Let's talk about the opening paragraphs, shall we? (You knew that was coming!) Here's the excerpt:
"Really, is a heinous murder any reason to devalue such a glorious piece of real estate?"
The words rolled off the man's tongue in a luscious British accent and with a hint of tease, lending him a cocky James Bond air. He was dashingly handsome (a good British description, what?). Dark hair, rich brown eyes, a jaw cut just so--not too square, but firm. Carla Radling glanced at his left hand. No ring. But then he'd already intimated he was single. A real-estate developer, he'd said over the phone yesterday. And apparently rich, although no proper English gentleman would say so. He was "seeking a beautiful and private piece of property near water as a second home," and the half-page ad in Dream Homes had caught his eye. If he liked the place, he'd pay cash.
To think she'd complained about the high cost of the ad.
Behind them, the heavy wrought-iron gates of the estate that once belonged to the late actress Edna San closed with a muted clang. Carla steered her white Toyota Camry down the impressive driveway curving through the forest. Her client, David Thornby--although James Bond fit so much better--dignified her front seat. His legs, in impeccable beige trousers, were confidently apart, his left arm draped over the console, fingers casually drumming. His navy sport jacket boasted a thousand-dollar weave.
So what can we learn from these paragraphs? We figure out that Carla, the MC, is in real estate and that she is very hopeful of clinching a large deal today...and maybe more. We see a clear picture of the man--David--and a sense of the location. And knowing Brandilyn Collins, the hint that all is not as it seems is not far in coming.
Have a look at that very first line again, will you? Once you've read further, you get a feel for the irony of that statement, coming from David Thornby. Indeed. The twist is just ahead.
While many of the characters in this story have appeared in the earlier books in this series, Violet Dawn and Coral Moon, you really wouldn't have to have read them to enjoy Crimson Eve. You *do* have to be ready for a roller coaster ride, though. As Brandilyn Collins' tag line says: Don't forget to b r e a t h e...
(Oh, hey! I just heard about a special offer from Brandilyn herself: A giveaway of signed copies of Crimson Eve! To qualify, you must be able to state you've never read one of her books (tell me in comments, and leave your email addy in a format that a spam-bot can't pick up). The first FIFTY names she receives (from the continental USA) will receive a complimentary novel! I'll forward any comments in to her as soon as I see them, so don't delay! GOGOGO!)