REVIEW: Dark in the Woods by Rosemary LaureyTuesday, October 9, 2012 1:00
I have to say, this book has quite a cast of intriguing and off-the-wall characters that I’ve read in a long time. From a family of shape-shifting bears with a mean-old-nasty matriarch to a local law enforcement department that looks the other way no matter the crime, very different people living on opposite sides of the river bisecting their small town. The bizarre happenings have only just begun for the heroine, who’s thrown into the middle of a world she never imagined existed.
Cassie Jackson and her husband Alan have returned to the home where he grew up in Virginia. They’d been having problems, so this is sort of a compromise where they can hopefully mend the ripples in their marriage and start fresh. However, once they arrive, Alan is a changed man, not the loving, easy-going lawyer she first fell in love with. He’s now demanding, secretive, and never stands up to his family when they insult her. What Cassie further discovers is that Alan has also lied to her during the course of their marriage – about a number of things, but mostly about who and what he was. A mother-in-law who doesn’t want her anywhere near, you’d think that would be enough in her life, but the hits keep on coming when Cassie is notified her husband has been killed.
A deputy sheriff on the other side of the river, David Argon is taken with Cassie from the moment he lays eyes on her, especially since his Aunt Morgaine has seen that Cassie is the one for him. He just has to be patient. He respects the boundary of marriage, so he just goes about his job. David and his family are Pixies, his aunt being the most powerful of them, including most everyone in town. Never thinking Cassie would be freed from the sanctity of marriage through death, he feels guilty now that her husband is dead and he wants her something fierce. But there’s not enough guilt to keep him from her. The woman definitely revs his motor and her sexy-feisty self fascinates him even more.
The one thing between them, after they can’t deny their attraction any longer, is the way David’s side of the river turns a blind eye to all the killing and other related things that go on in their community. The other side isn’t much better, taking care of any “problems” themselves. Cassie feels any justice should be put in the hands of law enforcement, even despite David’s explanations of what could happen to them all if word got out about their other worldliness. Though Cassie hesitantly agrees with this logic of allowing them to take care of their own in their own way, she still thinks it’s not right. After a while, her attitude does become a little grating because she never lets up until the very, very end. For me, she should trust the man she loves, especially since he’s so different from the first time she tried that.
But I do admire Cassie despite that one issue. She tries very diligently to save her marriage. She stands up to her crusty mother-in-law, as well as her brothers-in-law when necessary. While she laments what went wrong in her old life with Alan a few too many times for me, she does move on when the opportunity – or fate – gives her the chance. And she doesn’t rest until she knows the whole truth about Alan and his demise. Though she’s frightened here and there with the goings-on around her, she straightens that backbone and faces whatever is coming her way. I like David a lot. While he’s always done things the way they’ve been done to keep the community’s privacy under wraps, in the end when it comes to Cassie, he does what needs to be done to keep her safe, including standing up to his boss. He’s a first-rate hero, and my heart breaks for him whenever he thinks of his sister.
I’ve never read a story about werebears before, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to take to this one with that aspect, but none of these shifters is the hero of the book. So they didn’t need to be teddy bears, which is perfect, of course, because one pretty much saves the day near the end. He’s actually the only bear you can like throughout the book; therefore, I’m glad Cassie gives him the chance to do some good after all the heartache his kind caused up to that point. Aunt Morgaine is a terrific character, always showing up with some good food and even better advice.
A good read, despite the fact I figured out who the culprit is long before it’s revealed. Better than your average bear! (Sorry, I had to get that in somewhere.)
When the wild things are stirring, taking sides could get you killed.
Uprooted to a remote Virginia mountain town by her husband in a failed attempt to start afresh, Cassie Jackson gets the cold shoulder from his reclusive, dark-haired family of “hunters”. And only cool friendship from the tall, fair neighbors across the river. When her husband is murdered, and she is shut out of the burial plans, she sneaks into the funeral home to at least say goodbye and discovers what it is her mother-in-law from Hell didn’t want her to see. Something oddly…furry.
Silver Grove used to be a quiet town—until Cassie arrived. She has dared to cross the river, and from their first glance, Deputy David Argon found himself drawn to his newly widowed neighbor. Now, in the midst of the biggest crime investigation in years, he feels compelled to shield her from the rising tension among the citizens and the hunters.
Except protecting her means his hands-off policy is doomed to failure. And when another murder hits too close to home, staying out of her arms is mission impossible.
Read an excerpt.