By Karen Harper
Series: Cold Creek #2
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: 10/28/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
Let the dead stay dead… Despite a traumatic childhood in Cold Creek, Ohio, the Lockwood sisters have reunited there for the wedding of youngest sister Tess to the town's sheriff.
Maid of honor Kate Lockwood is determined to break through best man Grant Mason's defences. An anthropologist, Kate makes her living studying the dead. She is particularly interested in the prehistoric Adena civilization that once called the area home. A large burial mound sits on Mason family land, and Kate wants permission to excavate.
But Grant refuses and tells Kate to stay away from the mound. Kate respects Grant's desire to honor his grandfather's belief that the dead should not be disturbed. However, the more she researches the more it becomes clear that Grant is hiding something. When one of Grant's friends is killed—and the sheriff is away on his honeymoon—the couple joins forces to assist the deputy in the investigation.
When Kate comes under attack she is certain it is connected to the burial mound. Grant seems concerned for Kate's safety, but despite their explosive attraction she can't help but be suspicious of his motives. Can Kate trust the man she's come to love, or will the wrong decision be her final act?
A special thank you to Harlequin MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Karen Harper is back in rural Appalachia area in Cold Creek, Ohio, with (#2 Cold Creek series) with Forbidden Ground, a suspense saga of three sisters with a troubled past, coming together for a wedding of Tess (youngest sister) and Sheriff Gabe McCord from (Shattered Secrets #1). Featuring the oldest sister, Kate, an anthropologist, desiring to uncover secrets from a large burial mound and in the process gets more than she bargained for.
Although the Lockwood family beginnings in this small town had been humble, Kate, age thirty, is accustomed to the international world of academia, where she loves research and fieldwork in her area of anthropology. She is looking forward to writing a book and teaching again at the college level, as one of the youngest professors in the country.
Kate had studied in Europe and hoped being here for the wedding would give her a chance to pursue her theory that the Celts might be linked to the prehistoric but advanced Adena civilization that had lived in this area and left behind burial mounds. The scattered, man-made hills she had played on as a child could house skeletons and grave goods to help prove her theory and make a name for herself.
However, she is here to support her sister Tess, age twenty-four prepare for the upcoming wedding to Gabe, the town sheriff. Charlene, age twenty-six, is also coming in for the wedding. Kate often wonders how her younger sister could be in love, when she herself had never really needed a man-except her mentor Carson.
The two older Lockwood sisters were married only to their careers. Char, a social worker in New Mexico, among the Navajo and Kate, who liked to keep control of things. She had been this way since their father deserted the family years ago, and now that her mom had died and wouldn’t be here for the occasion, was a little sad. Kate was astounded when Tess announced she had invited their father to the wedding! How dare she, especially when he had an affair with the groom’s mother? He now had a new life, in Oregon with a new family, and Kate could not be as accepting as Tess.
Of course, Tess tries to distract Kate with handsome Grant Mason, Gabe’s best friend, who came back to the town to take over the family’s lumber mill. Not only was Kate curious to see Grant Mason, but he she also could not wait to examine the Adena burial site she had found on an old map in the university. The so-called Mason Mound was about twenty yards behind Grant’s house, and she happened to be much more eager to see it, rather than him.
The Mason Mound was a low conical prehistoric Indian mound and when he was twelve along with his friends, had seen and done all sorts of wonderful and terrible things, holding dark secrets and artifacts from the ancient dead.
Grant refuses to allow Kate near the mounds, and now Kate wonders what he could be hiding and what he knows? When one of his friend’s is killed, and another injured, they have to work together to solve the murder before he is next.
The three girls all have different personalities, yet they share the excitement of finding their lifelong mates and the curse of danger until they get there.
Harper definitely has done her research and her passion and love for the history and the area; reflective throughout the pages of this fictional, intense, and suspenseful series, while mixed with contemporary romance for fun.
Looking forward to the continuation of #3 Cold Creek, with Broken Bonds, coming 12/30/14, featuring the Char, the middle sister, social worker and a relationship with Matt to solve more secrets of this mysterious town. Fans of mystery, intrigue, history, suspense and romance will enjoy the trilogy of these adventurous Lockwood sisters and their new-found love interests.