Engaged to the charming and seductive Greg Anders, Sara Shaw is happily anticipating their wedding, just weeks away. Every detail, down to her heirloom dress, is ready. But when Greg gets a phone call during the night and leaves without explanation, and a stranger suddenly appears in her apartment and refuses to leave, Sara realizes her fiance is not who he claimed to be. . .and that Mike Newland, her best friend’s brother, has crashed into her life on an undercover mission to track a notorious criminal frighteningly close to Sara. Winning Sara’s trust is the detective’s first task, but Mike never counted on revealing his own intensely private ties to Edilean or sharing secrets he’s never told anyone else. As the pair works together to solve two mysteries, their growing love begins to heal each of them in ways they never could have imagined.
Have I said how much I love Jude Deveraux? Scarlet Nights is another fantastic read by Jude that continues the lives of the tight knit folks of Edilean Virgina. Edilean is a tiny little town tucked away on the outskirts of Williamsburg that was founded by a native Scotsman and named for the woman he loved. The inhabitants of Edilean are descendants of the founding families of the town, and while they are welcoming and tolerant of outsiders, they take pride in taking care of and protecting their own.
This story picks up in modern day with sweet little Sara Shaw. Sara is the baby of three girls, engaged to a jerk, and overwhelmed with her fiance’s demands. While he leaves on business he refuses to disclose to her, Sara is left to plan a wedding and alter clothes for clients. Although Sara was a nice sweet girl there was nothing particularly extraordinary about her. She was pretty run of the mill. Likable, but I wasn’t attached to her. She could have been replaced with anyone else, and I still would have enjoyed the story.
But Mike was loveable. He’s smart, in crazy shape, brave, and fiercely protective of his baby sister Tess. With no other family to speak of, Mike goes undercover in Edilean, to protect his sister and make sure her best friend isn’t caught in the crossfire of career criminals. Mike’s history is interesting to say the least. Raised by his hateful Grandmother, Mike left as a teenager and joined the force. He managed to travel to distant lands and study various forms of martial arts, has been involved in all manner of undercover assignments, and has a unique way of revealing nothing about himself.
Mike’s and Sara’s relationship started off slow and timid. Sara was convinced he had been sent to sabotage her wedding, and Mike wasn’t sure how to get her to trust him. But slowly they settled into an easy and comfortable friendship which consisted of exploring old farms, and sharing dinner with each other and friends. The attraction grew steadily and Sara finally began to open her eyes. She realized that everything good in Mike glaringly highlighted all the shortcomings of her fiance Greg.
I loved the tight knit feel of the little town of Edilean, and I love how we got to know the people who are descended from the Harcourts whose story we got in Days of Gold. The mystery surrounding Sara and Edilean was intriguing and developed nicely. You were given just enough information or clues in intervals to keep you turning the pages. The ending was a bit fast and slightly unbelievable, but I still liked how the information tied together. This is not Jude’s best work, but she still managed to write a very enjoyable story. I really liked it and can’t wait for the next in the Edilean series, or a Jude novel period.
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Filed in: Fiction, Reviews, Romance Tags: Books, Fiction, Jude Deveraux, Review, Romance