Review: Tempting Zander

Review: Tempting ZanderTempting Zander (Knight Security, #4) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #4
Published by Smashwords Edition on January 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: A good story but nothing overly special.  I enjoyed this as a one time read.

THE STORY:  Zander Buchanan is brought in as head of security for Kate Stewart, a superstar singer. Kate has an ex-boyfriend who is stalking her and she has hired Knight Security to supplement her normal security.  Zander has wanted Kate desperately even as he is exasperated by her. He knows he has to keep his distance to do his job.  She’s hot for him, too.

OPINION:  This is a perfectly adequate story if a bit predictable.  Zander and Kate are fighting their attraction, there is danger from the ex and the ultimate resolution and happy ending.  The characters were nice enough but a bit forgettable.  The best part of the book for me was a scene between Zander and Kate in a store dressing room which was completely memorable. The book was in the category for me of a book that I enjoyed while reading but won’t be one that I think of returning to…except for maybe that dressing room scene.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is a short novella.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  TEMPTING ZANDER is the fourth book in the Knight Security series.  Although there are some overlapping characters, this book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars

Review: Seven Minutes in Heaven

Review: Seven Minutes in HeavenSeven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, #3; Desperate Duchesses, #9) by Eloisa James
Series: Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #3
Published by Avon on January 31st 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“‘This conversation has gone from improper to obscene,’ she observed. He shook his head. ‘Haven’t you noticed, Eugenia, that almost all of our conversations start at improper?'”

FINAL DECISION: Incredibly lovely story of two people quietly falling in love despite their best intentions.  The story gently pulled these two characters together and I loved every moment of them falling in love with one another. As a fan of James’s work, this book was immensely satisfying as it pulled so many other books together.

THE STORY: Eugenia Snowe is a widow who owns a elite agency for governesses. She has shocked the aristocracy by taking on a profession but has managed to keep some standing with the ton. Edward “Ward” Reeve is the son of an earl and needs a new governess for his wards (his half-siblings) and comes to Eugenia’s offices in order to get a replacement. Ward desperately needs a governess to help shape up his siblings in order to fight for guardianship of them. Although Ward is the son of an earl, he is illegitimate.  He also doesn’t realize that Eugenia is actually a “lady”. Eugenia and Ward immediately are in a contentious relationship and yet the two are attracted to one another. When Ward ends up kidnapping Eugenia to help in his cause, the two begin an affair that neither intends to lead to anything more.

OPINION: Some books are fun one time reads where the entirety of the book occurs on the surface of emotions, and some books urge you to sink deeply into the emotions of the characters, their lives and their romance.  This book is the latter.

Nothing in this book turns on quick resolutions, excessive drama or quick action. I loved how I got to know the strengths and weaknesses of these characters.

Ward is a self-made man who has accomplished so much and yet has his own insecurities. A true gentleman, Ward is smart and talented, but entirely willing to give up his life for his half-siblings.  Ward’s life has changed dramatically after his engagement to Mia in FOUR NIGHTS WITH THE DUKE. The events in that book left Ward more cynical, with phobias and PTSD from his imprisonment. He is also remarkably clueless about social conventions and doesn’t realize that Eugenia is the daughter of a marquess. He is, however, determined to save his half-siblings from the tender mercies of his material grandmother. For that, Ward needs to turn two unschooled “small devils” into model children so that he can keep guardianship. I loved the balancing of Ward’s human foibles in this book. He is imperfect and thus fascinating because of it. When he makes the “almost” unforgivable mistake with Eugenia, he takes well to the groveling required in those circumstances.

Eugenia is a woman who controls her own destiny. She is strong and an entrepreneur long before women were accepted in such roles. A widow, she thankfully deeply loved her husband (which is a nice change from women who seem to only have terrible first marriages). True, she might look back on her marriage with too much nostalgia, but the death of her husband and the years, changed Eugenia and made her more independent and stubborn. After years of being alone, she is shocked out of her widowhood by Ward. Attracted to him physically, she considers the possibility of an affair. I liked that Eugenia is not afraid of her sexuality even as she initially wants to linger in her memories of her husband.

