Ghost Moon

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Overview

Nine years after leaving in disgrace, Olivia Morrison is coming home again with her eight-year-old, Sara, to put things right with the Archer clan. But there is no welcome for the prodigal daughter at the lavish Louisiana estate.

Her stepcousin, Seth, once her only comfort, is icy, dangerously attractive — and engaged. Her formidable stepgrandfather collapses with a heart attack at the sight of her, gasping her dead mother’s name: “Selena!”

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2008 Mass-market paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 440 p. Audience: General/trade. NO SPINE CREASE! ! !

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Ghost Moon

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Overview

Nine years after leaving in disgrace, Olivia Morrison is coming home again with her eight-year-old, Sara, to put things right with the Archer clan. But there is no welcome for the prodigal daughter at the lavish Louisiana estate.

Her stepcousin, Seth, once her only comfort, is icy, dangerously attractive — and engaged. Her formidable stepgrandfather collapses with a heart attack at the sight of her, gasping her dead mother’s name: “Selena!”

The bayou echoes with memories of her mother’s mysterious death. Suicide by drowning, they said. But Olivia’s terrifying nightmares suggest another story. She is determined to learn the truth, and to face a newly ignited passion for Seth, who is too close for comfort, despite his vows.

When a new danger threatens her and her daughter, Olivia must find the courage to confront her old demons ... and uncover a shocking secret buried in the long-forgotten past....

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Robards, Romance, and Riveting

Romantic suspense writer Karen Robards has been steadily building her readership by penning such delights as Hunter's Moon and The Senator's Wife, both of which became national bestsellers. Robards continues this lofty trend with her latest tale of love, hate, and dark family secrets: Ghost Moon.

Olivia Morrison is the prodigal daughter returned. She was only six when her mother died, leaving her to be raised by a stepfamily, the affluent and well-respected Archers. Growing up on LaAngelle Plantation -- a lavish estate in northern Louisiana -- and leading a life of privilege did little to quell Olivia's wild urges as a teenager.

After a promiscuous and rebellious few years, she ignored the advice of her adoptive family and ran off at the age of 17 to marry a charismatic rodeo rider. Now, nine years later, divorced and struggling financially to raise her eight-year-old daughter, Sara, Olivia has been summoned back to her childhood home by her beloved step-aunt, Callie, who has been diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer.

Though Olivia is prepared for a less than exuberant welcome, she isn't prepared for the reaction she gets when she first arrives at the estate. The Archer patriarch, John, takes one look at her and collapses with a heart attack. From this less-than-auspicious beginning, Olivia's visit quickly becomes even more complicated.

There's Seth, her older step-cousin, who was once like a brother to her but now triggers an unexpected passion. There's Seth's fiancée, Mallory, a cool, slender, professional woman who is busy planning the wedding, which is mere weeks away. Then there's Seth's daughter from his first marriage, eight-year-old Chloe, whose temper tantrums and hysterics have everyone on edge. Rounding things out are a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins who all trip in and out of the stately old house, making for an eclectic extended family.

As John Archer lingers near death, Callie's condition rapidly deteriorates, and Seth's marriage date draws ever nearer, Olivia's emotions are further taxed by a recurring nightmare centered around her mother's drowning death years before. Several times Olivia is awakened in the middle of the night, only to smell the lingering traces of her mother's perfume. As time goes by, Olivia begins to suspect there is much more to her mother's death than she remembers. What Olivia doesn't know is that her return to LaAngelle Plantation has resurrected a dark and deadly family secret, one that can provide the answers Olivia seeks but at a horribly high price -- namely, the lives of her and Sara.

Robards's fans will be pleased to find her usual steamy passion and taut sexual tension. As a bonus, Robards has clearly mastered the art of other tensions as well, resulting in a harrowing tale of romantic suspense that explores both the dark and the bright sides of life.

