Roanna Davenport was raised a wealthy orphan on her grandmother's magnificent Alabama estate, Davencourt, where she had a passion for horses, a genius for trouble, and a deep love for her cousin, Webb. But everyone expected Webb to marry their ravishing cousin, Jessie. When he did, Roanna's desire became no more than the stuff of dreams -- until the night Jessie was found bludgeoned to death.
After the shocking murder of his wife, Webb left for Arizona, abandoning the legacy that he had once believed was all he wanted. But then an all-grown-up Roanna walked into a dingy bar in Nogales to bring him home; the mischievous sprite he had known ten years earlier was no more. Gone, too, was her fire. In its place was ice that melted at his touch. Webb is drawn back to Davencourt, to Roanna, and to the killer that once destroyed his life and waits only for the chance to finish the job....
Family, loyalty, love, sex and revenge steam up the pages in this sometimes frustrating but ultimately satisfying romance set in present-day Alabama. Bestselling author Howard (After the Night) portrays orphan Roanna Davenport, born into a wealthy and aristocratic family. An awkward child, headstrong and generally disliked by her haughty relatives, she is championed by her older cousin Webb Tallant, with whom she falls in love. But he marries another cousin, the beautiful, heartless Jessie. When Jessie is murdered, Webb leaves the ancestral home for 10 years until the family's dying matriarch summons him back, reawakening old passions and reopening old wounds. Unnecessary bouts of crude sex between minor characters may put off some readers, and a good shaking seems in order for both Roanna and Webb, as they misinterpret each other's actions to excess. Howard does manage, however, to maintain tension through a twist-filled plot and the emotional involvement of the main characters.