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Friday, May 22, 2009

The Shadowing by Joan Overfield

The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
Publisher: Dorchester
Genre: Historical; Paranormal
Length: Full (309)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Rose

Evil was the first word that came to mind when Anne Garthwicke came upon ominous Castle MacCairn. Duty bound to help her father appraise the holdings, she had no choice but to stay. Her reservations only grew as she worked, surrounded by ancient weapons that included a wicked-looking broadsword bearing an inscription she couldn't begin to decipher. And her trepidation deepened still more after meeting the laird. Proud and powerful, he embodied all the wildness of the Scottish highlands and incited dreams of carnal passion such as Anne had never experienced. But his temper was as mercurial as the sea. Achingly tender one moment and roughly forceful the next, Ruairdh MacCairn had a beast within straining to break loose. And according to legend, it was only a matter of time before the monster would escape. Anne already knew her heart was lost, but she could only hope that when the moment of fate arrived, her body wouldn't be sacrificed as well.

Joan Overfield has penned a strong and compelling heroine in Anne Garthwicke. Serving as her father's eyes in his appraisal business, she shows a rare compassion and tolerance for her father's frequent outbursts of temper—fueled by his frustration over losing his sight. Add to that a homeowner with secrets to hide and a temper that flares up unexpectedly, and Anne has a lot to deal with.

Overfield does a good job capturing the dark, gothic atmosphere of Castle MacCairn. The characters are also richly drawn, from the mercurial Ruairdh MacCairn to the overpowering Mrs. Collier, who adds a bit of comic relief to the proceedings. One sympathetic character I wish we'd seen more of...and hope Ms. Overfield will use again one day... is the lawyer, Mr. Hughes.

The story of Ruairdh and the curse that haunts his family is a powerful one, and Ms. Overfield draws the reader into the suspense and the horror that surrounds Castle MacCairn. I look forward to checking out her backlist.