For me, this book was a treat because it brought back two precocious children from James’s Desperate Duchesses series. Bringing back children is often tricky because, of course, those with happy stories usually are not good subjects for books of their own. James has managed to provide the right amount of angst but focusing not only on their very early days of unhappiness, but also pivotal moments each experienced as adults which brought them moments of darkness. This makes the characters more interesting (because hey, who wants a story about well adjusted, perfectly happy and normal people without any flaws or painful pasts?).

This book made me fall madly in love with it as each page turned. Ward and Eugenia are smart and banter with one another as adults. They are completely willing to enjoy a sexual affair, but can’t help but become emotionally entangled with one another. I only took a small amount off my rating because I couldn’t help but feel that Ward should have been smarter to realize he was being a jerk with regards to Eugenia and, if nothing else, should have realized her origins long before he did. But that is just quibbling.  This book is a joy to read and what it made me want to do is start reading the prior series over again because there is so much good stuff in this one.

WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of James’s Desperate Duchesses series may remember both Ward and Eugenia as children who appeared in her Desperate Duchesses series (DESPERATE DUCHESS and DUCHESS BY NIGHT).

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN is the third book in the Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers series.  (This series is a spin off of the Desperate Duchesses series).  This book can be read as a standalone although there are overlapping characters that make the book better having read the other books in the series (actually both series).

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: Mogul

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: MogulMogul (The Knickerbocker Club, #3) by Joanna Shupe
Series: The Knickerbocker Club #3
Published by Zebra on January 31st 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 352
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION:  The weakest of the series, this book is about two people getting a second chance at love.  I liked the story overall, but I didn’t enjoy the romance as much because the characters seemed to have too many convoluted reasons to be apart.

THE STORY: Calvin Cabot has risen from a reporter to owning a number of large newspapers.  His only regret is the woman he had to leave behind.  Lillian Davies is the daughter of a self-made man but her father has greater aspirations for her. Calvin and Lillian had married in a whirlwind courtship until Lillian’s father stepped in.  After an annulment, the two have been apart.  Now Lily needs Calvin’s help when her brother disappears and the two find that their attraction to one another has not diminished with time.

OPINION:  I liked so much of this book, but the romance was a weak point.  So while I loved the time period, loved the motivating story about Lily’s brother’s disappearance. There was a little too much drama with Lily and Calvin and too many things working to keep them apart that the drama exhausted me and my patience in the book. So while I liked the book, it’s not one I would return to again.

Lily is a woman who has taken the reins of her family’s business, Lily is strong and independent but still hurts from what she believes was Calvin’s betrayal years ago. I liked her and liked her journey, but I couldn’t help but think that she was annoyingly naive for believing the explanation for the annulment in the beginning.

Calvin was a character that I had expected to like a great deal, but once again, I got too annoyed and caught up in his continued lies and half-truths to Lily. I understand his loyalty and his feeling that he could not reveal the truth, but it got tiring that he kept being placed in the position to self-destruct his relationship with Lily. I was inclined to like him, but I got tired of his drama by the end.

It might sound that I didn’t like this book.  Actually, I liked it well enough, but it didn’t live up to the promise of the other books in the series. I suppose I was more disappointed because while I loved the premise of the book and I found the history explored in it fascinating, I just got too annoyed by the misunderstandings between the characters to want a re-read.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book explores the history of discrimination against the Chinese in the United States and the consequences of the exclusionary policies of the government.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  Mogul is the third book in the Knickerbocker Club series. It is not necessary to have read any of the previous book in the series although there are overlapping characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

three-stars

Review: Some Kind of Magic

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Some Kind of MagicSome Kind of Magic by Mary Ann Marlowe
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 304
Goodreads
three-half-stars

“I’d never know for sure who much that damn perfume had factored into his feelings for me. And he’d never know for sure how little his fame factored into my feelings for him.”

FINAL DECISION:  This is an enjoyable if a bit predictable story. I liked Eden’s quirky if conservative nature that is changed when she meets the rock star and begins to allow herself to want more.

