Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review: Scarlett Nights (An Edilean Novel) by Jude Deveraux

Okay I admit I'm cringing as I review this. . . 

I know what you are thinking and perhaps I should be thinking it too. Yes, a cheesy romance. A stereotypical book.


Well yes, it's a romance and it's by an author that is known for romances - actually a plethora of them. I am going to justify my initial impulse to read this book by the fact it was readily available and I had a string of really bad books that I'm not going to bother to review as I bailed very early on them.

Now, before you just chalk this up to an easy impulsive romantic read I should tell you that while I don't pursue her books I read A Knight in Shining Armor and it really stuck with me after all these years. Yes, I was probably an impressive teenager looking for romance and found it "dreamy" but I recall that I was really fascinated by the time travel aspect. Of course it might have been a phase because I also used to love a series called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon at that same time.

But I digress. We are talking about Scarlett Nights and I did enjoy it. Yes, it was for the most part an easy read but it really held my interest. Yes, it's a romance but there is a plot. Mike Newland is a detective that has worked on some serious undercover investigations that have taken him to all sorts of places in the world and put him very dangerous situations. He had never really settled down due to his job as well as a very messed up childhood and has no ties with the exception of a sister who lives in Edilean, Virginia, a small town that Mike has never even visited but is connected to his past.

When a fugitive is thought to be hiding out in Edilean, Mike is put on the case and gets to know his sister's friends that he has heard about for years. He comes as who he is but not really revealing his real purpose which is to get close one of his sister's friends who is engaged to marry the fugitive. Of course no one in town knows the fugitive's true identity but they don't like him either and are rooting for Mike to change Sara's mind about Greg.

There is the question as to why Greg is even interested in Sara, and more importantly why she is planning on marrying this less than stellar guy. Mike tries to uncover the trail and get evidence to prove Greg's association with a criminal family that has swindled money from many victims and has even murdered folks to get what they want.

Small town America, mixed with a mafia type family, a hard nosed cop with little to lose, and a sweet innocent girl who is really stronger than she looks, are all elements in this romance. It was quite enjoyable and I would probably read another one in the series. Of course there are formulaic aspects to this book and a typical ending but I still think it's worth a quick read.

Now if I wasn't embarrassed enough about reviewing this particular one, look at another version of the cover. Yep, I am cringing.

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