"Will the Jamison family allow an outsider to expose their family history?"
Reviewed by Leanne Davis
Posted March 10, 2008
E. Barrett Browning is working toward a tenured position at
the university in Texas. She just needs to be published to
further her career. When she is offered the change at the
papers of the Jamison family, she knows that her chances of
tenure are good. Her deal with the patriarch of the
Jamison family will allow her the chance to publish some
When Mr. Jamison passes away, the papers are left to Davis
Jamison, a hard-headed businessman who won't let sentiment
or the undocumented deal go forward without a lot of
thought. Davis is reluctant to allow the research to move
forward to when his cousin insists that the project can't
forward because of a scandal that will destroy their
Barrett doesn't care about why she gets approval, just that
she does. She and Davis will find that the papers will
reveal more than they could have imagined.
The attraction that has formed between Davis and Barrett
could put them at odds since Barrett is working for
Davis. A professor from Barrett's college is trying to
undercut her reputation and experience, then trying to
steal her work. Davis finds himself defending Barrett with
some of his family and the professor. Then Davis's cousin
goes nuts trying to protect the family honor. The assualts
increase the attachment between Davis and Barrett.
When they finally find the final diary of Mary Jamison, the
revelations they find may cause a break between Davis and
Barrett. Each will have to consider what their priorities
are and how a relationship fits into their lives.
The story is told by alternating the past, through diary
entries, and the present with the relationship between
Davis and Barrett.
I've known this author for a few years on a personal level
but had never read her work. I really enjoyed this book.
The characters are well developed and the diary entries
give a glimpse of what life was like nearly 200 years ago.
The transitions from past to present didn't disrupt the
The final revelation wasn't shocking since it is hinted at
throughtout the history. The impact it might have on a
family and two people with different ideas of what should
be done with the information was handled beautifully. It
was easy to sympathize with both hero and heroine; to
understand what this kind of knowledge might do to a new
Standard elements of the romance novelâ€”including a
decaying plantation house and a terrible secretâ€”are
enlivened by outbreaks of the paranormal in this tale of
Barrett Browning, a young historian summoned to inventory a
library of family papers. With mounting excitement, she
discovers that the letters and journals before her are a
treasure trove of potential articles that could further her
career at the university where she teaches, but venture
capitalist Davis Jamison, the owner of the plantation, is
intent on keeping the documents private and distrusts her
scholarly ambitions. The standoff between the two opponents
begins to crumble, however, as Barrett becomes more and more
unsettled by evidence of magic and murder in the family's
past, and Davis, who has sworn never to trust a woman with
his property or his heart, struggles with the realization
that he is falling in love.
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