THE STORY: Eden Sinclair is a biochemist.  One night she wears the latest work from her office out to watch her musician brother. She ends up meeting Adam Copeland and in a move unlike herself, ends up having really hot sex with the slightly grungy musician.  Eden doesn’t realize that Adam is an international rock god wanted by women all over the world. When she finds out she also discovers that her work “perfume” is actually a pheromone designed to attract men.  Now Eden is afraid losing Adam but she doesn’t know if he wants her or the perfume enhanced version of herself.

OPINION:  The positives of this book is how normal the relationship between Eden and Adam is.  Adam might be a rock star, but he also is messy and wants a normal dating relationship with Eden. Eden doesn’t treat Adam with awe, and Adam responds to that.

They both have insecurities in their relationship.  Eden is conflicted about the perfume. She worries that the attraction on Adam’s part is rooted in that pheromone spray. As the book begins, she can’t imagine that she is attractive enough to draw someone like Adam to her. Throughout the book, that instinctive fear that she is not good enough threatens their relationship. I very much enjoyed the growth in Eden as she begins to stretch herself, reach for dreams that she feared trying for.  Adam is insecure as well because he always has the fear that his fame rather than his own self is what attracts Eden to him. This is especially true because even if Eden doesn’t care about his fame, those surrounding her are always effected by it.

The negative in this book for me is that things happen too slowly and didn’t hold my interest in the middle of the book. There were some chapters that I had to push myself through. I thought the pacing could have picked up and would have made the book more compelling.

This is only a small negative because in the end, I enjoyed the book as a one time read. I look forward to what this author will write next.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is the author’s debut novel.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SOME KIND OF MAGIC is a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

three-half-stars

Review: Jacked Up

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Jacked UpJacked Up (Birmingham Rebels, #3) by Samantha Kane
Series: Birmingham Rebels #3
Published by Loveswept on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 240
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: My favorite book of the series.  This one has a developing relationship between three people who have never had a menage relationship before but find themselves falling in love with one another.

THE STORY: Sam Taylor and King Ulupoka are teammates on the Birmingham Rebels football team.  Sam is a war veteran with PTSD and guilt from the death of his comrades and hasn’t had sex with a woman since his return because he worries about his nightmares. King convinces Sam to break his celibacy and King agrees to stay in the room to make sure that Sam doesn’t have an episode.  The problem is finding a woman who would agree to such an arrangement.  The two end up meeting Jane Foster, an ER nurse who has been the “good girl” all her life.  When she meets Sam and King, she is attracted to both of them and decides to agree to their scheme to break her “good girl” mold. The night opens them all up to new possibilities.

OPINION: I really enjoyed this book. I really felt these three characters as they worked towards building a three way relationship. None of the characters had previously been in an menage relationship before and weren’t looking for that when the book begins.

Each character has their own journey in the book as the trio winds their way towards a satisfying relationship.  King is the most open to the idea of the menage. He is a big hearted friendly man.  He is the most open sexually to the idea based on his past experiences. But even King has to work out the idea of what are the proper boundaries of a relationship with three participants.

Sam is quiet and closed in. He is trying to work through his issues and he finds that King and Jane balance him in different ways.  While Sam has never had a relationship with a man, he begins to realize that his relationship with King is more than friendship. While Sam struggles with three problems (1) his PTSD and the fear that gives him for any relationship; (2) his attraction to King and (3) the menage.

Jane has her own struggles. She has classified herself as “good girl” and fears the idea of taking action that challenge that view of herself. Thus, even when she wants the menage relationship, she can’t contemplate being involve with such a public relationship with these two famous men. She ends up being the catalyst in the relationship and brings all three players together.

