I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.
Brock McGovern and Maura Antrim were teenaged lovers as they worked together at a famed resort, the Frampton Ranch & Resort, in central Florida 12 years ago. Then one night, the body of a colleague was found hanging from the infamous ‘History Tree’, resulting in the misguided arrest of Brock, and Maura, whisked away from her parents, never heard from him again…till now.
Flash forward to the present day…Brock, long since exonerated, is now and up and coming FBI agent, who is being sent to Florida to investigate a rash of recent murders, all with ties somehow to the Frampton Ranch. Maura, now a video producer, is at the resort with a client who is filming highlight specials on the area history, the History Tree, and the ranch itself. Others who were present on that day long ago have also remained close by, resulting in a reunion of sorts as Brock arrives in town.
In predictable fashion, Brock and Maura eventually talk about the events of years ago, and resume their relationship, as Brock hunts for a killer. The protagonist is fairly easy to guess, and like most mid-sized Harlequin novels, the ending is a predictable & happy one!!
The book gives a lot of history into the St. Augustine and central Florida areas as part of the backstory, in and around the investigation of the murders, which, as a newer Florida resident, I found fascinating! In fact, I am eagerly planning a trip now to The Devil’s Millhopper, a park I had not known of before this book. I could not find a reference to the History Tree, although I did find another – the Senator Tree – which may have been loosely modified for this story – going to head there too!
All in all, quick, good beach read, especially if you happen to be vacationing in northeastern Florida!