Joanna Dresden lives an idyllic life in High Bluffs, Maine running her family inn with her husband and daughter. She’s devastated when her husband is killed in a car accident, leaving her emotionally shaken and vulnerable. The inn they have spent their lives tending no longer interests her and some unusual occurrences are happening around town.
A relationship develops between Joanna and a much younger man, much to her surprise. Rick reawakes her in a way she didn’t realize was possible, but something isn’t quite right in High Bluffs. The dark secrets surrounding her in this supposed idyllic existence have started to surface.
He’s watching her.
Plot/Idea: Royer-Derr's High Bluffs will keep the reader on the edge of their seat with her effective storytelling, thrilling plot, and fast-paced narrative. High Bluffs is hard to put down and will delight anyone looking for an exciting and uneasy mystery.
Prose: Royer-Derr is talented at moving the plot along while each sentence comes across as intentionally meaningful.
Originality: The book has lots of twists, turns, and many intriguing aspects that keep it fresh. For instance, the age difference between the protagonist and her lover is sizable, and the context of her having a daughter with a disability adds another layer and more nuance to the story.
Character Development/Execution: Royer-Derr is excellent at crafting and developing mother-daughter relationships, as well as showing the evolution of romance through the veil of grief.
Date Submitted: April 18, 2022
“An engaging tale of danger and romance.” — Kirkus Reviews
“This quick, entertaining series opener is well paced, and the intriguing murder mystery is balanced with sexy encounters…” — Kirkus Reviews