I thought the baby steps that these characters have to take in defining what they want in their relationship was interesting and more realistic. There are many issues they have to navigate between them and I liked seeing them have to think about and address how the relationship is going to work. I thought this book addressed the complications well.  The book could also be considered “beginners menage” and I liked seeing people work through the difficulties and complications.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is a true menage with MM, MMF and MF involved.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  JACKED UP is the third book in the Birmingham Rebels series.  This book can be read as a standalone but there are recurring characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-stars

Review: On Second Thought

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: On Second ThoughtOn Second Thought by Kristan Higgins
Series: Cambry-on-Hudson #2
Published by HQN Books on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 480
Goodreads

FINAL DECISION:  A book that focuses on two sisters experiencing the ending of the relationships and the birth of new ones, this book was interesting but the romance was definitely secondary.

THE STORY:  Kate finally has everything she has ever wanted except a child.  She and her new husband have been trying since their marriage and have hopes of having a child soon — then he husband dies in a freak accident on the night her stepsister expects to get engaged. Ainsley has been with her boyfriend for eleven years and expected to be with him forever — until the death of Kate’s husband convinces him to dump her. Now Kate and Ainsley are living together and their mutual grief and anger bring them together in a way they didn’t expect. Both also have other men in their lives step up and begin to develop a different romantic relationship.

OPINION:  I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a fan of so-called “women’s fiction” because I prefer books where the romance is central to the story.  While this book has romance (two of them) in it, I was left unsatisfied because I wanted to know more about the romance between the characters than either Kate or Ainsley’s personal journey.

That doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good.  It was well written and I really did enjoy it, but I wouldn’t read it again.  The central story in this book is Kate’s loss of her husband. Because the book begins before her husband’s death and takes her through her grieving process, her husband is a central part of the book.  This is Kate’s journey and I greatly appreciated that her journey was complex and multifaceted and addressed head on how one lives again after a loss.  The book was especially refreshing in that it doesn’t judge Kate for moving on — even if other do. It is all here..the grief, the anger, the denial, the desire to be normal and live again.  The emotions are messy and much remains unresolved.

For me, however, the complexity of these emotions meant that they overshadowed any romance between her and Daniel. Things between them felt like default. I liked him and liked his character, but I didn’t feel any intensity between them. Instead, it felt like any guy who had been there for her would have garnered the same response from her. I walked away from the book wondering if the two would even be together in a couple of years.

I really liked the story of Ainsley more and I wish there had been more resolution to her story. Ainsley is suffering when her boyfriend of eleven years dumps her, but that event opens her up to the possibility of a different guy. I thought that her feelings for her ex were resolved before she got involved so the romance felt less conflicted and I really got some connection between these characters.  Her romance was funny and sweet and my only wish is that I had gotten more.

This book is billed as two sisters who resolve their relationship.  But there really isn’t much to resolve between these two.  Yes, there was distance and the two were not particularly close, but there were no serious disagreements or problems between them.  Rather than being their story, I felt that Kate’s personal journey was the heart of this story and Ainsley had a supporting role (even though the book is told in alternating first persons).

Ultimately, the book is a serious look at grief and loss and living again, but not my favorite kind of book.  (I do want to note that I read Higgins previous book in this vein, IF YOU ONLY KNEW, and liked it much better).

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is really women’s fiction rather than romance although romance does play a part.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  This book is loosely connected to IF YOU ONLY KNEW as the two take place in the same town, Cambry-on-Hudson.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

Review: Baron

Review: BaronBaron (The Knickerbocker Club, #2) by Joanna Shupe
Series: The Knickerbocker Club #2
Published by Zebra on October 25th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 311
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  I liked the quirky heroine who is strong willed-independent and a survivor. She completely upends the ordered life of the hero who is a bit of a difficult character to like at first. Ultimately, I liked their romance but it was a bit of a trial for me to get there.

THE STORY:  The heir to old money William Sloane is a railroad baron who has decided to run for state government.  In order to protect his running mate, however, he has to cut the tie his running mate has with a medium Madam Zolikoff who William knows is a fraud. When William approaches Madam Zolikoff, he finds Ava Jones (who works under the pseudonym).  Ava is working as a medium in order to support her orphaned siblings. William is reluctantly intrigued by the spirited Ava even as he knows that he has to marry a woman of his own class; Ava is wary of William after having been burned by a man before.

