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Growing up in Salem, Massachusetts, art curator Tempest Hobbs was surrounded by metaphysical practitioners but considers her own empathic powers a curse. The thoughts and feelings that assault her grow so powerful that she is confined to a psychiatric hospital. Upon her return home, badly shaken and weak, she discovers a letter from Hathor, the mysterious mansion of the Ravenscroft family.

Located on the island of Hephzibah Regrets just off the coast, Hathor has fascinated the locals for over a century. Said to be filled with fabulous art and “fairy retreats” where lavish parties are held, Hathor has been passed on through successive generations of Ravenscrofts. But sixteen years ago, during one of those parties, the distinguished dancer and Ravenscroft heir, Raven Silver was shot and killed. Syd Jupiter, a powerful NFL fullback and husband of Raven's sister and dance partner Rachel, was convicted of the depraved heart murder of his brother-in-law and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison.

The letter is from Syd Jupiter who is now paroled and living at Hathor. Wyatt Ravenscroft, Rachel and Raven's grandfather, is dead and has left his entire estate to Anjelica, Syd and Rachel's fifteen-year-old daughter. In the letter Syd offers Tempest the opportunity to live at Hathor for the summer while evaluating and cataloging the vast art collection. It is also a welcome opportunity for her to be away from the constant pressures of her life in society.

Tempest is dazzled by the art collection she discovers but she is soon aware that there are secrets and lies all around her. Hathor's housekeeper, Audrey, hates Syd and was once, Tempest discovers, Raven's lover. Miles Wainwright, a local fisherman and the only witness to the murder, is hiding something, and Anjelica lives in fear that Syd will be sent back to prison. And then there is Syd's mother, Marie-Isobel, the owner of a Santeria shop in New Orleans' French Quarter, who joins them for the summer with her candles and “cleansing” rituals.

In the fishing village on Hephzibah Regrets the locals gather every night in the Riptide where men drink and talk fishing, women spin and knit, and everyone relishes the rumors and tales about Hathor. They tell stories of Will Silver, the father Raven and Rachel never knew, and of wild Rosalind, their beautiful mother who died in an insane asylum. As the heat of summer intensifies Tempest learns more about the residents of Hathor with all their secrets, deceptions, love affairs, madness, and mysterious deaths. And about Syd Jupiter who is as enigmatic as he is alluring.

This novel of romantic suspense by Kathleen Valentine is packed with the fascinating characters, luminous settings, and the lyrical writing that distinguished her two previous novels, The Old Mermaid's Tale and Each Angel Burns.

Read the Prologue and First Chapter.


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