Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Mad Morelands #3
Publication Date: 1/8/18 (First Published 2004)
Number of Pages: 416
I am really loving the Mad Morelands who aren’t really mad, just a bit unusual and eccentric. I really liked Reed Moreland in the last book and as I got to know him in this book, I came to admire him as well. The book is well-written, romantic, filled with characters you’ll love and includes a mystery that is engrossing but doesn’t take away from the romance.
Three years ago, Reed Moreland decided it was time for him to purchase himself a country estate – one where he could raise his children once he was ready to marry. He found the perfect place – Winterset – and he also found the perfect woman for him. He woos her and loves her – and he’s sure that she loves him too. Yet, when he asks her to marry him, she turns him down by telling him that they wouldn’t suit and that she doesn’t love him at all. After three long years, he still loves her just as much – and when he has a nightmare that convinces him she’s in danger, he heads back to Winterset. Of course, he tells himself it is so he can sell Winterset and finally put the past behind him.
Anna Holcombe was totally, completely, irrevocably in love with Reed Moreland three years ago. They had spent the most wonderful month together and then – her world totally imploded when she got some ghastly news. When Reed proposed, she had no choice but to refuse his suit and to do it in such a way that he’d leave and forget about her. She’s spent the last three years trying to get over him as best she can and she finally has her life where it is pleasant if not happy. Now, Reed is back at Winterset and he’s convinced she’s in danger. Silly man – of course she isn’t in any danger.
When a housemaid disappears from Anna’s household – and then her mutilated body is found, everybody begins to speak of the Beast. The wounds on the poor girl’s body certainly looks like a beast of some sort did it – but is the beast a man or an animal? Then, a second murder – and the victims, the wounds harken back to murders from fifty years ago. How can they possibly be related? As more attempts occur and secrets are uncovered, Anna and her brother Kit are in more and more danger. Reed and Anna work together to unravel the murders and the secrets that have been hidden for half a century.
If you love a great romance AND an intense mystery, this is the book for you.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.