I’m excited to tell you that with this novel I am returning to the kind of story I love to write more than anything else in the world. River Road is quintessential romantic suspense- my way.
River Road opens with 19-year-old Mason Fletcher saving the day. He has rescued 16-year-old Lucy Sheridan from a party where she was targeted to be drugged and raped. Lucy doesn’t know that fact, all she knows is that she has been slightly humiliated. It doesn’t matter if she was bored at the party and getting ready to walk home, she is convinced she didn’t need to be rescued. Mason does not tell her what was planned for her but drops her off at her aunt’s house and decides to return the next day to warn her aunt. But first he confronts the boys who had plans for Lucy. When one of those boys leaves town the next day and never returns everyone assumes he is dead and nobody but his father is upset over this fact.
Thirteen years later, Lucy is back in Summer River to sell her aunt’s house. Her aunt and friend were killed in a car accident and a quirk of their wills left Lucy with everything, including some shares in a local family’s company. The family is in the midst of a takeover and several parties would like to get their hands on Lucy’s shares. Considering the family has gone out of their way to protect those shares there is no reason she should even have any.
As soon as Lucy arrives in town she meets back up with Mason. He is a man now and boy has he turned out nicely. Even though he treated her like a kid, she had always had a little crush on him. Now it seems like he might return that crush. He is back in Summer River recovering from a bad case. He left and joined up with his brother to form a security company that has been quite successful.
When bad things start happening Lucy is convinced that her aunt’s car accident might not have been an accident. She decides to stay around dig deeper into the details. Her profession is forensic genealogy so she is used to digging. Mason isn’t about to let her dig by herself and vows to stick with her and help her uncover any answers she needs. As more and more players are revealed the plot thickens and the truth becomes a murky thing.
Jayne Ann Krentz is a prolific writer and writes as Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick also. One thing I always enjoy about her books are the heroes. Her heroes are very steady, solid and when they pick out their woman then that is that. They will guard that heroine and protect her, all while displaying a bit of jealousy which always makes me like them better. Mason is no different from her other heroes. He knows who he is and what he wants and makes decisions towards getting those things. He has a successful business and has only been missing that great love in his life. When Lucy comes back he sees her and knows this is his chance at that great love.
I connected more with Mason than I did with Lucy. I am not sure what it was about her but she was only ok. I totally dug Mason as the strong and silent type but Lucy was annoying. She had a recent engagement fall through and a therapist tell her she has commitment issues so she decided to go about the marriage and dating route with an agency. Because she is signed up to receive dates we are treated to many instances of Lucy stopping to get a message that has to do with a date. I get that it was to prove a point but after a while the dating adventure got old.
The mystery part was better than the romance. I had an idea of who the bad guy was but it wasn’t overly obvious and I even had a bit of a surprise towards the end of the book. This part of the book was done well and it will keep the reader’s attention. Overall, it was a good return to her roots for Ms. Krentz. The book almost had a Nora Roberts suspense feel to it and if you enjoy that type of book, I think you will like this one also. Final grade- B-
“I can’t begin to imagine the shock of having a body fall out of the fireplace. And your aunt’s fireplace, at that. She was a vegan, for heaven’s sake”
“She killed him, Mom. She didn’t eat him.”