The Legend Of Smuggler’s Cave-Paula Graves

The Legend Of Smuggler’s Cave
Paula Graves
Harlequin Intrigue, Mar 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697533

Seven months ago in Ridge County, Johnny Blackwood was murdered for stealing from the Wayne Cortland crime network. His widow, Bitterwood PD rookie cop and single mom Briar Blackwood, diligently works at her new position with the help of Aunt Jenny who watches her three year old great-nephew Logan. Briar thwarts a house invasion but not before her aunt is injured protecting her frightened son from the intruder.

Prosecutor Dalton Hale believes the late Blackwood took information that could destroy the gang while fearing for the safety of the mom and child. He persuades Briar to move in with her son into his home. Also believing Johnny stole something valuable is Briar’s ambitious relative Blake Culpepper who plans to use his second cousin as an expendable pawn to obtain what was taken; as his goal is to run the local mob before it implodes.

The seventh Bitterwood P.D. romantic police procedural (see The Secret of Cherokee Cove, Blood on Copperhead Trail and Murder in the Smokies) is an exciting suspense; as saving the child places the growing attraction temporarily on hold. Briar moving into the prosecutor’s home to keep her son safe seems farfetched (even if he resided in a fortress at the top of the Smokey Mountains) especially her as a cop with stronger options at work. Still readers will enjoy this engaging contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

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