her distant cousin Webb. He showed a gentleness that won Roanna's admiration and silent love.
Roanna is constantly criticized by her grandmother, never doing anything to earn her approval, a startling contracts to the loving parents who adored her unconditionally. This mental abuse of her young spirit is only amplified by her grandmothers utter adoration of her perfect cousin Jessie. Even when Jessie was less than perfect her grandmother excused or covered for her. Roanna was forced to stand silently by as Webb and Jessie are paired into the "perfect couple", and there was little she could do, but watch as Webb married the wild, and greedy Jessie, always feeling at the back of her mind Webb deserved better. They seemed the faerytale couple, destined to rule the Davenport fortune, until the night Jessie was found dead, and everyone blamed Webb.
With everyone, but Roanna believes he killed Jessie, Webb leaves for Arizona. Now years later, a grown up Roanna has come to bring Webb home. Ten years has passed. Webb is no longer the caring gentle man Roanna loved. He is bitter, hardened. Despite his revulsion for his so-called families betrayal, Webb is convinced by Roanna it's time to come home, take up the reins of Davenport power and finally put Jessie's death to rest.
Webb comes back for two reasons - Roanna and to find out who really killed Jessie. Only a killer does not want his secret revealed and is willing to kill again to protect himself from exposure. It's a home with vividly drawn characters, all with their share of dark secrets. Howard, gives you that sultry, itchy Southern charm, a cover for a multitude of sins and passions simmering just under the surface. Roanna is a poignant character that strikes the cord in any woman who has felt less than perfect growing up. And by the same token, Webb is the knight in shining armour, dreams for a young girl to worship.
Howard uses the Mutlio-POV(point of view) so let the reader really experience these vividly created people in a way enforced "Stepford Writing" (Single POV) just cannot flesh out. It's simply Howard and the genre at it's best.
i am just starting to get/read Linda Howard's work and so far i've loved everything, but when i read the back of Shades of Twilight i was worried that i wouldn't enjoy it because of some themes in it (cousins marrying, one cousin dies and the other steps in kind of thing)...well i was completely wrong and i loved this book!
loved seeing the characters grow up and could empathize with them. the miscommunication issues that are annoying in some books felt justified in Shades of Twilight because you understood why the characters acted the way they did.
great read and i will continue my journey through all of Ms. Howard's books.
The ID of the murder was a surprise....which make this book definately worth reading.....not for young readers...mature audiences only.
This is a story of Roanna Davenport. She grows up in a wealthy southeren family but never quite fits in. She isn't pretty or popular, and she has a real talent for saying the wrong thing at precisely the wrong moment. She's in love with a distant cousin. Webb Tallant. But Webb marries their cousin Jessie, the bane of Roanna's life. When Jessie is found murdered, Webb is blamed for her death, even though there isn't enough evidence to charge him. Webb leaves town, and Roanna is left to pick up the pieces.....
Roanna Davenport was raised a wealthy orphan on her grandmother's magnificent Alabama estate, Davencourt, where she had a passion for horses. But everyone expected Webb to marry their ravishing cousin, Jessie. When he did, Roanna's desire became no more than the stuff of dreams until the night Jessie was found bludgeoned to death. Webb leaves Arizona abandoning his legacy. But then an all-grown-up Roanna walked into a dingy bar in Nogales to bring him home; the mischievous sprite he had known ten years earlier was no more. Gone, too, was her fire. In its place was ice that melted at his touch. Webb is drawn back to Davencourt, to Roanna, and to the killer that once destroyed his life.