“Well Kate…you’re not in Kansas anymore.”Jude Deveraux, A Willing Murder, p 40
I haven’t been reading Jude Deveraux’s books for long as I just had come across them last summer, starting with the Nantucket Brides and then moving onto the Moonlight Trilogy, but I have fallen in love with her books. Even though I did enjoy those two trilogies, I think her new series, the Medlar Mysteries, is my favorite thus far. The Medlar Mysteries has caught my attention the most because it brings, well, mystery as well as suspense to the stories. Even though romance is my favorite genre, mystery and suspense are a tie for second place so when you put all three together in one book it makes for the perfect book (at least in my mind that is).
A Willing Murder focuses on the relationship of Sara, Kate, and Jack instead of the usual one man, one woman romance situation which made me enjoy the series even more. It’s not what you think though, it’s not some three-some happening, Sara is Kate’s long-lost aunt and Jack is a friend of Sara’s since he was a child who is currently living with Sara due to having a broken leg. Kate comes into the mix when she decides she wants to know more about the aunt she hasn’t seen since she was a young child, too young to even remember ever knowing her, that lives down in Florida. According to Kate’s mother, Sara is an overweight tyrant. However, Sara is actually the complete opposite. She is a small woman who is a very well-known author who has currently taken up photography to make up for retiring from writing, or so she tries to tell herself she has. Then there is Jack. He’s the one the town is always talking about who is attracted to Kate pretty much the minute he sees her, that is after he accuses her of just being there to take Sara’s money. He does keep one secret to himself though, as he refuses to talk about what really happened the night that he ended up breaking his leg. He’s allowed the town to think that he was drunk that night and instead of letting his brother, who was with him, drive them home, Jack did so which resulted in the wreck and killing his younger brother. We can’t leave Kate out of the mix though as she rounds the group out nicely. She has accepted a job offer in Lachlan, where her aunt is living, so she can spend time and get to know the aunt she has always wondered about. However, she has come to find that Jack has also taken up residence in the house with her aunt, who seems to be wrapped our Jack’s finger. Kate can’t help to wonder if the two are in a relationship together, not to mention she can’t tolerate him at all.
I love the relationship that the three of them have throughout the book and into the next one, A Justified Murder, as Sara and Kate are so much alike, always joking around, and then there is the quibbling being Kate and Jack all the time. When they pick at each other, especially when Sara butts in, it brings a lightness to the book so not only is it full of mystery and suspense but also brings laughter to the story. And even though the murder that they get wrapped up into is resolved by the end of the book it still made me want to read the next one to see what happens next, especially between Jack and Kate as you can practically feel the sexual tension burning between them.
About A Willing Murder
Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she’s found herself back in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, remodeling the grand old mansion she’d admired as a child. It’s much too big for her alone, but she’d die before letting anyone in town know that.
Then Sara’s niece Kate is offered a job in Lachlan—a start in what could be a very successful career in real estate. She accepts immediately, but with so little saved up, she’ll have to approach her estranged yet incredibly famous aunt for a place to stay while she gets herself settled. But when she arrives at Sara’s home, she finds she’s not the only long-term houseguest. Jackson Wyatt already has his own room, and though it’s impossible to deny his good looks and charm—he’s clearly got her aunt wrapped around his finger—she’s also never met anyone who irritates her quite like Jack does.
However, when two skeletons are accidentally uncovered in the quiet town, this unlikely trio is suddenly thrust together by a common goal: to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps. United by a sense of justice and the desire to right old wrongs, Sara, Kate and Jack will have to dig into Lachlan’s murky past to unravel the small town’s dark secrets and work to bring the awful truth to light.
A list of Jude Deveraux’s books can be found on her site here – Book List