If you thought the humidity was high in the first Delta Crossroads novel- Tin God- just wait until you read this one!
I loved this mystery / romantic suspense novel!! First of all I love old antebellum homes and the description of the home had me as excited as Dani. The cultural differences were also spot on. Anyone who is not from the south might be met with an eye roll from the locals. Likewise, those from the north have a tendency to assume southerners are all backwoods hicks. So, Dani and Cage as well as the others in the town Dani encounters have a few run-ins because they have made presumptions about each other.
Cage Foster's life is at least moderately peaceful, if not lonely. But, all that changes overnight when Dani Evans buys Ironwood, the old antebellum home Cage keeps an eye on. The very day Dani arrives in Mississippi to see her new home, Cage discovers a skull in the basement of the old house.
Dani had always dreamed of restoring a home like Ironwood. She and her mother would have done the work together, but her mother died of diabetes and now Dani is determined to see that she honors her mother's memory by purchasing this old home and seeing that it is lovingly restored. Skeletons in the basement didn't figure into her plans.
The south is loaded with old stories and family secrets. Roselea is no different. Ironwood has a reputation and the story goes that somewhere in the house is a hidden room with a stash of priceless artifacts and antiques and jewelry. Poachers have broken in over the years searching for the hidden room and anything else they could make a buck off of. This is why Cage lives in the carriage house and why the historical society keeps a close eye on the property.
When Dani arrives she has a few preconceived notions about the south and is hit with the reality of the situation when she is immediately referred to as “The Yankee”. The old southern charm she thought she would encounter didn't exist. The people in Roselea were suspicious of her and not too welcoming. Dani and Cage get off on the wrong foot right away even though Dani wants to like him. After all, she and Cage have a few things in common, like knowing the pain of loss. Cage's sister was murdered and he still lives with the pain of it every day. He is also learning to cope with the reality of losing the woman he has always loved to another man. Dani and her mother were very close and Dani is still in mourning. But, beyond that, Cage and Dani don't see things eye to eye very often. But, when more bodies are discovered in the basement, Cage becomes a suspect and he couldn't have a stauncher supporter than Dani, even if they continue to butt heads at every turn.
The history of the house and of the town were also rich in details and added depth to story. The past is woven into the present seamlessly and many questions that have lingered for years will finally be answered.
The mysteries of Ironwood are rich in details and because of its reputation, it is of great interest to many people. Greed and money are the basis for all this interest, but not everyone is concerned with money. Some people wanted to protect the home's integrity and would go to any length to keep it out of the hands of developers. Others, however, are harboring much darker secrets and might kill to keep those secrets.
The romance between Dani and Cage was as hot and the Mississippi heat. Sparks flew between these two from the first moment they set eyes on each other. I loved this couple and I was so happy for Cage.
Stacy Green has really outdone herself with this novel. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of romantic suspense, and for people that like a good old fashioned whodunit type mystery. 4.5 Stars - Top Pick!
A Southern Mystery
Finding a dusty skeleton in the basement is more than enough for Cage Foster to deal with. But the discovery of two fresh bodies, wrapped in plastic and buried in the cellar during his tenure as the antebellum home’s caretaker, may land Cage on Mississippi’s death row. To prove his innocence, he’ll have to put his faith in a pushy Yankee newcomer, a woman who talked talks too fast and still believes in the romance of the Old South.
Dani Evans purchases Ironwood Plantation and plans to restore the home to its former glory while she rebuilds her life. The grisly discoveries beneath her new home shatter those hopes. After realizing the South isn’t the stuff of her fantasies, she becomes convinced the skeleton is a clue to the legendary Ironwood cache of family treasure. Determined to find answers, she digs further into the mystery and stakes her life on Cage’s innocence.
Cage is certain an old grudge from his past is setting him up for murder, but the evidence against him is mounting and time is running out. Dani believes she can find the truth before Cage is arrested, but her search for answers will uncover a descent into madness that should have stayed buried.