Silken Threads (Wexford Family, #1)

Silken Threads (Wexford Family, #1) - Patricia Ryan Another fantastic book by Patricia Ryan. I'm getting sad, though, that I'm almost finished reading all of her books and really wish she were still writing historical romances. She's great at building up tension and creating believable and likeable characters.

The hero Graeham is not without his flaws. His desire to own land is foremost in his plans until he meets the widow Joannna who lets him board in her house while he recuperates from a broken leg. Over the ensuing weeks, Graeham slowly falls in love with Joanna and she reluctantly falls in love with him. Unfortunately, Graeham must marry someone else in order to be granted his own piece of land and he has to lie to Joanna in order to carry out his mission in secret. This is the central conflict of the book: How can Graeham complete his mission, get the land and also be with Joanna? Woven around Graeham and Joanna's romance is a good "who-dunnit" mystery that is very well plotted with several great side characters and enough surprise twist and turns to keep me guessing.

The only thing that keeps this from being a five star read for me is that the main conflict preventing Graeham and Joanna from an HEA seemed rather weak and was resolved with a predictable and overly convenient set of coincidences. The ending seemed a little rushed and had a Scooby-Doo quality where all the loose ends and motives are tied up in a quick narrative after the fact.