—Beth Amos

From the Publisher
“One of the most popular voices in women’s fiction.”
Newsday

“Robards is one terrific storyteller.”
Chicago Tribune

“A real page-turner ... Robards has combined edge-of-the-seat suspense with a nicely developed romance.”
Library Journal

“Complex family dynamics and an underlying hint of outside danger ... Ms. Robards is a true master of her craft.”
Romantic Times

Also by Karen Robards:

The Midnight Hour
The Senator’s Wife
Heartbreaker
Hunter’s Moon
Walking After Midnight
Maggy’s Child
One Summer
Nobody’s Angel
This Side of Heaven
Forbidden Love
Sea Fire
Island Flame

Available from Dell

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The fainthearted should be warned: Robards (The Midnight Hour) has crafted a mossy modern gothic drenched in gore. In northern Louisiana, little girls die at the hands of a twisted villain, and the author's detached style makes the killings' gruesomeness especially hard to take. The psychotic murderer has kidnapped four girls over the course of a decade, and he's ready to strike again. Will the next victim be eight-year-old Sara, weight-conscious daughter of broke, divorced Olivia Morrison? Or will it be eight-year-old Chloe, glamorous offspring of single dad Seth Archer, Olivia's stepcousin? Livvy and Seth remain blissfully ignorant of lurking danger, consumed with the welter of contradictory emotions kicked up by the ongoing drama in their family. Raised by her stepfamily, the wealthy Archer clan, Livvy left La Angelle Plantation nine years ago to become the teen bride of a no-good cowboy. She has just returned to the Louisiana estate, humbled by her greatly reduced circumstances and with daughter Sara in tow. Though she is welcomed back, Livvy is haunted by shadowy, frightening nightmares and the mystery surrounding her mother's death almost 20 years ago. Robards conveys the dusty heat of the Louisiana summer, and has an ear for the nuances of dialogue. But the cast of characters is so big, and the dramatics so unrelenting, that readers never have a chance to fully absorb the dynamics of the clan, and the serial killings remain an unintegrated subplot till the very end. When the bogeyman makes a move close to home, and Livvy and Seth get romantically involved, the murder mystery and the love story finally, satisfyingly, converge. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When Olivia Morrison ran away from her stepfather and the Archer estate in Louisiana, she thought she was leaving her mother's suicide behind her. Nearly a decade later, Olivia returns home with nothing but her eight-year-old daughter. Her arrival ignites a chain of events that she couldn't have foreseen, including her rekindled attraction to Seth Archer, her stepcousin. But beneath still waters lies a dangerous secret that is revealed to Olivia only in her dreams. And for someone, those dreams are revealing more than may be healthy for Olivia and her family. Dean Robertson reads competently but without spark; she has a variety of Southern drawls at her disposal but never captures the energy and suspense within the story. The author's popularity makes this a necessary purchase for large public libraries, but it is not Robards at her best. Jodi L. Israel, MLS, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440244813
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Robards lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and their three sons.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

"Mom, I wet the bed." The small, shamed voice and the little hand that went with it tugged Louise Hardin out of a deep sleep. She opened one groggy eye to discover her daughter Melissa, standing at her bedside in the darkened room. Behind her, the alarm clock glowed the time: one a.m.

"Mom." Missy's hand tugged once more at the long sleeve of Louise's pale green nylon nightgown.

"Oh, Missy, no! Not again." Louise's whisper was despairing as she rolled out of bed, careful not to disturb her husband, Brock, who slumbered peacefully beside her. Brock had to get up early, at quarter to seven, to be at the office by eight. As he said, the rest of them could sleep all day if they chose, but he had to earn a living. Besides, he hated the fact that Missy sometimes still wet the bed. He was a pediatrician, he knew Missy should be over wetting the bed by now, and he tended to take her frequent accidents personally.

Consequently, Louise, Missy, and her ten-year-old sister, Heidi, conspired to conceal Missy's accidents whenever possible.

"I'm sorry, Mom," Missy offered in a tiny voice when they gained the relative safety of the hallway outside the bedroom. The blue shag carpet felt soft and warm beneath Louise's bare feet. Through the hall window, left uncurtained because it was small and high and on the second floor, Louise could see pinpricks of tiny stars and a wan sickle moon drifting against the black sky. "At least this time I dreamed I was on the potty. It seemed so real! And then I was all wet, and I woke up and I wasn't on the potty at all."