OPINION:  I thought this novel had a new story to tell because of its setting and time.  The characters and situation felt fresh even as the cross-class story of a rich aristocratic man and lower class woman is familiar.  These characters and their situation was new.

Ava was my favorite in the book.  She is so strong and determined.  A woman who has carried a heavy burden of caring for her family, she has done well for herself. She knows she is skirting the edge of wrongdoing with her medium act, but she tries to be the most honest she can. I loved her relationship with her siblings and her fears and desperation when it comes for being responsible for them. I felt for her after her abandonment by her lover and understood her stances as she tries to balance her desires with her fears and her responsibilities.

Will was a more difficult character for me to like.  He was a jerk in the last book and he doesn’t start out much better here (actually, he might be worse).  Self-righteous, entitled, self-indulgent, he looks down on Ava from the start. As the story continues, I began to have, if not sympathy, then understanding of his actions.  By the end of the book, I felt he had changed enough to be worthy of Ava, but the time it took to get there diminished my interest in the book somewhat.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book has some fascinating history about the prevalence of spiritual mediums at the time and takes place amidst the corruption of Tammany Hall.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  BARON is the second book in the Knickerbocker Club series.  It can be read as a standalone although I recommend reading book 1 first just to learn more about the characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

three-half-stars

Review: Magnate

Review: MagnateMagnate (The Knickerbocker Club, #1) by Joanna Shupe
Series: The Knickerbocker Club #1
Published by Zebra on April 26th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 325
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  A romance between the birth rich heroine and a self-made man, this story is animated by the heroine’s own ambitions.  The characters are rich and interesting and I loved how these two slowly overcome their own inclinations.

THE STORY:  Emmett Cavanaugh is a self-made man who comes from the slums and has brought himself to the heights of wealth and influence. The one thing he has kept away from is useless society women until he is approached by Elizabeth Sloane.  Elizabeth knows that Emmett and her brother meet together and are friends.  She has taught herself to play the stock market and wants to back her in opening an investing company hoping to fix her family’s finances. Emmett, however, is not friends with Elizabeth’s brother at all.  Indeed, he decides to use Elizabeth to go after her brother and his company.

OPINION:  A book that has life because of its unique setting and characters.  The novelty of a book taking place in this era with characters of a more modern bent make all the situations interesting and new. A woman desiring to open her own business playing the stock market is not an everyday historical.

Elizabeth is a woman struggling against the expectations of history and her own status. Her brother wants her to have “expected” dreams — marriage, family and society events. Elizabeth desperately dreams for independence and self-determination. That desire makes her reckless in approaching Emmett and continuing to meet with him.

Emmett is a man who has made his fortune but resents those with inherited wealth. It leads him to misjudge Elizabeth and continue with his ill-conceived idea of ruining her brother. Yet, he is incredibly forward thinking in his view of what Elizabeth should be allowed to do.

I liked the interaction between these two and I totally fell for their romance.  The only negative for me was that the motivations of the characters became rather convoluted as Emmett and Elizabeth do some assuming about the other’s actions.

WORTH MENTIONING:  MAGNATE takes place during the Gilded Age in New York City.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  MAGNATE is the first full book in the Knickerbocker Club series.  There is a prequel novella, but this book can be read without it.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: For 100 Nights

Review: For 100 NightsFor 100 Nights (100 Series, #2) by Lara Adrian
on January 16th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“At times in these past few months we’ve been together, I’ve wondered if there are other scars he doesn’t allow me to see. I know there must be, because the broken parts of me recognize the fractures in him, even if he hasn’t permitted me close enough to touch them yet.”

FINAL DECISION:  A middle book that, for me, exceeded the first book in the series. Avery and Nick are navigating their broken parts in this series.  As Avery’s demons recede in this book, we are given an introduction to Nick’s secrets that end in a cliffhanger revelation.

