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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Muddy Waters by Maggie Toussaint

Muddy Waters by Maggie Toussaint
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (270 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Is someone watching her?

Roxie Whitaker is struggling to make her grandmother’s real estate business a success. When her coastal home is burglarized, her rosy worldview dims. Atlanta security expert Sloan Harding distracts her from her troubles, but is Mossy Bog’s former bad boy serious about her?

Never one to shy away from muddy waters, Sloan is determined to find his alleged missing inheritance. Sparks fly as he enters into a business arrangement with Roxie to oversee the restoration of his childhood home. With her help, Sloan resurrects old secrets while a dangerous predator stalks them.

When passion meets danger, will love win the day?

With hormones running amok and the mystery of a hidden treasure mudding the waters, Roxie Whitaker has trouble keeping her rules enforced. Chaos threatens to swamp her when Sloan Harding arrives in Mossy Bog.

Lavinia, Roxie’s deceased grandmother had been an anchor for both Sloan and Roxie in years past. Living with her grandmother had given Roxie a sense of belonging after having spent years with her missionary parents moving every year or so. In Sloan’s case, Lavinia had tried to nurture him after his grandfather’s death and his father’s obsession with the search for a hidden inheritance and alcoholism took control of his life.

From the first day, Sloan and Roxie have a special connection that is far greater than just their love for Lavinia. However, local gossip, emotional stress, difference in life styles, and harsh words drive a wedge between them leaving them both feeling empty and bereft. Their hearts ache.

Roxie works to establish herself as a reliable real estate broker and tries to shepherd her free-spirited and often needy brother through college while she has to deal with a house break-in, identity theft, a new kayak showing up in her yard, and her house being flooded. Even with all her troubles she continues being an asset to the little town of Mossy Bog as she’s been for many years.

Sloan Harding returns to Mossy Bog a successful businessman, but he is still seen as the no-good son of the wastrel Edward Harding by many. He’d run with the wrong crowd after the death of his grandfather and been in more than his share of trouble that everyone seems to remember.

The help some of the secondary characters give is heartwarming. However, others create obstacles that seem insurmountable causing heartache and misery for both Sloan and Roxie. Many of the old-timers like Mr. Fogle and Noreen Bagwell really stir the pot of gossip. However, many of the characters are to be admired like Laurie, Megan and especially Mac—my favorite.

Maggie Toussaint does an amazing job of foreshadowing as she weaves together a tapestry of suspense, mystery, small community life, and LOVE while bring into clear focus the overt and covert conflicts both Roxie and Sloan try to resolve. Ms. Toussaint’s writing style with superb imagery, exquisite description, and a touch of humor make Muddy Waters enthralling reading. The poignancy in her writing style makes the plight of Roxie and Sloan compelling. The heart sings with joy as these two meet and beat tremendous odds.

Muddy Waters satisfies that hunger for a love that promises a happy-ever-after.