Publisher: Pocket (September 1, 1997/ November 24, 2009)
Kindle: 384 pages / 562 KB
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Roanna Davenport was raised a wealthy orphan on her grandmother’s magnificent Alabama estate, Davencourt, where she had a passion for horses, a genius for trouble, and a deep love for her cousin, Webb. But everyone expected Webb to marry their ravishing cousin, Jessie. When he did, Roanna’s desire became no more than the stuff of dreams — until the night Jessie was found bludgeoned to death.
After the shocking murder of his wife, Webb left for Arizona, abandoning the legacy that he had once believed was all he wanted. But then an all-grown-up Roanna walked into a dingy bar in Nogales to bring him home; the mischievous sprite he had known ten years earlier was no more. Gone, too, was her fire. In its place was ice that melted at his touch. Webb is drawn back to Davencourt, to Roanna, and to the killer that once destroyed his life and waits only for the chance to finish the job….
This is a pretty old romance novel. I’d been looking for something new to read now that I’ve exhausted all my Nora Roberts options. (I haven’t read any of her J.D.Robb works, but I’ll get to it sooner or later.)
I hate to sound cliched, but I read romance novels for the plots and not the smut. Since this will be my first romance novel review, I’ll explain myself a little here. They have an adult fairy tale feel for me: you can trust them to have a decent, happy ending. “Shades of Twilight” hit the limits of what I find acceptable amounts of smut. The book even starts with a sex scene! How scandalous! The smut bordered from being simply too steamy to over the top and crude. If they weren’t having sex then the characters were thinking about it.
The storyline was relatively different enough to keep me interested even when the smut made me want to go away. One issue readers may have is how seemingly incestuous the relationships in the book are. Howard pushes the lines on what is and isn’t socially acceptable, but writes it in a way to keep the reader hooked and willing to explore the possibilities.
I haven’t read any of Howard’s other works, but her ability to keep me engaged and emotionally vested in the character’s well-being, despite my discomfort, has me contemplating what else to read by her. If you able to keep an open mind and are looking for a new romance to read, do check this out.