My Review: Overall.... 4.50 Performance... 4.50 Story.... 4.50
Wow...what a great start to this series. This book was incredible...Show More » I started out listening to it on audio and then couldn't stand the time to wait to listen to the last 20% of the book and switched to the Kindle version...love that whispersync option!
This is the first book in the J.J. Graves mystery series. J.J. is a doctor who had to come home to run her parent's funeral home after they suddenly died in a car crash. Because of budget cuts, she's also the county's coroner which often puts her working with her best friend, Jack, who's the sheriff. Bloody Mary is a small town mysterious deaths aren't a common occurrence...until this book begins.
I love J.J. and how real she feels. She's unhappy with her situation, but is stuck. ..she even fantasizes about completely disappearing from her life, but her friendship with Jack is the one thing keeping her anchored. Their relationship was awesome. I love how they truly are best friends. He knows it's been 4 years since she had sex. She knows about every one of his many, many sexual exploits. They are close....so close...and that friendship and camaraderie made this book such a good read. I especially loved how jealous he got of Brody...hmm, interesting, wasn't it?
I'll admit, this book kept me guessing until the very end. I knew it could go one of two ways and it went one of them which is so heartbreaking for J.J. It will be interesting to see how the twists and turns at the end of the book play out for the series. Lots of things that were hinted at that are still unresolved that I can see will play out probably over several books here. I can't wait to find out and immediately went and downloaded both audio and kindle versions of book #2 as soon as I finished this one. I can't wait to start it today!
I like this series. I really really do. It has many faults and flaws, but manages to be charming and fun to read. I am always eager for the next book...Show More »
JJ Graves is a really intriguing woman. She has to work hard to over come her PTDS in this book. I like that she wasn't just fine after her near death experience, it gave her a greater sense of reality. She has more depth in this book and warms up on the emotional front as well. She is still engaging and dynamic. I love her playful relationship with Jack. They make a great couple and I really hope they stay together. Having been friends since diapers makes for a real connection between the characters. I felt the love more in this book than the last.
The romance is kicked up in this book. That bedroom door opens up more than a crack!! Still not a full on smexy erotic read, but more detailed than a squeaky clean romance. They are very playful in and out of the bedroom. My favorite type of relationship!
The mystery this time has underlying Aryan Nation themes. It is more on a solvable level, there are loads of holes and missing info still, but I was able to determine real suspects. I really enjoyed the twists and turns in the read. It was a stead pace for the action and details were doled out in a timely manner.
The narration is all from JJ's POV, which makes things limited when it comes to understanding other's thoughts and motivations. You don't know what the supporting characters think until they speak their thoughts.
I think there is inconsistency in the way JJ views her relationship with the towns people and what happens. In both this book and the last the people seem to treat her more as a beloved orphan they need to look out for. With the exception of a few people, the townsfolk rally around her and are meddling in the ways of ones who love not hate. I am not sure how she gets the impression they do not like her, I get the exact opposite from comments ad actions.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Laura Faye Smith, who is rapidly becoming a favorite. She does a great job of adding snark and sass to her tone that fits the characters. She does a brilliant job with the rapid fire narration and dialogue. I love a quick read and she delivers speed without losing any quality. Great voices that are distinct and consistent, very important when the dialogue ping pongs and you need to follow who is speaking.
Overall, this is a really intriguing series. The characters and banter go a long way in making the read enjoyable. Even with the issues that come up in the story line, I can't stop listening! The flaws are so easy to overlook because the book is very charming and charismatic. I am definitely addicted and need my next fix! Holy cliffhanger at the end of this one!! Way to drop a bomb!
2. Didn't have to suffer page after page of sexy imagery about how hot some chic was.
Nor..Show More »mally in stories like this, authors go beyond the call of duty by providing in great detail how tight her little bum is, how beautiful she is and she should be a model, or her flawlessly put together her breasts are. Ugh! If I was into chics, all that would be awesome. But my attraction falls towards men, so a little equal opportunity in the sexy imagery department would be nice. Well, this story had none of that non-sense.
3. The relationship between the heroines felt real.
4. I very much liked most of the characters.
5. The narrator gave an exceptional performance!
6. The story was fast paced laced in action and suspense to the very end.
7. This is definitely a good read or a great narration to sit back to and enjoy!
I forgot what an amazing story teller Ms. Hart is!
My Review: Overall.... 4.0 Performance... 4.5 Story.... 3.5
I've enjoyed all of this series on audiobook because Laura Faye Smith..Show More » does an incredible job with J.J. and Jack. I love both these characters and what they each bring to the table in their romantic relationship and their working relationship.
But this book had a few issues...
Note: the cover and story description on this book is TOTALLY wrong. Yes, J.J. and Jack are on the cusp of their wedding, but nothing about the corpse on the cover or the body in the rose garden in the description is right. It's like Liliana Hart wrote an entirely different book, scrapped it, and then rushed to come up with this version. Really odd.
While I thought the suspense was well-done overall (I knew where it was leading for who did it, but couldn't figure out how all the details fit together), it needed more at the end. I had to stop listening to the audio with 15 minutes left and was sure the audiobook wasn't going to be complete (I've had that happen once before) because there was no way to wrap everything up in that amount of time. It was wrapped up, but it wasn't done to the level that I've come to expect from Liliana Hart's novels.
There was a black moment in the novel that seemed to be just thrown in there because that's the way you're supposed to write a book...that's the formula. But it was completely out of the blue, didn't even make sense, and then was resolved with hardly any effort. WTF?
Despite all of these issues, I did still enjoy listening to this audiobook. Like I said before, Laura Faye Smith does brilliant narration. There were sweet moments between J.J. and several of the characters and watching her struggle to balance her job and her prep for the wedding was entertaining as always.
But I understand this is supposed to be the final main book in the series. What about J.J.'s father? What was on those flash drives? There's some discussion of that between her and Ben, but it's not complete. Matilda got fried in the crash....were the flash drives fried too? That tiny epilogue for the wedding...I needed MORE. :( I'm just sad that it feels like Liliana Hart rushed this one to publish when it wasn't quite ready yet....especially if it's the final book.