Hello, and welcome back! It's ugly and grey out here, raining on and off. That makes it an absolutely perfect day to stay inside and read, which is what I've been doing, between household chores like groceries and laundry, and making rhubarb cobbler and rhubarb sauce and dinner. The house smells amazing right now, and I can't wait to taste.
This time out, I have a debut romance from Barbara Monajem, Sunrise in a Garden of Good & Evil (LoveSpell, received from publisher). Vampire and landscaper Ophelia Beliveau hasn't had the best of luck with men, so she's sworn off them. Until the sexy detective Gideon O'Toole comes in response to her call after her garden is vandalized. Ophelia isn't your run of the mill vampire, cursed to sleep away the days and come out only at night, but she still lives in a world where it's safer for her kind to remain unexposed to the general population, so to speak. Gideon is no paranormal creature, just a normal, red-blooded man who sees a very attractive, if cranky and rude, woman in need of some police assistance when all she really wanted was a visible police officer to scare away the neighbor she believes has done the damage to her garden. Instead, she got Gideon, who takes his job very seriously and intends to fully investigate the destruction. Which leads to him also looking into a blackmail scheme that includes not only Ophelia but his sister and one of Ophelia's neighbors. Then the bodies start showing up. If you're a regular reader here, you'll know vampire stories are far from my favorites, even if the publisher has included a book in their Publisher's Pledge, as Dorchester has done with this one, guaranteeing you a fantastic read. But Ophelia's story sucked me right in, if you'll pardon the pun, and made me laugh throughout. She and Gideon generate some serious steam, competing with the bayou where they live, even if I was a little disappointed with the lack of that steam late in the story. If you pay attention throughout the tale, you'll know before the end who the villain is, but I didn't mind that. There are some really entertaining secondary characters, but they don't take over the story as happens with some other authors' work. This is a really fun read, and a great way to spend a gloomy spring day. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for this one, and hope to see some of those secondary characters in future books.
Until next time, happy reading!