Review: Mark of the Loon by Molly Greene

Madison Boone is a plucky real estate agent and a part-time flipper - that is, she buys old houses, renovates them to a new state of grandeur and re-sells them, all while she isn’t busy scouting out new homes for her clients or keeping up with her three best friends. Every project is a labor of love for Madison, but her latest acquirement tugs on her heartstrings more than the rest. It’s an old cottage seemingly plucked from the English countryside and settled into Sonoma County, California’s vineyard-filled countryside; it’s a beautiful mess that she can’t wait to restore. Built by the mysterious Mallory Blackburne and her husband, a dedicated and lifelong career birdwatcher, the house the Irish couple left behind holds more than stone and brush to be uncovered, and as Madison begins her plight to restore it she finds herself embroiled in the mystery of a love story that races through history and conflict, throwing her into an adventure with dangerous consequences.

Throughout her journey into the secrecies of the Blackburnes and their rustic old house Madison is aided by a host of charming characters: Genevieve Delacourt, her witty and street-smart lawyer friend; Coleman Welles, a handsome psychology professor who sparks a fire into Madison’s heart; Taegan O’Riley, a young deaf boy with a tie to the Blackburns; and Ryan Kavanaugh, the mysterious local reverend whose intentions seem to be another mystery altogether. As Madison’s adventure continues her adversaries grow and she soon discovers she must fight to stay one step ahead in order to keep her house, her heart and her head intact.

Mark of the Loon presents a story rife with intrigue from the very first, and it glides along easily on author Molly Greene's confident prose. History, mystery and romance are skillfully intertwined to create a canvas that quickly draws the reader in and as the story unfolds its layers reveal yet more depth. This was the sort of reading experience that I was sorry to part from; every day when my thoughts turned to reading, Mark of the Loon caused me to smile as it beckoned me into the story once more. Greene's talent for crafting original characters is also clear; each is an enchantment – both heroes and villains – and their vibrancy will stay with you long after the final pages. Every bit of chemistry is palpable, whether it was a chemistry of friendship, romance or opposition. I felt instantly connected to each colorful character, especially the entertaining Genevieve. Likewise, Greene presents in Madison a heroine the reader will cheer for from beginning to end. The witty banter the two characters shared added yet another element to the story, and deepened my feeling of being swept away into another life. I think that’s why a lot of us read – to be carried out of our lives and into something uniquely different – and Mark of the Loon offers such an escape with all the entertainment a reader could hope for.

Title: Mark of the Loon Author: Molly Greene Genre: Women's Fiction, Mystery, Romance Publisher: Molly Greene Format: E-Book (e-Arc) Release date: May 14, 2012 Source: Molly Greene (C/O) Buy the book: Amazon Connect with the author: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter

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