When Claire's grandfather and his army buddies converge in the Arizona desert to find new wives, it's her thankless job to keep them out of trouble with the opposite sex. But when she finds a human leg bone and partners with a reluctant geotechnician to dig up secrets from the past, trouble finds her. If she doesn't stop digging, she could wind up dead.
©2011 Ann Charles (P)2014 Ann Charles
Disclaimer: I received a free Audible download of this book from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this audiobook. To be honest, I was just happy to have one for “free.” I hadn’t heard of this author before, but I like mysteries, romance and love audiobooks. So I gave it a go.
The story has Claire and her grandfather Harley together in an RV park as a mystery unfolds around them. The author introduced an interesting cast of supporting characters. I have a soft spot for Manny, the Latin lover who is one of the two friends of Claire’s grandfather. I really enjoyed the fact that we got a story with an adult and her grandfather, which is not something I’ve often encountered.
Anne Charles did not let the reader wonder who the villain of the mystery was. There are times when it’s great to figure out along with the characters whodunit, but I liked this device of letting us know right away. It provided tension as I wondered just when they characters were going to figure it out.
As far as the narration itself, it was perfectly polished as if it had come from a major studio. The narrator had a great voice that immediately put me at ease so I knew I would enjoy spending 10 hours with her. She was deft at making the speaking of different people sound different enough so that there was never any question who might be speaking.
I will warn you that the main character of Claire is very loud. She’s louder than everyone else. That’s not a problem with the audio or production, but instead is a deliberate acting choice that seemed truly appropriate to Claire’s personality once I got to know her.
My only real criticism about the book is about the cover art, which looked very, very cheap. As a first point of contact, it doesn’t do the author any favors to get potential readers. It’s hard enough being an indie author without having a product that *looks* like it’s indie, too.
In summary, I really liked this story and these characters. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately wanted to dive into the next book and I already wonder who soon the narrator will have the book after that ready.
If anything in the summary intrigues you, give this a chance. Recommended.
I really enjoyed this book!! I have read other books by Ms Charles, and this is right on par with what I expected. She has a gift for crafting towns with lots of quirky fun characters, snarky leading ladies and yummy fellas!
I love Claire and her relationship with her grandfather, hid cronies and his dog! It is so much fun to read her. I found myself laughing out loud more than once. Because she is so likeable, I was willing to forgive her too stupid to live moments. She has gumption, that's for sure.
Enter the tall dark and studly love interest, Mac. He is a serious sort of guy, but still knows how to have a little fun. The dynamic between the two is great. The banter is rather like a well played ping pong match. He is just the sort of solid thinker she needs to help her out of all the jams she is sure to fall into.
The book is a mixed narrative, giving both leads and the villain's POV. Okay, after you read her for a bit you find the villain isn't all that bad. She is kind of likeable, the killing and stealing aside. I was kinda hoping for a solution that would make things work out for everybody.
There is a but of heat in the story. Loads of chemistry and flirtation lead to some smexy scenes. More closed bedroom than detailed. Plenty of illusions to what occurred but not the down and dirty blow by blow.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Lisa Larsen, who is fabulous! I loved her swift pace and all the energy she puts into the read. Great voices and smooth transitions from character to character. I will definitely be looking for more of her reads.
I adore all the supporting characters, they are hilarious!! The book flew by and I am eager to see what happens next in the series!! I hope we see more of Jackrabbit Junction!!
Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
Say something about yourself!
This is a start of a fun new series. The execution of the plot makes it irritating read. For instance, why would a woman pick up a bone, in an area littered with bones, and become so fixated that this particular one is human? The action is precipitate by an RV park owner needing to sell her land and someone deciding that it would be an offensive to disturb the resting place of their grandmother.
The saving grace of the book is the relationship between the characters. Claire is an intelligent woman in her thirties, has never been married, had a career and a perpetual college student. She has a history not being able to commit to a relationship or any project. The one person who has always had faith in her was her grandfather. Unbeknownst to her grandfather, she is going to find some way to advert the excavation of a mine.
How does someone (Claire) have the nerve to interfere with a practical stranger selling land because Claire’s grandmother is buried on the land.? The author did not give a second consideration to moving the body.
All the action takes place in a trailer is park for geriatric swingers. The most entertaining folks are Harley, Claire’s grandfather, his posse and of course the dog Henry Ford. The fun involves Viagra jokes, honey old man, Claire blocking Harley’s girlfriend action and of course her bumbling around.
My personal pet peeves:
• The use of the harlequin plot. I am not attraction to him or her, I find their eyes, body smells etc. draws me to them. Then an innocent touch between them and the two people are swallowing each other’s tongues and pledging their lives together.
• The author lays out clues and never use them. Remember missing nail.
• Claire’s reason for interfering with the sale of the mine is never shared.
Once I accepted the premise that execution of the plot was amateurish, I was able to enjoy the characters. Because Claire is so likable, I was willing to forgive her too stupid to live moments but not the author poor plot execution.
I will try to next book, only if it on sale. If the plot is as poorly executed as this one, I will be finished with the series.
Who knows? I listened instead of reading the book. Reading you can go right back to a spot you missed but audio you have to rewind but you still get involved in the story as long as it's interesting.
The grandpa and his buddies cracking jokes.
I liked the narrator and the book itself was pretty good.
Yes I would listen to this book again. I liked the narrator, she read smoothly and paced herself well. The narrator made the different characters sounded different, I could tell who was talking the whole time. The story was fun and kept me engaged. I look forward to listening to the next books in the series.
I liked the romance in this book. It was a very "realistic" relationship. They had all the great tension between the two characters. It was fun, I just wish they could go on a date so they could get to know each other!
My favorite character was Harley's friend, the perverted old man. He was really funny and kept the book lively.
Best tagline for this book turned movie:
Dance of the Winnebagos: A Jackrabbit Junction Mystery: The smallest towns have the dirtiest secrets
I received a free audiobook in exchange for writing a review.
This book is fun! It has a little of everything: romance, action, mystery. The main characters were relatable, very down to earth. The author captured the essence of the small town vibe: quirky people, everyone knowing everyone, etc. Some parts of the book included a little too much middle school vocabulary for my liking, but it kept things interesting. The reader had such a lovely and clear voice. I look forward to finishing the series!
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