Title: St. Charles at Dusk (House of Crimson and Clover 0.1)
Author: Sarah M. Cradit
Published Date: September 2011
Genre: Romance / Suspense
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
A father’s threats. A tragic accident. Unanswered questions. Oz Sullivan has finally moved past the tangled web surrounding his brief, but intense, relationship with the young, impetuous Adrienne Deschanel. Through his family, and successful career as an attorney, he has forged a tranquil predictability.
Then Adrienne unexpectedly emerges, with no memory of the life she once led. Her desperate attempt to flee the confusing and dark influences in the bayou instinctively propels her to the one face for which she has a name. Oz’s world is once again turned upside down, as he must decide how to help her without losing himself entirely.
Set amidst the lush and vibrant backdrop of New Orleans, St. Charles at Dusk tells the story of Oz and Adrienne; of forbidden love, and startling heartbreak.
This is a prequel to the House of Crimson and Clover series. It is set in and around New Orleans. It is the story of Colin (Oz) Sullivan and Adrienne Deschanel. It starts in the present with the death of Oz’s wife and then goes back in time to explore the when and how of Oz’s and Adrienne’s relationship. Along the way, the history of the Deschanel family and their plantation home, Ophiele, is uncovered. As the story moves forward in time, the mysterious disappearance of Adrienne, after her family’s tragic accident, unfolds as Oz and Adrienne have interspersed interactions.
This book can be read as a stand alone book; it is quite satisfying and there is not a huge cliff-hanger at the end. There is reference to the special gifts that some of the Deschanel family have, but overall, there is nothing paranormal or mystical in this book. I previously read In The Storm and The Darkness, and I had anticipated that this book would illuminate some of Storm and Darkness’ mystical aspects. I did not get that out of the book–probably a problem with reading books out of order and preconceived notions on this reader’s part.
The main characters in the story are well developed, however, I would have appreciated more exploration of Adrienne’s brother, Nicholas, and parents, Charles and Cordelia. The book was fast paced, and the toggling between time periods was interesting (and not hard to follow). I liked how the author used characters reminiscing to give the reader more background information.
I did find some of the characters and their behavior disconcerting. I can understand Angelique’s behavior (no details as that would spoil the read), but I do not understand the complicity of her children. At times Adrienne’s behavior didn’t make sense to me, however that did add to her character being perceived as confused, torn, naive and greatly impacted by her accident and amnesia.
All in all, I truly enjoyed this book. It was not what I anticipated, but it was good. With this reading, I’m motivated to re-read In the Storm and The Darkness and then continue with the rest of the Crimson and Clover series.
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