I’ve read a few other Jude Deveraux books in the past year, such as her new Medlar Mystery series, the Nantucket Bride series, and the Moonlight Trilogy, and have enjoyed them so I was looking forward to reading this one as well. I know this book is one of her earlier books as it actually came out before the others I had noted, and I wasn’t exactly disappointed with it but I was expecting a bit more than what I got.
Sara Shaw was a big push-over for me. I didn’t fault her for jumping into a new relationship right after her first boyfriend had left her, because there are so many of us that do the exact same, but she goes from being the one who handles everything in the relationship to a person who does whatever she’s told to do? It doesn’t make sense to me. I get it that she was afraid that she might lose this one, too, but to do everything little thing even though you have strong feelings against doing so just irks me to the core. I hate a weak character. However, when Mike comes into the picture, she turns around and goes back to what she sees fit. What’s up with that?! It’s hard to get a sense of her as to why she’s able to be the strong, independent girl she is with two men, but not the one she’s set to marry. It has me baffled.
It was hard for me to really connect to how she and Mike were together as well. It wasn’t as believable as it could have been. It was obvious that they were attracted to each other as was to be expected since it is a romance/suspense novel, but there should have been a bit more pushback from Sara with the situation she was in. She was getting married for damn sake! Yes, to a shithead of a guy, but engaged nonetheless. Instead, she was one moment against being near Mike and the next they were together like syrup and waffles.
The suspense factor of the story lagged for me as well. There were no parts that got my heart racing and having me turn the pages as quickly as I could to see what happens. I think it would have turned out a lot better of a read if the mystery of who Greg really was waited until the very end when Sara and April go to Merlin’s Farm with Mitzi. It would have packed a stronger punch to the story.
Overall I was glad to have read the book as I’m a fan of Jude Deveraux’s, but I don’t see it being a story that I’ll come back to over the coming years.
About Scarlet Nights
What if you learned that your fiancé was not who he claimed to be?
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.
A list of Jude Deveraux’s books can be found on her site here – Book List