"All your dreams seem so real." If Louise's voice was just a tad dry, she couldn't help it. She was really, really tired, and this was getting to be almost a nightly occurrence. As a seven-year-old, Missy was getting her up at night almost as much as she had when she was a baby.

Light glowed around the partially closed door of the hall bathroom, illuminating the path to Missy's bedroom, which was at the far end of the hall, past Heidi's bedroom and a smaller guest bedroom. Louise had started leaving the light on at night because, in addition to wetting her bed, Missy had suddenly become afraid of the dark. She had nightmares about monsters hiding in her room and watching her as she slept. Sometimes she woke up screaming, and Louise would jump from bed like she had been shot and race down the hall to find her daughter huddled in the center of her bed, in a ball, with the covers pulled over her head, crying her eyes out and gasping something that made no sense. Inevitably, Louise ended up bringing Missy into bed with her and Brock, a practice of which he strongly disapproved. That, Brock informed her, was undoubtedly a large part of Missy's problem. Louise treated her like a baby, rewarding her misdeeds by giving her attention (which was what Brock said she wanted all along) when Missy should have been disciplined instead. Louise knew that Brock probably knew best--as he frequently pointed out, he was the expert--but she could not find it in her heart to punish her seven-year-old daughter for being afraid of the dark. Or for wetting the bed. Or, as Brock said, for nearly anything at all.

The ammonialike smell of urine struck Louise in the face as soon as she stepped inside Missy's room. She sighed. Missy's hand twitched in hers.

"I'm really sorry, Mom," Missy offered again.

Without a word, Louise let go of Missy's hand, closed the door, turned on the light, and crossed to the chest to extract a clean nightgown from a drawer. When she turned around, nightgown in hand, she was frowning. Maybe Brock was right, she thought. Maybe she should try being a little tougher on Missy. She was really becoming tired of getting up in the middle of almost every single night.

Accustomed to the ritual, Missy had already pulled her wet nightgown off and was in the act of dropping it on the floor. Lips thinning, Louise moved to her daughter's side and tugged the dry nightgown over Missy's head. As the gown fell into place, she reached around behind Missy's neck to free the long dark brown braid of her daughter's hair. When Missy glanced quickly up at her, her big hazel eyes questioning, Louise gave the braid a small tug.

"You can help me change the sheets," she said, with more sternness than was usual for her.

"Are you mad at me, Mom?" Missy asked humbly, as the two of them worked together to strip the wet sheets from the bed. Louise's heart smote her. Missy was so very little, after all. And she was small for her age. She'd been born six weeks premature, and Louise had often thought that her early arrival might account for some of Missy's problems. Her body had just not yet matured as much as that of most seven-year-olds. Brock, of course, said that was nonsense.

Damn Brock.

"No, baby, I'm not mad at you." Her task made easier by the vinyl cover that saved the mattress from total ruin, Louise carefully tucked in the corners of the clean sheets that were kept, along with spare blankets, in a trunk at the foot of Missy's bed. She smoothed a pink wool blanket over the sheets and pulled back a corner. "Hop in."

"Don't tell Daddy," Missy said, obeying.

"I won't." It was a ritual, these words. Some part of Louise felt it was wrong to promise to keep something a secret from Missy's father, but the larger, practical part didn't want to listen to Brock's lectures if he discovered that Missy had wet the bed again. She didn't want Missy to have to listen to them, either. No matter whether Brock was the expert or not.

Louise tucked the clean, dry bedclothes around her daughter as Missy snuggled onto her side, a small smile curving her lips as her cheek burrowed deep into the pillow with its tiny white hearts on a deep pink background.

"Good night, baby." Louise brushed her lips across the warmth of her daughter's exposed cheek, and straightened.

"I love you, Mommy." Missy's voice was already sleepy, and her eyelashes were beginning to droop.

