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Charlotte Cates is still reeling from the loss of her son when she starts to experience strangely prophetic dreams. The dreams coincide with the offer of a book deal that would send her to the famous Evangeline plantation in Chicory, Louisiana – the site of the long unsolved disappearance of Gabriel Deveau. It’s a job Charlotte is ready to refuse until she dreams of Evangeline and a boy she believes might be the missing child.

Though the book is being done with the full support of the family, Charlotte soon realizes that the Deveaus are keeping more than a few secrets. First and foremost, the ailing Deveau matriarch believes the project to be one on the architecture of the home rather than her son’s disappearance, a lie her grown children are adamant that Charlotte maintain at all cost. Charlotte isn’t certain her visions can help solve the case, but she’s promised the boy in her dreams that she’ll try. And it’s a promise Charlotte intends to keep.

The Gates of Evangeline is a great mystery. Charlotte, the Deveaus, the history and secrets of Evangeline, and the overall setting come together to create a tale that’s irresistibly compelling. And the hint of paranormal with Charlotte’s dreams – and the bit of romance – added just the right amount of suspense and steaminess.

I was quite pleased too that Hester Young’s debut is actually the first in a new trilogy. I did so love getting to know Charlotte and will be anxiously looking forward to more of her story.

11/15 Becky LeJeune

THE GATES OF EVANGELINE by Hester Young. G.P. Putnam’s Sons; F First Edition edition (September 1, 2015).  ISBN 978-0399174001.  416p.

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