Warner, Dec 2002
Seventeen years ago, Shelley Granger fled her home in St. Galen, a small town in Northern California's Oak Valley to escape the failed romance with Sloan Ballinger. She has never returned to the valley until now. Her older brother Josh, who raised her when their parents died, killed himself and she needs to straighten out certain estate matters as well mourn him.
However, her image of Josh does not reconcile with those of others as she soon meets the son of a servant claiming to be her illegitimate nephew. She also runs into Sloan whose opinion on Josh is that the man was an SOB. Finally, a second cousin and law official tells her that Josh was hanging with bad people and may have allowed marijuana to grow on the vast ranch in exchange for erasing gambling debts. Shelley realizes Josh dipped into her trust fund without telling her. She even begins to wonder if he was murdered. With everything going on, she still has time to realize she is falling back in love with Sloan.
Though the dead Josh seems to have carried too much baggage for Shelley to have missed the flaws in his character, readers will enjoy this exciting romantic suspense tale. The support cast including the four prime males that have impacted on her life (Sloan, Josh, he cousin, and her “nephew”) enables the audience to understand the depth of the tribulations eating at Shelley's soul. Still RETURN TO OAK VALLEY is Shelley's tale as she wonders if she should continue her quest for the truth at the cost of tarnishing the image in her mind of a beloved dead one.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner