An unexpected inheritance reunites Crystal Penny with her ex, Cody Blye. Their uncles had left each of them one-half of an Arizona ghost town. Sparks immediately begin to fly when Cody's get rich scheme brings in a horde of visitors to see the skeleton found in the attic. Gold nuggets and doubloons, more people than places to stay, and constant friction between the two provide plenty of chaos.
All That Glitters contains a great cast of characters who keep the pace moving through a lively story loaded with romance and mystery. Numerous newcomers trying to find their place in Cactus Junction bring a richness and believability to the tale. An old mangy mutt who understands conversations adds humor to the mix.
Heather Ames paints vivid descriptions of the old ghost town that will have the reader believing they are standing in the street breathing the dust and feeling the heat of a town trying to come back to life. As buildings begin to collapse and fire threatens to destroy their efforts to save the historical site, Cody and Crystal scramble to find answers to the allusive mysterious incidents plaguing the town and driving residents away.
When Sheriff Reed Davis arrives to arrest Cody for the murder of the uncles and the theft of the missing doubloons, Crystal sets aside her anger at Cody and springs into action.
All That Glitters belongs on the list of superb suspense stories. It's oh so refreshing when characters come to life with all their faults and foibles. I am looking forward to reading more from Heather Ames.
Geologist, Crystal Penney loses her job and has to turn her inherited half of an Arizona ghost town into a money-making venture. She envisions a unique and refined tourist destination, but as soon as she finds itinerate prospector, miner and old flame, Cody Blye and his sullen mutt, Jackson already in residence, she knows her efforts to turn lemons into lemonade will sour faster than a gallon of milk left out in the noon day sun. Crystal thought she’d never have to face Cody again after he took off into the Superstition Mountains and left her heartbroken. But thanks to the terms of their deceased uncles’ wills, he owns the other half of Cactus Station, and Crystal has to call him her partner, regardless of how she feels. She rebuffs Cody’s attempts to rekindle a friendship and keeps him at arm’s length while she tries to convince herself that she’s not going to fall in love with him all over again. Cody has been involved in get-rich-quick schemes before, and Crystal suspects him of using his own nuggets to start a gold rush that brings droves of newcomers to Cactus Station. Suddenly, the old town is humming with activity while Cody and Crystal try to house and feed an army of people searching for the Mother Lode. Jackson takes time out from terrorizing the guests to unearth a skeleton from the hotel’s attic closet. The find brings tourists, the press and the local sheriff, Reed Dalton. Reed might spend most of his time searching for lost hikers in the barren desert, but he throws himself energetically into a murder investigation after the coroner declares a hole in the skeleton’s head was the result of foul play. And then Jackson digs up a gold doubloon. The Lost Dutchman Mine may be lost no more, and the good news spreads quickly, turning the gold rush into a near-riot. Cody’s doing what he does best--orchestrating the three ring circus with all the aplomb of P. T. Barnham. He’s selling tickets to see the skeleton, running tours and spinning yarns, all while trying to win back Crystal’s heart. But his tall tales suddenly turn from fabrication to reality. Guests see apparitions; buildings collapse and fires threaten to burn down what’s left of the town. Someone wants the doubloons at any cost and isn’t worried about who gets hurt or even killed during the treasure hunt. The sheriff’s investigation leads him to look again at a mine collapse that killed both Cody and Crystal’s uncles. Suddenly, Cody’s under suspicion for murder, and the guests, prospectors and tourists are all running back to civilization before they become the next victims. Crystal believes in Cody’s innocence, but can she help him prove it? Even more importantly for both of them, can she learn to trust and love him again?