Colleen Coble wrote a romance encased in a whodunnit. There's a murderer on the loose in Mercy Falls and his identity had me guessing right up until the reveal. Each time I thought I had it figured it out, I was proved wrong. Spoiler: Turns out, it's not Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick.
The author does a fantastic job building romantic tension between the leads. It was fun watching Olivia and Harrison's relationship change from bristly to friendly to love.
There is some suspension of disbelief required to make the story work, and this is my one complaint. I was able to accept Harrison proposing without even knowing Olivia's first name...um, a little far-fetched, but whatever. But then he took her home to introduce her to his mother, and not only didn't he use her first name, his mother never asked what it was either!
Anyone who's married knows you'll never pull something like that over on a mother in law. At your first meeting she'll get your name, your mother's maiden name, your kindergarten teacher's name and probably pull a credit report and run your fingerprints as well.
I found that one aspect pushed the boundaries of realism, but this is such a fun story filled with great action that I was ultimately able to overlook it and get caught up in the adventure.
Want more info? Here's the book summary from B&N:
Olivia seems to have it all, but her heart yearns for more.
Olivia Stewart's family is one of the Four Hundred-the highest echelon of society in 1910. When her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Olivia leaves their New York City home for Mercy Falls, California, to determine what befell Eleanor. She suspects Harrison Bennett, the man Eleanor planned to marry. But the more Olivia gets to know him, the more she doubts his guilt-and the more she is drawn to him herself.
When several attempts are made on her life, Olivia turns to Harrison for help. He takes her on a ride in his aeroplane, but then crashes, and they're forced to spend two days alone together. With her reputation hanging by a thread, Harrison offers to marry her to make the situation right. As a charity ball to rebuild the Mercy Falls lighthouse draws near, she realizes she wants more than a sham engagement-she wants Harrison in her life forever. But her enemy plans to shatter the happiness she is ready to grasp. If Olivia dares to drop her masquerade, she just might see the path to true happiness.
(Thanks to The B&B Media Group for my review copy)