Monday, August 15, 2011

Goldenseal by Gill McKnight

Publisher:                 Bold Strokes Books

Gill McKnight is an author who knows the value of telling just a plain good story.  Goldenseal is her latest proof of that.

Amy Fortune returns to Little Dip Valley reluctantly.  She has spent years establishing herself as an internationally famous illustrator and never planned to return to the place where she was hurt so badly.  Little Dip is the home of the Garoul clan and that means facing her former lover Leone Garoul who broke Amy’s heart when they were teenagers.  Amy’s Aunt Connie, also a famous illustrator, is ill and cannot finish the annual almanac published by the Garoul family, so Amy has promised to complete the work for her, but she’s a different person than the girl who left and she has no intention of letting Leone be anything more than her publisher.   

Leone sees the situation differently.  She has been waiting years for Amy to return and finally has her wish, but evil is prowling the valley and she needs to protect Amy from it.  Amy finds Leone’s attention annoying and refuses to cooperate, so the women find themselves locked in a battle of wills until Amy realizes that something is very wrong in Little Dip and somehow it involves her aunt and Leone’s family.  As her fear increases she is drawn to Leone even as she’s not sure she can trust her.  Leone’s family harbors a secret and discovering it may drive Amy away forever.  Not understanding it could cost her life.

Goldenseal makes no pretense of being a convoluted story of mystery or romance.  It’s a well told story with supernatural aspects that holds the reader’s interest as the suspense builds gradually and draws the reader into what is happening.  The characters, while not overly developed, are appealing and wanting to find out what is going to happen to them will keep the reader coming back to the pages.  This is one of those books that you don’t want to put down until you’ve finished it.   

Gill McKnight is building a library of books that represent the story teller at her best.  No probing issues have to be resolved or weighty lessons pondered.  Her stories simply entertain, which is exactly what they should do.

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