So excited! With this 4-in-1, Barbour Publishing kicks off their year-round novella anthologies of which my novella in Rainbow’s End is a part. Cherry Blossom Capers follows four neighbors in an established Washington, DC, neighborhood: Cherry Blossom Estates. These women are busy professionals who enjoy weekly movie nights together and, one by one, they find both danger and love.
Yes, all four novellas include an equal mix of suspense and romance in their Capitol Hill setting. While my preference normally is for romance novels without the suspense element, I thoroughly enjoyed each of these mini-mysteries. I’m happy to recommend this collection to anyone who loves quick reads, romantic suspense, and the Washington, DC, area.
The four authors have a blog dedicated to their anthology. Here you’ll find suggestions for your own classic movie nights as well as maps of Mount Vernon, links to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, reviews, and more.In State Secrets by Lynette Sowell, White House assistant chef Tara Whitley and FBI agent Jack Courtland stop a plot to sabotage a State dinner—and find love still hidden in their hearts.
This fun story pits two characters who’d known each other years before in Paris. They’d even begun to get serious when Jack simply disappeared out of Tara’s life. She’s managed, mostly, to get him out of her head in the intervening years but is totally unprepared to see him again and be required to work closely with him to prevent a disaster at an upcoming State Dinner. Is it worth trying to make their relationship work, this time?
In Dying for Love by Cara C Putman, attorneys and opponents Ciara Turner and Daniel Evans uncover love while searching for justice.
This is another tale where the couple once knew each other. But in recent years, they always seem to find themselves on opposite sides of a court case. Ciara isn’t sure how Daniel can live with himself with the deadbeat dads he represents in divorce cases, but when the judge, their mutual friend and mentor, is found dead in his chambers, they join forces to solve the murder.
In Buried Deception by Gina Conroy, archaeologist Samantha Steele and security guard Nick Porter dig up love while uncovering a forged artifact.
Sam Steele gets off on the wrong foot when her babysitter is sick and can’t take the children on the day of Sam’s orientation at her new job at Mount Vernon historical site. Her young son is quite a handful and takes off, colliding with security guard Nick, then disappears again. Through the unruly child, Sam and Nick discover a forgery. Sparks fly while they jostle to solve the mystery before the other one does.
In Coffee, Tea and Danger by Frances Devine, amateur sleuths Susan Holland and Vince Martinelli find love while investigating a string of mysterious accidents.
Susan has inherited a gracious old home from her uncle, but it seems someone wants her out of the house…or dead. Her contractor, Vince, may be in danger, and that will never do. What secret might her uncle have been harboring, and who might be racing her to uncover it?
If you’re paying attention, you may recall that Cara C Putman is one of the authors of Rainbow’s End as well. Interesting tidbit: her main characters in both novellas are lawyers, as she is. Where every novella in Cherry Blossom Capers is a mystery, however, Cara’s is the only one in Rainbow’s End with that suspenseful designation.
I received an e-copy of this collection for review from NetGalley. Opinions, as always, are mine alone.