The Ashford Place by Jean Copeland is a mystery/romance story that I really enjoyed. We see the story through Isabelle (Belle) Ashford who has inherited a run-down country home from her reclusive great aunt Marion. She decides to spend her summer renovating the home to sell, but during her time in the house she discovers a mystery involving her second cousin who died tragically and mysteriously as a young teen many years ago. Belle also meets and is instantly attracted to Deputy Sheriff Ally Yates, and the two work together to try to solve the cold case mystery involving the Ashford Place.
This was a lovely romance/mystery that brought the two main characters together and created a great deal of conflict that the two had to work through. I loved the dialogue between them. It was witty, sweet and fun to read. Though the mystery was not really that hard to solve (I figured out who the bad guy was way before the main characters), I enjoyed reading how Belle and Ally worked through the clues both together and separately. The sex scenes were mostly fade to black, but that actually worked fine in this particular book. Overall, this is a charming story that I can recommend to anyone who likes a well-written mystery with a good dose of romance.
I am going to give a trigger warning here. This book does have some discussion of child molestation. There are no graphic details and the subject is dealt with tastefully, but if a reader would be uncomfortable reading about this subject, I might suggest they give this book a miss and read a different Jean Copeland novel. If this novel sounds interesting, you can find it at Bold Strokes Books
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.