Violinist Caroline Waverly heads to the town Innocence, a town in Mississippi, to recover from the emotional breakdown she had when the years of stress and her manager/lover’s betrayal became too much for her.
She meets Tucker Longstreet sitting at her pond one afternoon. He seems laid back and content to be a trust fund baby, but she soon learns that looks can be deceiving. Tucker is deeply involved with his family’s farm and financial issues, and carries the additional weight of keeping an eye over his alcoholic brother Max and eternal flirt of a sister, Josie.
Caroline’s peaceful recovery is disturbed when she finds a woman in her pond who has been brutally murdered. The woman, Edda Lou Hatinger, had publicly accused Tucker of making her pregnant days before her death. Tucker immediately becomes the suspect. Tucker has to deal with Edda’s father as well – a religious, abusive nut who is intent on killing Tucker for his alleged crime.
As more and more bodies start to turn up, all linked to Tucker even in the most distant of ways, the Longstreets come under the spotlight. Caroline must deal with her attraction to him and even though she is 100% sure he didn’t kill the women, she knows that it is definitely someone in Innocence. Will their love survive and who is behind the murders?
If there was a book for the worst names for books ever, Carnal Innocence would be first in there. What a stupid name for an excellent book! The name is accurate as you real further – the town Innocence certainly has an obsession with lusty business. The name, while better than the other titles books have received (I’m looking at you, Katie Fford), will discourage a new reader immediately. That is just bad, since the book is extremely well written, and you will not expect the murderer EVER. If you can read past the title, you will find a book full of the trademarks of Nora Roberts – incredible imagination and description, strong characters, a murderous villain, a good love story and a lot of suspense.