Publisher: Astraea Press (August 9, 2011)
File Size: 798 KB
Print Length: 265 pages
Historical Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Review Copy Courtesy Of: Only For You Reviews Virtual Book Tours
DOUBLE CROSSING – 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award
A murder arranged as a suicide … a missing deed … and a bereft daughter whose sheltered world is shattered.
August, 1869: Lily Granville is stunned by her father’s murder. Only one other person knows about a valuable California gold mine deed -- both are now missing. Lily heads west on the newly opened transcontinental railroad, determined to track the killer. She soon realizes she is no longer the hunter but the prey.
As things progress from bad to worse, Lily is uncertain who to trust—the China-bound missionary who wants to marry her, or the wandering Texan who offers to protect her … for a price. Will Lily survive the journey and unexpected betrayal?
"Double Crossing" is an excellent historical tale featuring murder, betrayal, and romance that spans across the United States. Lily's father is murdered but it's been arranged to look like a suicide. While dealing with the memorial arrangements, Lily's estranged and disowned aunt, Lady Sylvia and her husband, Sir Vaughn decide to make this event their homecoming. Certain that the man she thinks murdered her father has stolen the deed to the mine owned by her father and her uncle, Lily, and her would-be suitor Charles, embark on a train ride to California that is full of action and adventure. She hires a protector by the name of Ace Diamond, who is anything but mannerly or virtuous. He's a brawler, drinker, smoker, and classified a ruffian by Lily's aunt; who, along with Sir Vaughn, join Lily on her trip out west. Disaster seems to strike at every depot and throughout the entire trip. Will Lily make it to California in time to stop the murderer from taking what is her family's or is the murderer trying to take her out before she gets there?
This novel is very exciting. There isn't one dull moment throughout the entire book. I was captivated immediately and the book kept my attention from cover to cover. The story line was well thought out and solid. The mystery surrounding the murder of Lily's father was well played and the most shocking betrayal comes from an unlikely character. I enjoyed the fact that this novel is written in a time period of propriety; women were modest and their physical attributes were left to the imagination of the men that were courting them (unless you worked in a brothel, then all bets were off). I'm not a prude, don't get me wrong, I love a good sex scene or 30, but there's something to be said for a nice, clean, fun novel.
Lily was a very strong heroine. She kept her wits about her regardless of the situations she encountered. She was strong-willed, not allowing anyone to sway her decisions. She knew what she did and didn't want and stuck to her guns.
Ace was tough-as-nails but his attitude slowly melted when it came to Lily. She had her doubts about Ace and her level of trust in him was tested time and time again but he passed each test with flying colors. I loved the chemistry and sparks between Ace and Lily. It wasn't over-the-top nor was it nearly non-existent.
The secondary characters, Kate, Charles, Lady Sylvia, and Sir Vaughn were cleverly written; each one's position in the story was clearly defined at their due times. They were key players and were vital in the development of the entire novel.
Everything about "Double Crossing" worked for me as a reader and as a reviewer.