The Carriage House, by Carla Neggers

The Carriage House by Carla Neggers: Book CoverFinished 8-10-09, rating 3/5, romantic suspense, pub. 2001

This is Book 1 in the Texas Rangers 4 book series. 

“I can sell it.”

“Who would buy it?  It’s run-down.  It’s on the flipping historic register.  It’s on a minuscule lot.  And, I might add–”  She swiveled around in her expensive ergonomic chair, zeroing in on her office mate and friend with those piercing green eyes.  “I might add that the place is haunted.”

“That’s just a rumor.”

Chapter 1

Tess Haviland is in her 30’s, owns her own graphic design business and is single and childless, much to the disappointment of her dad.  As payment for her services, the eccentric Ike Grantham gives her an old carriage house on Boston’s North Shore, a place that has special memories for Tess.  Soon after gifting her with the house Ike disappears and Tess puts off doing anything with the house.  Now a year later she receives a tax bill and decides to go out to the house to see if she wants to keep it.

Once she arrives at the dilapidated carriage house she is appalled at the condition and the renovations that are necessary.  On her first night there she meets the neighbors, sexy Andrew Thorne, his princess daughter Dolly, and the skeleton she finds in the dirt basement.  Spooked and scared, Tess doesn’t call the police right away and this is where the story really begins.

The characters were all enjoyable, if not memorable.  The story was fast paced and although you knew who did it relatively early on there was some confusion thrown in to keep you reading.  I really liked the secondary characters.  Andrew’s cousin Harley Beckett was an original and Tess’s dad and godfather were loving manly men and it was easy to forgive their chauvinistic ways.

To be fair, I should say that I started this on the plane last week and the fact that it kept my attention at all is an endorsement.  I could be the world’s worst flier.  So, it did keep my interest for pages at a time and this is all I could have hoped for on the plane.