THE STORY:  In the first book in the series FOR 100 DAYS, Avery Ross, struggling artist, agrees to apartment sit in a luxury apartment building.  There, she meets Dominic Baine, billionaire. The two begin a relationship although Avery is keeping secrets.  She allows Nick to believe that she is wealthy as well; Avery also is hiding the fact that her mother is in jail for killing her husband who raped Avery when she was sixteen.  After Avery’s secrets are revealed in FOR 100 DAYS, Nick demands that Avery give into him with complete trust for 100 Nights.  And thus this book begins. The two are now living together and Avery and Nick are drawing closer together although both still have secrets.

OPINION: I would like to get a preliminary matter out of the way.  This book is part of a trilogy which is about the same couple. I don’t take complaints about this fact seriously. Adrian is certainly allowed to construct her story in that manner.  There is nothing hidden about the construction of this story so potential readers should know what to expect.

This book picks up right where the prior book ends. Nick and Avery are engaged in a relationship and are now living together. Avery continues to have secrets from Nick. As the book proceeds, Avery gains in confidence and strength as a woman as this book continues until the revelation at the end.  She is now strong enough to be her own person.

In this book Nick becomes more concrete as a person and less mysterious.. His secrets begin to be unraveled as Avery draws closer to him and his world. This book humanizes him as he begins to reveal his emotional attachment to Avery and as his past is disclosed. In the first book, Nick appears as the stereotypical romantic billionaire with a dark and mysterious past, but in this book he truly gains his humanity as the story moves towards its conclusion.

This book continues the intense, sexy relationship between Nick and Avery but the story contains a sense of drama and plot moving forward. This book ended far too soon for me and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

If the first book of the series was about Avery and her problems, this book ends that arc and begins an exploration of Nick’s past.  It constitutes the connection between these characters and I expect that the final book in this trilogy will finally expose Nick’s secrets.

I liked this book better than the first in the series because I did feel that this book developed these characters further and because I can now see the outlines of where this story is going. My only reservation is that I have been burned before by these romance in various parts stories. I reserve the right to downgrade all these books if the ending is bad.  Because each of these books depends upon the other, each book is not complete in and of itself, no matter how much I liked the first two books, if it doesn’t end well, I will not be satisfied with what I have read so far.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book ends on the cliffhanger as the book is part of a trilogy.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  FOR 100 NIGHTS is the second book in the 100 trilogy about Avery and Nick.  The trilogy is all about their relationship and thus the books should be read together and in order.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: When All The Girls Have Gone

Review: When All The Girls Have GoneWhen All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz
Published by Berkley on November 29th 2016
Genres: Commentary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 304
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: This is a nice romantic suspense but not spectacular.  I liked the characters and there was good action but I probably wouldn’t pick it up again.

THE STORY:  Charlotte Sawyer is a social director for a retirement community.  Charlotte is careful, caution and risk adverse. She was just ditched by her “perfect” fiance. She receives a key and a note from a friend of her stepsister and finds out that her stepsister’s friend just died under somewhat strange circumstances.  Her own stepsister is unreachable at a “tech-less” retreat and when Charlotte comes to see what the note and key are for, she meets Max Cutler.  Max is a private investigator and former-profiler who has come to Seattle after his divorce to build a new life. Max is looking into the death. He and Charlotte partner up to investigate what is going on. The two find themselves in danger.

OPINION:  I enjoyed this book while reading it, but I didn’t feel that it had the power and memorability of many of Krentz’s books.  The romance was good and the suspense aspect was interesting with lots of twists, but I didn’t walk away thinking I would want to read this book again.

I liked the characters of Max and Charlotte.  They are grounded people who are both rebuilding their lives.  I thought that they had a good rapport.  I did feel the relationship between them grew naturally out of their interactions. I also enjoyed that they are both flawed and there isn’t any big drama between them.

The suspense story was twisty and although much of the story was revealed during the book, there were still surprises.  Things were not what they seemed to be. As I mentioned, I enjoyed this book but it wasn’t a story that I loved so much I would return to it again.

WORTH MENTIONING:  I think this book appears to be the beginning of a series.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  WHERE ALL THE GIRLS HAVE GONE is a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars