Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shadow Dance by Julie Garwood

The wedding between Jordan Buchanan's brother and her best friend, Kate MacKenna, is more than the union of two people that she loves, it's the joining of two families that have had a Hatfield and McCoy-sized feud going back centuries to their native Scotland. Jordan had been completely unaware of this old rivalry until she bumped into an eccentric professor at the wedding. He had been researching the relationship between the two clans and didn't hesitate to express his unflattering opinions of the Buchanans. Normally, Jordan would have put that unpleasant encounter behind her, but when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and FBI agent, pokes fun at her tame life, she contacts the professor and makes arrangements to visit him in the small town of Serenity, Texas to view his research.

A trip to small town Texas to view historical research does not sound like high adventure, but this is a book written by Julie Garwood. The professor ends up dead (no loss there) and his body is discovered in Jordan's trunk. With the killer trying to frame Jordan for murder, bodies piling up and a crooked cop, she will need Noah's help getting her out of a mess that, in a way, he was responsible for getting her into. Even though Jordan and Noah think they are immune to each other's charms, they quickly realize that they want to be more than friends. Those who have read Shadow Music and Ransom will recognize some of the historical references which is a fun way to tie these characters together with others from past books. The suspense and the romance are both good, making for an enjoyable read.

BEST FEATURE: The small town of Serenity and its quirky residents. The book's best scenes take place there.

WORST FEATURE: I appreciate the author's attempt to show Jordan's intelligence by writing her as a computer genius, but somehow that just felt false to me. A minor complaint.

PARENTAL WARNING: violence and sexual content that isn't overly explicit.

RATING: 3, No less than I expect from this author.

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