Rachel McTavish runs a bookstore in a coal mining town. Her mother is ailing, and the coal mines her father and eldest brother had worked in have caused their deaths in one way or another. Times are not easy, but Rachel holds true to her convictions and keeps chugging along.
Truman, the Earl of Druridge, and the owner of the coal mines that took the lives of Rachels father and brother, lost his wife and her unborn child in a fire two years earlier. Truman has been the number one suspect ever since. Before Rachels father died it is said he was paid to have started the fire that killed his wife. Longing to clear his name before he is hanged he bargains with Rachel for information. Soon the lives of the Earl and the coal miners daughter are heavily tangled.
Its no secret that I am a fan of Brenda Novaks writing. She hasnt written many historical novels so I was very excited to see what she ended up creating. What I read was a book written with such stunning imagery that I often forgot I was reading. The story she wrote conjured such magnificent pictures in my head while I read that it was like I was watching a movie.
I have been working a lot lately and I was seriously contemplating bringing my kindle with me to work and trying to strategize how I could sneak and read at my desk with so much company traffic ending there. In the long run the responsible me had to let that idea go, but it wasnt easy, it was torture walking away from it.
Even though the time categorizes it as a historical romance novel, it doesnt settle well with me to limit it to that genre, or any genre, for that matter. It has an edge to it that most historical romances dont have. It has a touch of darkness and realism that completely consumed me, running side by side the burgeoning romance. If you enjoy romances of any flavor, no matter the genre you prefer, I think you will love this one. Yes, its a historical romance, but it is also a mystery and more importantly its just an all around damn fine book!
Cherise Everhard, October 2013
This book was provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review
The story begins with a breakneck race through the darkened countryside in a horse-drawn carriage, and although the pace of the story does let up, the mystery and suspense remain. One of the things that I appreciate about this book (and all of this authors books that Ive read to this point) is that characters have normal reactions to events and take reasonable actions accordingly. Conversations make sense (and do not feel contrived) and move the action along. Suspense builds. Characters develop. This story includes details about the coal mining industry of that era which was interesting and frightening at the same time. Supporting characters and enough story left over after a satisfying ending that a sequel would be possible and welcomed.