Authors Showcase: Mystery and Love

The Book: Dangerous Waters

The Author: Anne Allen

The Story: ‘Oh my God, what’s happening to me? After all this time, please, not again!’

Jeanne Le Page, gripped by fear and panic, struggles to breathe as the ferry arrives in Guernsey – the island she had fled fifteen years before, traumatized by a family tragedy.

Now she has to return after another death. Her beloved grandmother has bequeathed Jeanne her old cottage. She intends to stay just long enough to sell her inheritance. Deeply unhappy after the recent end of a relationship, she has no desire to pick up her old life in her birthplace.

Jeanne is shocked to find that the cottage holds a secret going back to the German Occupation. She becomes drawn into learning more, delaying her planned departure. At the same time, while unveiling the truth of what happened to her family, she puts herself in mortal danger.

Jeanne has to relive the tragedy as the ghosts continue to haunt her. But over time the island works its magic, encouraging her to live and love again.

A Review by Francine Howarth: “Jeanne’s return to her home Island of Guernsey forces her to face the fear of a specific stretch of waterway. The experience aboard a ferry, unpleasant in itself, bodes ill for sense of peace from nightmares that have plagued her since childhood. Meanwhile, a cottage, bequeathed to her by her grandmother, instills strength and perseverance in starting a new life after a relationship break-up.

“But as heart-rending flashbacks occur with ever-increasing frequency, a man seemingly intent on developing a deep relationship with her becomes a tad too possessive. Sense of danger soon prevails and while Jeanne unravels a mystery of interest to her in the vein of curiosity, a mystery from her past comes full circle to threaten her life. Can she survive, and can love win the day? Dangerous Waters is a poignant story of tragic losses and meaningful love found within a place that is dear to her heart. A delightful if sad read to touch the heart of a reader.”

A Review by Clare Swindlehurst, Blue Archipelago Reviews: “Jeanne comes back to the island where she spent her childhood after the breakdown of her relationship and the death of her grandma. She left at the age of sixteen after witnessing her parents’ death in a terrible boat accident and all she wants to do is tidy up her grandma’s cottage – bequeathed to her in her will – sell it and return to England.

“A chance encounter with an old school friend sees her invited to a BBQ where she finds herself enjoying the company of people her own age, and under the loving guidance of her parents’ old friends Jeanne decides to renovate her grandma’s cottage and consider staying on for good.

“Before too long Jeanne has uncovered some of her grandma’s old recipes, along with some love letters from the wartime and she sets off on a path of uncovering her family’s distant history while also trying to understand what happened on the boat the night she lost her parents. Along the way she makes new friends, fulfills her dream of writing a novel and unwittingly puts herself in mortal danger only to be rescued by a knight in shining armor.

“This is a wonderful book, filled with family secrets, love and friendship, intrigue and danger and a dollop of good old’fashioned romance! I also enjoyed the references to Guernsey and its history and feel like I walked the streets with Jeanne enjoying the sights and the sea.

“I am so glad I had no plans for this lazy Sunday as I was perfectly content to read this whole book from start to finish, and now that it’s come to an end I’m going to miss Jeanne, Molly, Peter and the lovely Nick.

“If you’re looking for a summer vacation read then you really can’t go wrong with Anne’s debut novel. I look forward to seeing what she conjures up next.”

The Book: No Second Chance

The Author: Maggie Toussaint

The Story: Hope Farrier rescues unwanted horses, but she’s saddled with debt. Without help she’ll lose Second Chance Farm, the first home she’s ever known. An endowment brings the promise of future relief and the presence of shrewd business manager, Devlin Temple.

Trouble is, Devlin has his dreamy blue eyes on more than her bottom line.

Playboy Devlin Temple lays a trap for the thief that’s fleecing his company. When his cousin sets his cap for Devlin’s job, Devlin knows he needs Hope’s help to secure the CEO position. In her arms he finds the solace and support he craves, but their blossoming romance prompts the thief to raise the stakes.

Will Devlin and Hope pay the ultimate price for love?

A Review by Steph: “Toussaint crafts a heart-pounding romantic suspense with No Second Chance. Devlin Temple has it all – a successful career, money, and prestige. He’s Baltimore’s hottest bachelor, but when he meets Hope Farrier, a determined redhead who runs a horse farm, his life takes an unexpected turn down a path he least expected. Will Hope tame his heart, or prove he’s heartless to the bone?

“The plot is tight, slowing down in just the right places to allow the reader a breath before picking up again. Devlin is a solid guy, driven by a desire to do what’s right by his family. The family business is TES, and they make horse supplements. Unfortunately, Devlin’s mother, Lillian, is dying of cancer. Lillian admires Hope. She arranges for Hope to control a substantial amount of shares in TES, along with Hope’s promise that she’ll help Devlin secure the company’s CEO spot. Hope agrees. When she meets Devlin, the chemistry between them is undeniable.

“Toussaint paints a wonderful picture of her setting with a good economy of words which allows the reader to easily visualize Hope and Devlin’s world. The suspense is also well done with the point of view narration switching to `the thief.’ This gives the reader insight into `the thief,’ his motivations, and it builds the suspense, as `the thief’ endangers Hope time and again. Hope’s strength shines through during these times, both emotional and physical.”

A Review by Chris Roerden, Career Book Editor: “I seldom read romantic suspense, but I’m so glad I came across Maggie Toussaint’s No Second Chance because the plot really held my interest and the quality of her writing is a pleasure to read. I say this as a not-easily-impressed book editor.

“The two main characters are most convincing in their behavior and motivation, especially Hope’s mistrust of the persuasive Devlin. Moreover I didn’t know who the villain was until the end. In fact, I’d pegged the wrong character. Well done!”

 

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