Warner, Sep 2003, 5.99, 368 pp.
Maryland veterinarian Anne Foster returns home for the funeral of her beloved father in Midville, Virginia. Everybody who knew Pete loved Pete, which just adds to Anne's warm feelings about her dad. She worries how her mother will adapt to the loss of her long time mate so Anne is on a leave of absence for one month to help with the adjustment.
When Anne sees Liam Wellington of Wellington Farms horse racing family, she realizes that she still loves him, but he still considers her his “little Sister”. Anne reflects back one decade to the incident that ended everyone's youth: the vanishing and probable murder of Leslie Bartholomew whose body was never found. She wonders who killed the girl. Was it her beloved, his cousin, or their friend? Liam soon realizes that he loves Anne too, not as his sister, but as someone he wants as his wife even while the truth slowly surfaces that point towards him as the culprit who murdered Leslie.
Though the who-done-it takes a back seat for much of the novel, readers will appreciate this warm contemporary romantic suspense due to an engaging cast. Anne is a delightful lead female protagonist who struggles with conflicting feelings about her beloved, as she wants to believe he could not have committed homicide, yet the evidence makes him the likely suspect. The rest of the secondary characters augment Anne's question of who is the killer, but like the heroine they will have to wait until Joan Wolf reveals the killer's identity.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner