by Beverly Barton

March 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7214-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

What She Doesnít Know is definitely Beverly Bartonís best book to date! Itís peopled with multifaceted characters, suspense, and hot romance. Itís one of those books that you donít want to put down until you finish reading it all in one sitting, and it is a definite add to this reviewerís Ďkeeperí shelf!

The story takes place in the sultry South, and centers on the Mississippi plantation of Belle Rose. And though it is a contemporary, evidence of the old Southern ways of life is still very much present in this story.

Heroine Jolie Royale was witness to the murders of her mother, her aunt, and the estate gardener one summer twenty years ago. The killer saw her and shot her three times, leaving her for dead. Jolie survived, only to be confronted with a severe case of amnesia. Her father then sent her away to live with relatives in the North.

Now Jolie is unwillingly returning to Belle Rose Plantation to attend her estranged fatherís funeral and the reading of his will. Her first action will be to kick out her fatherís second family, the Deverauxs, out of her family estate. As a child she had harbored a secret crush on Max Deveraux, but now she sees him as the enemy and an unwelcome reminder of her fatherís second marriage. She also thinks the town rumors might be true Ė that Max had something to do with the murders she witnessed. She doesnít want to trust him, and she most definitely doesnít want to be attracted to him!

Max Deveraux is the head of his family, a strong willed, determined man, full of passion and inner strengths. The last thing he wants to deal with is the return of his stepfatherís prodigal daughter, Jolie. She spells trouble Ė in more ways than one. Being attracted to her, despite his dislike of her, is an obstacle he isnít happy with. And to make matters worse, Jolie is determined to reopen the twenty year old case of the murders. Heís always been a suspect, and things start getting worse now that Jolie and attorney Theron Carter make no secret of their suspicions.

This story was full of suspense and an intriguing mystery, packed with so many suspects the reader is left trying to figure out the clues along the way. And woven into the story is the real killerís thoughts and intermittent dialogue, which adds just the right amount of intrigue to keep you turning those pages!

But most of all it is the love story of Max and Jolie Ė one as steamy as the hot and sultry Southern summer nights in the small Mississippi town.

Kudos to Ms. Barton for writing a fantastic book and giving this reader a most enjoyable read! This reviewer will definitely recommend this book and all of Ms. Bartonís books to everyone!

Reviewed in March 2002 by Kari.

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