I suspected that could be the case as I was writing it, and since that is how it worked out, this is actually the perfect book to go out on. This particular story is one that I've been waiting a very long time to write. It's the kind of story that first made me fall in love with the line over two decades ago, the kind of story I've always wanted to write, and the kind Intrigue doesn't really publish anymore.
THE BEST MAN TO TRUST isn't an action thriller or a police procedural or a woman-in-jeopardy tale. It’s purely a mystery. A group of people is trapped in a mansion during a blizzard, one of whom is a killer. There’s a murder…then another. The motives behind the deaths are completely unknown, and the hero and heroine have to work together if they’re going to figure out who's responsible.
The “characters isolated with a killer” mystery trope is an old—and popular—one. Some classic Intrigues over the years have done takes on it. Robin Francis’s wonderful ALL FALL DOWN stranded a bunch of people at a writer’s retreat during a rainstorm, while Margaret St. George’s brilliant MURDER BY THE BOOK trapped a group of mystery writers in a castle during a snowstorm. I've always wanted to try a story like this of my own, so having the chance to do so really was a dream come true. It's the kind of story where the thrills don't come from "Action, action, action—fast, fast, fast!" It's all about the puzzle, as the reader is challenged to pick up on the clues and figure out what's going on along with the characters. I hope I've concocted a mystery that will keep readers guessing to the very end...and planted enough clues--and suspects--to make it fun along the way.
But of course, this is an Intrigue, so the mystery is only part of the story. It's also a love story between a woman who's not looking for romance and the last man she ever would have expected. This heroine means a lot to me. She's a woman who's been through hell and survived. She has no idea how strong she is—or at least doesn't believe she's strong enough. But as the owner of the mansion—and the wedding business that brought everyone there in the first place—she's the one who's in charge. Over the course of the story she discovers the strength within herself that she never knew she had.
This hero is also one of my favorites. I started reading Intrigues at a time when cops and cowboys didn’t dominate the line the way they do now. Heroes (and heroines) came all walks of life—photographers and veterinarians, lawyers to carnival workers, hotel owners to cartoonists, oceanographers and rock stars and athletes. It’s one of the things I loved about the line, reading about ordinary people pulled into extraordinary circumstances with very personal stakes. Now, of course, most Intrigue heroes are cops, cowboys, soldiers, bodyguards or investigators of some kind. For this story, I was determined that the hero would not be. He’s “just” a regular guy. He’s not a hero because he knows how to use a gun or is constantly throwing himself into danger. He’s a hero simply because he’s a good man, and exactly the man the heroine needs. While I love a tortured hero, one of the things I love about this hero is that he’s not tortured. He doesn’t have a sad history or a ton of emotional baggage. He’s lived a good life, loves his family and is generally content with who he is. He’s just a good guy, and like I said, that’s what this heroine needs.
In the end, secrets have been revealed, the killer has been exposed, and the hero and heroine are together, as they should be. He's still unemployed and it looks like she soon will be (kind of hard to have a wedding business when people keep getting murdered at your weddings). Neither of them have jobs (and no, this is not a coincidence either), but they're hopeful and excited about the future and all the possibilities that lie before them. That's how I feel now, and it's exactly the right note to bring my tenure with Intrigue to a close on.
In the meantime, whether or not you've tried my books before, I hope you'll give this one a shot. It really is the Intrigue of my heart, pretty much everything I personally want an Intrigue to be and the closest to what I've always wanted to deliver to readers. And if you do give it a try, I truly hope you enjoy it.
BLACK TIE... WHITEOUT…
Trapped in the midst of the fiercest blizzard the isolated mountain town has ever seen, the guest list becomes smaller by the day. And when Tom becomes the only person she can rely on, Meredith can't help wanting one last chance at love. Since they might not be alive once the storm breaks...