Title: Cider Brook
Author: Carla Neggers
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mystery
Published: January 2014
Unlikely partners bound by circumstance…or by fate?
Being rescued by a good-looking, bad-boy firefighter isn't how Samantha Bennett expected to start her stay in Knights Bridge, Massachusetts. Now she has everyone's attention—especially that of Justin Sloan, her rescuer, who wants to know why she was camped out in an abandoned old New England cider mill.
Samantha is a treasure hunter who has returned to Knights Bridge to solve a 300-year-old mystery and salvage her good name. Justin remembers her well. He's the one who alerted her late mentor to her iffy past and got her fired. But just because he doesn't trust her doesn't mean he can resist her. Samantha is daring, determined, seized by wanderlust—everything that strong, stoic Justin never knew he wanted. Until now…
We return to the town of Knights Bridge with Samantha Bennett, the place that ended her employment with treasure hunter Duncan McCaffrey a few years ago. The home of Dylan McCaffrey, Duncan’s son. Sam isn’t sure what kind of welcome she’s going to get, or if anyone will remember her and her connection with Duncan.
Samantha finds a painting and journal in her Grandfather’s home, which sends her back to Knights Bridge. On the trail of a pirate who has captured her attention and maybe a long lost treasure. Her first night on the trail of her pirate, she ends up stuck out in a very nasty storm. Thankfully she stumbles on the ruins of a cider mill – the one she was hoping to find from the painting.
Justin Sloan is called to a fire – at his cider mill. He wasn’t expecting to find anyone inside either! A young woman managed to pick the lock and hide out during the peak of the storm. Unfortunately for her, the building was hit by lightning. Luckily the guys were able to extinguish the fire before it swallowed up the building.
This pair don’t quite trust one another. Justin knows who Samantha is, and why she’s there. Samantha knows Justin is the one who ratted her out to Duncan when she was in town. With the wall of mistrust between them can they get along long enough to solve the mystery or will it all go up in smoke?
I quite enjoyed Cider Brook, almost as much as Secrets of The Lost Summer – where we meet Dylan and Olivia. It’s not fast paced as I’d hoped, but it flowed well. I liked the chemistry between Justin and Samantha, and the learning to get along and trust each other. There were a few interesting turns of event that I wasn’t expecting, which was really great! I am going to have to pick up the second book in the series That Light on Thistle Lane (which is Phoebe and Noah’s story)
Another thing I loved, was a bit more information about Duncan and Loretta. They are two very fascinating people, and I am hoping we’ll find out more about Loretta – if Carla does more in the Swift River Valley family. And I’d love to read more about Dylan and Olivia’s wedding.
Would I recommend this book? This is a great light mystery, which would appeal to almost anyone. I loved the tidbits of history, and the small town atmosphere. Would I read more by this author? Yes, I really like Carla’s writing style and I will definitely be looking for more.