Title: Scarlet Nights
Author: Jude Deveraux
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: Mass-Market ARC
Rating: 4 Cups
Engaged to the charming and seductive Greg Anders, Sara Shaw is happily anticipating her wedding in Edilean, Virginia. The date has been set, the flowers ordered, even her heirloom dress is ready. But just three weeks before the wedding, Greg gets a telephone call during the night and leaves without explanation. Two days later, a man climbs up through a trapdoor in the floor of Sara’s apartment, claiming that he is the brother of her best friend and that he’s moving in. While Mike Newland is indeed telling the truth about his identity, his reason for being there reaches far deeper. He’s an undercover detective, and his assignment is to use Sara to track down a woman who is one of the most notorious criminals in the United States—and also happens to be the mother of the man Sara plans to marry.
Mike thinks the job will be easy—if he can figure out how to make a “good” girl like Sara trust him, that is. But Mike has no idea what this mission has in store for him. He’s worked hard to keep private his connections to Edilean, which date back to his grandmother’s time there in 1941. But as Mike and Sara get to know each other, he can’t help but share secrets about himself that he’s told no one else. And in return, Sara opens up to Mike about things she could never reveal to Greg. As the pair work together to solve two mysteries, their growing love begins to heal each of them in ways they never could have imagined.
I have to say I truly liked this book. I had previously read and loved Scent of Jasmine and I failed to realize that it was part of The Edilean Series. When I started this book, I have to say I enjoyed it even more so than Scent of Jasmine. The characters were well put together, the plot was well paced, and I could not put this book down.
Undercover with the intentions of catching a family of criminals, Mike Newland never imagined that he would developed feelings for the woman he was sent to protect. Although he has never had been involved in a case where he knew a bit about the woman he was sent to seduce. After hearing about Sara from his sister who married one of Sara’s cousins, he goes into this case knowing a bit (a small bit) about her. In some ways I believe that led to his attraction to her.
Sara had her own problems, for starters she was being unknowingly duped by her fiancé. Now, she has to deal with Mike. The only thing she knows about is that he is her best friends mysterious brother who is asking her to trust him with her life. When Mike decides to be honest with her about certain aspects of the case, she begins to let her guard down a bit.
Throughout the book you see witty banter between Mike and Sara as well as harrowing situations. There is danger and romance, but the main focus seems to be the relationship between Mike and Sara.
*On a side-note, I have to say that the way the complication of this series is a bit out of whack. One book is set it the present while the next is in the past. I would have liked to have seen a bit of unity in the progression of the novels. In my opinion, this series should have been released in two parts, a historic set dealing with early Edilean and then a secondary series dealing with a contemporary Edilean.