- Heather Graham
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (Published 28th August 2012)
Ecopy courtesy of netgalley and Harlequin
1777: In the throes of the Revolutionary War, Landon Mansion is commandeered by British Lord 'Butcher' Bedford. He stabs Lucy Tarelton, who spurned his king and his love leaving her to die in her father's arms. Now: After the day's final tour, docent Allison Leigh makes her rounds while locking up and finds a colleague slumped over Bedford's desk, impaled on his own replica bayonet. Resident ghosts may be the stock-in-trade of stately Philadelphia homes, but Allison, a noted historian, is indignant at the prospect of 'ghost hunters' investigating this apparent murder. Agent Tyler Montague knows his haunting and his history. But while Allison is skeptical of the newcomer, a second mysterious murder occurs. Has 'Butcher' Bedford resurfaced? Or is there another malevolent force at work in Landon Mansion? Wary, yet deeply attracted, Allison has to trust in Tyler and work with him to discover just what uninvited guest, dead or alive, has taken over the house. Or their lives could become history...
This is the eighth book in the Krewe of Hunters series and the fourth one to focus on Texas Krewe. I always find myself returning to these books when I want an enjoyable light read with a touch of romance. This time around it’s Tyler, the Texas Ranger and gentleman cowboy who takes the lead into a murder investigation in Philidelphia at a historical old home that legend has it, was were a patriot was killed during the Revolution. Immediately he meets tour guide and historian, Allison who does not believe in ghosts and refuses to accept that the truth of the murder might lie in the distant past.
It was refreshing after so many novels to run into a character who doesn’t immediately accept that ghosts are real. I liked how normal Allison’s reactions are and the way she slowly comes to accept what is happening. Tyler is a true gentleman and doesn’t push at all and the slow unfurling of romance between the two of them is one of the strongest realistic portrayals of a relationship I’ve seen. The events within the house are intriguing as well. I don’t know much about the Revolution so the historical elements with the legend of the house are interesting and add a lot of colour to the story.
It’s a shame that what lets the story down in the end is the resolution of the murder. I was enjoying the whole book right up until the final chapter when the murderer and motive was revealed. I don’t want to give too much away but neither really rang true – the reason for the murder is weak and seems a little ridiculous. Still apart from a little niggle at the ending, I did enjoy the books as a perfect summer read – light, fun and absorbing.
Recommended for fans of Amanda Quick and Nora Roberts. 7 out of 10