Jordan Price has a history of losing the men in her life. Two
husbands, her college fiancé and a former boss all met
untimely deaths under suspicious circumstances. At the request of
Ryan Price, Senator Daniel Price’s brother, Rick Carson is
the Powell Agency investigator assigned by Nicole Powell to
find out if Jordan’s most recent husband, the Senator, was
murdered or committed suicide.
When Rick observes Jordan at the Senator’s funeral, his
first impression is that she is “cool, controlled and
calculating.” In spite of the sad circumstances surrounding
her husband’s death, Jordan doesn’t shed a tear. Rick
also notices how intimate she seems to be with Devon Markham, the
Senator’s "sinfully handsome" younger assistant. It’s
apparent to Rick that Jordan and Devon share a special bond --- and
perhaps a few secrets.
Back at Price Manor, the Senator’s ancestral home in
Georgia, Jordan is surrounded by her extended family, which
includes Devon and several others who have known her for
years. Jordan carries a secret that, if revealed, could bring shame
to her and the memory of her husband.
The pain of losing her husband and the secret within her take a
physical and emotional toll on Jordan. As she grieves the loss of
loved ones, she is suspected of infidelity and murder, yet she is
the one who comforts others and worries about their well-being, in
the fashion of a true “steel magnolia.”
As the body count increases, so does the suspicion cast on the
wealthy widow. There is also a list of other suspects with possible
motives for murder, all of them connected to Jordan. Someone, maybe
even the widow herself, seeks to punish her for past sins
or wants to protect her so fiercely they are willing to do
anything to destroy any perceived threats. Behind the scenes,
someone familiar with the investigation and Jordan’s past is
leaking damaging information to the press that could humiliate
Jordan, the memory of her husband and those closest to her.
Loyalty and the importance of family --- no mater how one
defines family --- are common threads throughout the novel.
Controversial issues facing society, such as mental illness and
intolerance of those who are somehow “different,” are
also brought to light.
Some scenes in the book are sad, others are warm and tender;
still others are violent or include graphic sex and sexual
references. Griffin and Nicole Powell, and Sanders and Barbara
Jean, from THE MURDER GAME, make brief appearances in COLD
HEARTED. There is also mention of more to come about the
intriguing Dr. Yvette Meng in future titles.
New York Times bestselling author Beverly Barton has
penned a fast-paced novel with a modern, Southern-style twist on
the black widow theme. Complete with robust and colorful
characters, several brutal murders and explicit sex scenes,
COLD HEARTED is sure to please Barton’s fans who have come to
devour her romantic suspense stories set in the Deep South.
Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt (firstname.lastname@example.org) on December 27, 2010