by Carla D. Ledbetter

January 2000
ISBN: 1-928973-37-X
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Carla Ledbetter has written a book that clearly shows the best in romantic suspense! Vivid descriptions portraying the atmosphere of an old southern plantation in Louisiana, strong characters, a budding romance, an unsolved ghost story, and the mysterious world of voodoo all come together in a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you continue to turn pages and time slips by unnoticed.

Heroine Mary Corbett is an antique curator with an unique talent in correctly assessing the value of antiques. She loves her job but hates it when an assignment takes her out of town during the Christmas holidays and causes her to miss spending time with her sister. Happening more often than not, she’s still a sucker for a sad story and ends up changing her assignment with a fellow co-worker, thus taking her to Louisiana for the holidays.

The old, run-down plantation belonging to the deceased Martine family beckons Mary with a strange sense of ‘familiarity’ she can’t understand. Nerves already a bit shaken after the strange meeting with the old voodoo priestess Sadie, who announced that she’d been waiting for Mary. And to add salt to the wound, Mary is disconcerted to discover that the other curator who will be with her at the plantation is a man she’d once foolishly tried to sleep with but had been rebuked for the effort. She’s not happy with the situation - or with the realization that she still finds herself attracted to Jack Windom, who is now married. Strange events are happening quickly and she finds herself drawn into the plantation’s mystery all the while trying not to lose her heart again to a man who doesn’t want it.

Jack Windom is dismayed to know he’ll be working side by side with Mary. He still has feelings for her but is locked in a marriage he won’t walk away from. When he and Mary attend the voodoo ceremony of the Blue Moon, things start to happen that bring danger to Mary, and Jack realizes just how much he does love her.

When Mary starts having “live” visions of the ghost of the plantation’s mistress, Magdalene Laroussard, she’s scared and thinks she’s going crazy. Something, fate or unwanted destiny, keeps pulling her back to thoughts of the plantation and the mysterious deaths of Magdalene and owner Jean-Pierre. She decides to fulfill a dream and purchase the plantation for a Bed and Breakfast and hopes to discover the truth behind Magdalene’s ghostly appearance and pleas for help.

This is a fast paced read, the suspense non stop, and the old ‘gothic’ feel of the story adds to the mystery and romance. And as Mary and Jack’s love becomes undeniable so does the ever present danger.

Ms. Ledbetter’s wonderful talent in bringing a story ‘alive’ is very evident. Her next book is a continuation of Mary and Jack’s story Blue Moon, titled Breaking the Chain, released in 2001. The mystery and danger are still present and things are heating up fast!

A definite recommend for those who love romantic suspense books from authors such as Beverly Barton, Dee Henderson, and M.R. Henderson.

Reviewed in June 2002 by Kari.

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