Book: Saving Shadows by Kathleen Brooks
Age/Genre: Romantic Suspense
Preferred Reading Environment: Cozied up in front of a bonfire
Reading Accoutrements: A blanket, a beer, and some barbecue
Content Notes: Murder, Stalker-ish Behavior
If you’ve read my reviews of the Web of Lies series or Chosen for Power by Kathleen Brooks, you already know that she writes book series that I track obsessively. Well, she recently released the first book of a new series about the small North Carolina town of Shadow’s Landing – a series that intersects with the several series she has written about the town of Keeneston, Kentucky.
Saving Shadows gives us the story of Gavin Faulkner, a character we met in the Forever Bluegrass series. Gavin is a doctor and an upstanding citizen of Shadow’s Landing, NC. He treats everything from stomach ailments to alligator bites and he follows the wacky protocols that all small towns seem to have – from showing up to church so the pastor won’t call and ask why you missed it, to attending the barbecue battle between rival restaurants after the service every Sunday, and even to helping remove the resident wild alligator, Bubba, from the places he gets into.
While securing his boat for the category one hurricane approaching the coast, Gavin finds Ellery St. John floating down the river on a log. She has suffered a blow to the head and has retrograde amnesia – she doesn’t remember where she works or how she got to Shadow’s Landing. But she knows that someone tried to kill her; Ellery’s last memory is of seeing someone in the reflection of her car window swinging an object at her head. Gavin helps her recover from the blow to her head. When news from Charleston says that Ellery killed someone, he and his cousins from Keeneston, KY help Ellery prove her innocence. But powerful people want Ellery to take the fall for this murder, and Ellery doesn’t want to endanger the quaint town she has come to think of as home.
One of the things I love about Kathleen Brooks is her ability to create a town full of characters that you love for their quirks. Little old devotional-throwing ladies, young alligator-hunting men with missing appendages, feuding barbecue restaurant owners, and a family with innumerable children who keep getting trapped in the oddest places are just a few of the characters you’ll get to know in Shadow’s Landing. Honestly, this town probably wouldn’t be a place I’d want to call home, but I can’t resist the small-town charm when it’s on the page.
Ellery and Gavin are an adorable couple. While Ellery can’t exactly remember what her life was like in Charleston, her personality is undamaged. She loves art and, even though she has no family (or maybe because of it), she surrounds herself with people she trusts like family. Gavin cares deeply for his town, his family, and his friends. He is the quintessential knight-in-shining-armor helping the damsel-in-distress and it’s pretty swoonworthy.
If you like quirky southern small towns with typical romantic suspense heroes and heroines, Saving Shadows is worth a read. Do you have a favorite small town book or series? Let me know in the comments!