Dinah McCall






MIRA April 2004 paperback
Reviewer Sissy Jacobson

Romantic Suspense

In Laurel Scanlon's family the unusual gift of sight is passed down from generation to generation to the eldest daughter. Laurel's mother, an only child, died when Laurel was young. She was led by her father to believe that this gift had driven her mother insane and caused her death. This "so-called gift" is an embarrassment to her father; a high powered Washington, D.C. attorney. She has become an amusement at his parties, his guests laughing behind her back. She has no friends, never able to trust anyone. There is no doubt her father loves her, but he is growing colder toward her since she broke off her recent engagement. For some time now, Laurel has been thinking of moving out on her own, but is taking her time deciding where she wants to go.

In the meantime, Laurel has a lover. A wonderful, secret lover who only comes to her in the night as she is falling asleep. She retires earlier and earlier each night so she can be with him. She doesn't know his name nor does she ever see his face, but he makes the sweetest love to her, and stays until she falls asleep in his arms. He is gone by morning, only to reappear that night. How she longs to know who he is and how to find him. She doesn't understand it, but she lives for the nights he is with her.

When an attorney for her maternal grandmother asks to meet with her, she is surprised. She has been estranged from her grandmother all her life, and has only been to Mimosa Grove once as a child. Located in the bayous near a small town in Louisiana, the plantation holds fond memories for Laurel. Through the attorney, Laurel learns her grandmother has died and willed everything to her. This is the excuse Laurel needs to leave her father. It will be a relief to both without hurting her father's feelings.

Not knowing what to expect of the residents of Bayou Jean, Louisiana, but braced for the worse, Laurel is surprised by the friendly acceptance with which she is received. Since her grandmother's death, they have had no one to turn to when they needed help with the unexplainable. Her grandmother was much loved and highly esteemed, a decided difference from the way Laurel had been treated all her life.

Justin Bouvier has been having strange dreams for months about a woman with whom he makes love each night. He can't stop thinking about her, but has no idea who she is. Nothing he does rids her from his sleeping and waking hours. Is he losing his mind?

Shortly after Laurel arrives at Mimosa Grove, four-year-old Rachell Mouton goes missing in the swamp. When people come to Laurel for help, she is hesitant, however, she 'sees' the child, the niece of Justin Bouvier. She tells them where to find her, and "speaks" to Rachell, keeping her safe from drowning until her uncle can reach her. Instead of being an outcast in this small town, Laurel is a heroine, and welcomed with open arms. When she and Justin meet, they recognize one another immediately.

MIMOSA GROVE is an exciting mystery employing the supernatural along with a history that must be completed before the spirits can rest. I have read several books by Dinah McCall, and find this is by far her best. The only complaint I have is there are too many things occurring in too short a time that need Laurel's intervention. The love story is beautiful, with the strong, loving hero who guards his heroine. Filled with a cast of interesting characters, including Elvis the attack peacock, this book keeps moving at a smooth, rapid pace. Danger abounds in these swamps and strange occurrences threaten the lives of Laurel and those she loves.

If you are a lover of romantic suspense spiced with the supernatural, I can readily recommend MIMOSA GROVE.

July 2004


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