Betrayal, murder and a stolen fortune bring Elise Baxter to Cedar Bend, Michigan, on a quest to solve a family mystery—and recover the missing treasure.
Max Holt impulsively buys a crumbling Victorian mansion and fulfills his dream of restoring it as a restaurant and inn. Aware of its reputation for being haunted, he adds to the mystique by building a garden path of old tombstones, one of which belongs to the original owner of the house, Cyrus Mosby—the man whose legacy Elise has traced, and who allegedly stole her ancestral share of a Colorado silver mine over a century ago.
Following clues gleaned from old diaries and a visit from the spirit of her great-great-grandmother, Elise seeks out Max and his inn. Not knowing if she can trust Max with her family secret, Elise pretends her interest is in researching Cyrus, whose own violent death remains a mystery.
An intense attraction between Max and Elise leads him to believe she may be the girl of his dreams. But when he discovers her true interest in him and his inn, memories of a past betrayal threaten to end their passionate relationship. Elise, finding herself falling in love with Max, fears her deception may cost her more than she is willing to lose.
Once persuaded the stolen silver is hidden somewhere in the inn, and captivated by the idea of a treasure hunt, Max and Elise begin the search together, aided by the resident ghosts, Cyrus and Virginia.
The treasure hunt seems like a harmless adventure until someone tries to steal the diaries. Unknown to Max and Elise, there are others—including an evil presence—who are driven by greed and will stop at nothing to unlock the mystery of the Silver Crescent.
Introducing Debby Grahl:
Debby Grahl lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David, and their cat, Tigger. When she’s not writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach, and having a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are the Cotswolds of England, Captiva Island in Florida, New Orleans, New York City, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and of course, romance. Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books. Debby belongs to RWA, Florida Romance Writers, Hearts Across History, and Lowcountry Romance Writers.
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This has been a TWCS Blog Tour!
I received this book from the publishers through Netgalley, but this review is my own! Elise is a news reporter and rather than take the comfortable job of working at her father's newspaper, she heads off on her own and takes a job in the small town of Cedar Bend, but her real task is to find out what happened to her ancestors and their treasure of silver from the silver mine rush many many years ago.
Max Holt is a rich, handsome, but arrogant man, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and what he wants right now is to turn this crumbling old mansion into a fancy restaurant and inn. He feels drawn to the house and the idea of having a haunted restaurant appeals to him and his bank balance. He drags along a few friends to help out with the house and soon both him and the house become the talk of the town.
Elise manages to upset Max at their first accidental meeting and is horrified when it turns out that he owns the house she has to investigate and search, but rather than telling him her plans, she lies to him and pretends she really wants to find out about Cyrus Mosby, the owner of the house, who was found dead, possibly murdered along with another unknown man, who may or may not have been her long lost uncle. How they were both killed nobody knows and there are no real reports at the time of their deaths either. Lucky for Elise though that Cyrus' ghost and that of his wife are around to help her out, even if they do give vague clues at times.
I loved the banter between Elise and Max at the beginning and watching it develop into a rather fast paced romance. I also loved the craziness of Elise, Max and his friends once they were all told about the silver and the fact that it may still be hidden in the house somewhere - they were like animals on a hunt and stopped at nothing to find it. I won't tell you whether they did or not, but it was funny reading about them knocking down walls and falling down stairs and seeing clues from the ghosts appearing right in front of their eyes.
I also really like the fighting amongst the ghosts too and the things one of them would do to try and scare the humans, who would just not be scared away no matter what he tried to do.
This was a funny romance and I was desperate at the end to see of Elise and Max really would find the treasure (and what a twist to the story it was at the end) and to see whether they would stay together or not. I would very much recommend reading this book whether you like romance, ghosts or a mixture of both.
I would also like to thank Debby Grahl and her publishers for inviting me on my first book tour too!