Friday, January 6, 2017

Teapots & Treachery, by Donna K. Weaver

Emerald Arch Publishing, January 2017

This book contains two novellas, "The Savage Ghost," which is, in fact, a ghost story, and "Waves of Deceit," a romantic suspense story with no fantastical elements. It might seem an odd combination, but I enjoyed them both.

In "A Savage Ghost," the Savage family has jut inherited an actual Scottish castle, disassembled, shipped to the US, and reconstructed about a hundred years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Savage are looking forward to transforming it into a bed & breakfast inn. Oldest son Ezra is looking forward to being involved. The younger siblings, twin boys plus a younger girl, Melanie, are excited about living in a castle.

And then there's Lia, the oldest daughter, Ezra's twin sister. Lia has worked and studied to become a pastry chef, and is torn between family duty and the desire to fulfill her own lifetime dream, starting a pastry shop in Sacramento with her friend and baking buddy, Taylor.

When she discovers that her summer crush from last summer, Coop Montgomery, is in fact the gardener and landscaper hired by the recently deceased former owner from whom they inherited the place. she's even more torn. She doesn't want to give up her dream, which is in Sacramento, but Coop doesn't want to give up his, either, for which he's worked just as hard as she has.

But while they're working that out, they have to deal with one or two other distractions. Strange accidents happen; small items disappear and then reappear in odd places. The twin boys are the prime suspects for things that could be pranks. The boys swear they're innocent, but who else could it be?

They really ought to listen to Melanie, and eventually, Lia and Coop do. It's funny and sweet, and has just enough suspense.

"Waves of Deceit" is a very different story, having only romance in common with the other story. Shelby Nash grew up with a mentally unbalanced mother who never told her who her father was--and when she was sixteen, her mother died.

And her father's attorney, Alan Bradley, shows up at the funeral. Her father is billionaire industrialist Charles Grantham. Ten years later, she's educated, a successful project manager with a growing reputation, and really hates her father for the sixteen years of silence, neglect, and deceit. Along the way, she's lost a boyfriend she really loved, Wade Masters, when he reacted very badly to learning who her father was.

She and Wade are both still interested despite their bad breakup, but there's a real question whether they can work things out before someone really does kill her.

It's a short but effective story of romantic suspense, with convincing danger as well as

Now, she's got her biggest project ever, and Wade Masters is the lead architect on it. There's apparently a serious threat to her, which makes no sense, and she still hasn't ever met her father.

She also has no idea just how thoroughly she's been lied to.

Overall, recommended. They're both good stories and worth your time.

I received a free electronic galley of this book and am voluntarily reviewing it.