Still of the Night

Meagan McKinney, Author
Meagan McKinney, Author Kensington Publishing Corporation $23 (0p) ISBN 978-1-57566-615-0
Hardcover - 424 pages - 978-1-58724-132-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-8217-6832-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-8430-7
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Stella St. Vallier, the heroine of this lurid novel of romantic suspense, is part traditional Southern belle, part liberated feminist and all woman. She and her ancient great-aunt Rose are the last in a long line of strong, valiant St. Vallier women. Together with an elderly servant-cum-companion known as ""Maman,"" they inhabit the ancestral plantation house, Shadow Oaks, and its declining sugarcane operation in Louisiana. Stella's efforts to save the plantation are complicated when she discovers a drug-smuggling operation on her property directed by P.G. Toutant, owner of the Scarlet Door, a sleazy strip club in Cane Town. Cane Town's sheriff, Jervis Archer, is worse than worthless, a slimy, rutting pig of a man. When Stella confronts Toutant, he has her thrown out of the club. Everyone Stella turns to, from the DEA to distant neighbor and U.S. Sen. Myron Leblanc, seems to be an enemy. Within Shadow Oaks lie hidden treasures and secret rooms. Within Stella lie the twin tensions of sexual violence and incipient romance, and she must navigate a tricky course to save herself and Shadow Oaks. McKinney has freighted her passionate story with many tired contrivances. Sometimes the clich s are overwhelming, but neither they nor the contrivances are likely to discourage readers who enjoy tales of strong women triumphing over bad men and finding true love. (Feb.)
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