"I love you, too, Miss Mouse. Now go back to sleep." Louise gathered up the wet bedding and nightgown.

"Leave the bathroom light on."

"I will," Louise promised.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Good book

    I have read this book several times and it is as good as the first time I read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Good read!

    I have read this book at least a dozen times. I enjoy the story, the descriptions of the lush Louisiana swamp, and it's just a neat little mystery romance!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Great, but....

    I love this book. but I got bored chapter after chapter detailing Maggy and Nick having sex.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    Very good!

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    highly recommend

    I really enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it I did not want to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2005

    Yikes!

    I've enjoyed several of Ms Robards books before. Not this one. It scared me from page 4! Be warned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2002

    not one of my favs, but its good

    This book was confusing at first but you'll get the hang of it. It has an equal amount of mystery and love. You should read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2002

    Miz. Robards does it again!

    This is the third book of hers that I have read and just as usual I love it! When the mystery combines with the romance it is all the better. I'm only in my young teens but I love it none the less.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2002

    Worth reading

    this book was worth reading but i thought that the ending could have been better. it needed more of an explination for all that had happened. but otherwise it was a good book and worth reading

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2002

    Greatly Recommended

    I think that the author of this book did a great job of displaying the horror of not remembering what happen to Sara's mother. Sara is a single mother who ran away with her ex-husband and is trying to find acceptence with her old-step-great grandfather, Big John. When she shows up unexpectedly with her eight year-old daughter Oliva, things take an unexpected twist with her cousin, Seth. Things get romanticly intimite. To me a little to much information in the sex department but other then that it is a great and highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2001

    A disjointed novel

    This novel could have been so good if the author stuck with the relationship between the two main characters and their little girls. She creates four appealing people and then sticks in a totally unnecessary and even silly seriel murderer subplot. Olivia returns home to Louisiana with her little daughter after nine years absence at the request of a beloved aunt. She and her step-cousin begin a stormy (and charming and nicely adult) relationship which includes both their little girls. If Robards had just concentrated on this plot line she would have produced an insightful novel about family dynamics. Instead, she wanders off into pseudosouthern gothic complete with mysterious suicides, dank family tombs, mummies, ghostly voices etc. She introduces characters, (grandfather, nasty aunt, exboyfriend)and then drops them almost immediately. The seriel killer could have wondered in from another novel entirely. And the ending is downright silly. I can't imagine anyone living happily ever after (as portrayed in the final paragraph) without years and years of therapy considereing what happened only a few pages earlier! A book like this could have been so good because this is a talented writer. Where was her editor!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2001

    Satisfied!

    Ms. Robards delivers another well-written romantic suspense. Also, some parts in the story were quite touching: the dying grandmother and Seth's sympathy toward Sara for her weight being teased by the other girls. The ending was shocking. It's definitely a worthy read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2000

    Difficult to Finish Without Hurling!

    The only surprise regarding this epic is that someone actually chose to publish it. It's all completely predictable, and at the same time, irrational!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2000

    Are we reading different books?

    Ms. Robards' latest is definitely no winner here. The identity of the murderer becomes obvious quite early on in this tale and the main characters, while likable, are as predictible as the story line. Four and five star ratings are inconceivable to me. What does a true yarn with genuine suspense and unpredictible plot development like a DeMille get from this audience. The only surprise here is that anyone was surprised by any part of Ghost Moon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2000

    Can't go wrong with Karen Robards

    I have read all of Karen Robards books. I am always very happy to hear of a new book by her. Although still a good book to read, Ghost Moon was not one of my favorites when judging only by her other books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2000

    Ghost Moon is a page turner

    This is a book, that I read in one sitting. I could not put it down. the author is getting better everytime she writes. I have been reading her for a long time and am definetly enjoying her more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2000

    Ghost Moon is great!

    I am a big fan of Karen Robards' novels, and I think this is one of her best yet. The suspense was spine-tingling, the romance was hot, and the sub-plots - the chubby little girl and the dying grandmother - tugged at my heartstrings. Another great romantic suspense by Karen Robards!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews

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