Friday, August 15, 2008

First Impressions by Jude Deveraux ****

Another in my list of books picked out of a bag destined for charity! I've almost finished all of them, and I'm still feeling a little greedy and wishing I'd taken the whole bag for myself.

I liked it!

The story centers around Eden Palmer, a 45-year-old single mother, and her inheritance of a home in a small North Carolina town. When Eden was 17, she was raped, became pregnant, and was thrown out of her uptight parents' home and left homeless and almost penniless. She lucked into meeting Mrs. Farrington, who took her in as her private assistant and allowed her to live there and raise her daughter. Unfortunately, Mrs. Farrington's son was a convicted pedophile, and when he was found watching her daughter sleep, Eden and daughter Melissa ran away in the night, never to return or have any contact.

Mrs. Farrington did manage to keep track of Eden, and since her son died before she did, she left everything to Eden on her death. That's the backstory - now we follow Eden back to the house while she decides what to do.

Her options are pretty limitless, really. She's a book editor, and can apparently work from anywhere, and easily leaves her job in NYC to go to NC. Melissa and husband Stuart have been living with her in NYC - unhappily for all 3 - and so she has few qualms about leaving them, either temporarily or permanently. She could move to NC. She could sell the house. What to do?

Her options are actually limited by the fact that there is a mystery - a spy is murdered, and in his stomach contents is a piece of paper with Eden's name and social security number on it. Now the FBI is watching her, sending an agent there to woo her and get her secrets - Jared McBride (his pseudonym).

In addition, there's Brad Granville, the local guy - a widowed lawyer. He's interested in Eden. Real interested - but why? More mysteries to solve. One woman, never married, is now being pursued romantically by 2 fellows - yep, pretty mysterious!

As it turns out, it's pretty fun too. It wasn't "funny" but fairly light, considering it's a sort of thriller/suspense/murder mystery with romance. And well done - credible plot, twists which had me guessing, well fleshed out characters - yep, I enjoyed it. I did really wonder throughout which of the 2 heroes was the Hero, and had my opinion (I was rooting for Jared the whole time). But Brad was a nice heroic fellow as well, so it wasn't 100% clear...

It was a Deveraux HEA - were they happy? We don't really know, but it was possible. 4 stars.


Italian I said...

Isn't this a Montgomery story? I think I read it.

Heather's Fave Books said...

Italian I is actually me. I forgot to log out of my classrooms blog.

aunt rowena said...

well - at the very end it's revealed the hero's real last name is Montgomery, but that is the only mention of the name.