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Disclaimer: I edited this book, so I will strive for impartiality, but not necessarily achieve it.
Boat captain Maggie Devlin is a bit of a loner—independent, temperamental, and stubborn. Though she’s cheerful on her boat tours on the St. Johns River, where she takes tourists out into the swamps of central Florida, showing them the rich plants and varied wildlife that lives in or near the water. She loves the peace and beauty of the river, but beauty doesn’t pay her bills.
Which is why she even contemplates saying yes when photographer Gunnar “Gunn” Wolfe asks her to take him to remote—and photographic—areas. Though Gunn is popular with women, and charming and sincere to all, Maggie prefers to be by herself—and she doesn’t trust strangers easily. Determined to wear down her defenses, Gunn does his best to get to know the prickly Maggie when she finally agrees to guide him.
Life isn’t moving smoothly for either of them, however, when they discover something terrible hidden in the swamps. When a dangerous secret like this is brought to light, the consequences can be far reaching—for the whole town of Riverbend, but especially Maggie and Gunn.
The scenery is described in lush detail, so you can almost smell the cool damp air, hear the birds singing as they flit through the trees, and see the bright flowers blooming along the banks of the shallow, leaf-stained waters. But the book doesn’t rely on the gorgeous description, populated as it is with realistic, flawed, interesting, and complex characters, not cardboard stereotypes, action that sweeps you up and has you turning pages waiting tensely for the solution, and unexpected moments of humor. A classic whodunit with romance for good measure, this story will leave you guessing at each twist—prepare to be surprised as all the clues fall into place.
Recommended for fans of sweet, tender romances, beautiful nature settings, and clever mystery plots—but not for people who run screaming from the mere mention of snakes or other reptiles. After all, you never know what’s lurking in that dark river water!
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I’ll share when she has a special on her book, for people whose book-buying wishes exceed their budget. If you do read it, I know Marcia would appreciate a review–even a short one. 🙂