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5.0 out of 5 starsNo smut!!!
Reviewed in the United States on October 30, 2016
Great book! No smut, plenty of action and mystery. I will read it again and follow it up with another book by Pamela Hutchins.
1.0 out of 5 starsWarning! Cliffhanger - and the book isn't all that good anyway
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2018
I hate, hate, hate cliffhangers. If an author can't figure out how to write an ending to the book, he/she should stop writing anything until he/she figures it out. Take a course in creative writing, maybe. If the author intentionally writes cliffhangers, SHAME! It's a cheat, and I always feel cheated when I read one. I never read anything else by an author who does this. If the book isn't good enough to make a reader want to read another book by that author, then a cheating "non-ending" won't do anything except make the reader more determined not to read any more by that author. This book wasn't all that great in the first place, but I struggled on through it, just to be really aggravated at the end.
Heaven to Betsy is Book 5 of the series What Doesn't Kill You. Jack is a lawyer in Amarillo and is part American Indian. He hires Emily as a paralegal. She has returned to her hometown to wait out her divorce from a gay man. Jack is a very mysterious character and Emily has a hard time trying to figure him out as does the reader. There are lots of twists, no sex and some violence. I gave it only three stars as it has a non-ending which is my favorite peeve. Otherwise I enjoyed the story and would recommend it.
The plot of this book meanders awhile before I settled in & started enjoying it. Emily isn't a character I was comfortable with for awhile. She isn't unlikable, & I loved her strength, I'm a strong woman also. And like her I was brought up in a small town so understood her annoyance at everyone knowing her business! I loved the way the author captured the essence of small towns church, whether you want to go or not, & strong work ethic. Small towns are not easy for the disabled you better have a disability that is easily seen. Anyone who isn't considered normal meaning straight is going to get a lot of unwanted advice on how to overcome this affliction. Above all else everyone must look alike! If you want to dress differently, like Nadine, you better be just as offhand & strong as she was.
I hope in the preceding books we will learn more about Nadine & the gay social worker he is great! My only doubt was the instant bonding Emily had with him. There didn't seem to be anytime for them to get to know each other yet he acts like they have known each other forever. Other then this the characters are interesting & well written. The plot length was lengthy & deservedly so. The author layers the plot piece by piece & I began, as I got more interested in the book, to not be able to put it down.
I loved how the author didn't beat you over the head with the spirituality found in the book. I don't know of anyone who doesn't look to the sky & pray when times get tough or before they do apologize for not talking to God a lot before they ask what they need! So real I had to smile at that & I loved the American Indian spirit invading her dreams showing her the way. I really wish there had been more of this in the book. Hopefully book 2 will broaden this part of the story it is a natural addition given the story is set in New Mexico. And I liked the rodeo & horses added in great mixture!
All in all this author bakes a great cake from scratch!
5.0 out of 5 starsHeaven to Betsy (Emily 1) - a review by Rosemary Kenny
Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2018
The eponymous 'Heaven' is the State of New Mexico, which MC Emily Bernal lives halfway to, aka Texas, at the start of the amazing Pamela Fagan Hutchins' book, Heaven to Betsy, a What Doesn't Kill You World Romantic Mystery winner you won't want to miss!
Having moved to Amarillo in search of a different career, away from her newly 'out' ,(courtesy of his transvestite lover, Stormy) soon-to-be-ex-husband, Rich and her judgmental mother, (who believes 'gayness' can be 'cured' through prayer and intervention), Emily finds work as a paralegal for sexy lawyer Jack Holden. He keeps a different kind of secret to Emily, but one that affects his way of life too. On her way to work, Emily is shocked by having a murder victim fall almost on top of her. She's even more shocked when the murderer is allegedly an illegal immigrant. Sophia's daughter Valentina is missing - held as hostage to force her Mom to commit the crime! Jack's given the case, but nobody seems interested in the missing child, Emily (unhappily pregnant by Rich, before he dumped her), takes it on herself to come to the desperate mother's aid and find the girl...but what will she have to go through before that happens? Read the wonderful Heaven to Betsy to find out - it's a heart-melting story that will make you want to read more of Ms Hutchins' tales - you'll love them all!
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent read and of course I love Texas Women
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2019
Honestly I held my breath when I first started reading...was it going to be a weak diddy or hold my interest test (which can be tuff sometimes). The author was able to carry the plot and keep my interest. Truthfully the story leaped at points leaving gaps for your mind to fill in. Luckily this was no severe. From my editing education and years experience....there are some gaps left even tho the story is over. is this because it is a series? Or a fault...I wish I could ask. But the story is enjoyable, light and heavy in subject. My heart is touched on the personal issues...a rare disorder caused me to loose 8 and left me unable to have children. it took 20 years of genetic mysteried to figure out why and explain my constant illness...so the author ripped my heart...sorry spoiler. I wonder if the frustration is on purpose...to make you feel that of the main character...if so good job. There are a few sharks jumped and then wrapped up in a 3 minute story line....I wish authors would take it slower....you write a great book and do a quick vomit of the ending. Yet I have enough faith I will pay and read the next one.
3.0 out of 5 starsMust read, kept me going for hours
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 17, 2017
I got this as a freebie and, to be honest, I wasn't that hopeful. Two chapters in and I was hooked on a gritty lady trying to survive. By the end of the book I have decided that I need to get the first 4 in the series, hoping that they are even close to as good as this one. I thought that the characters were good, the mother was suitably irritating and most of the others were solidly built and developed nicely. The ADA was a bit of a pain, but then so are people in real life. I enjoyed working the strings out and deciding who was doing what and laughing at the story and my mis-guesses. I really enjoyed this, it's light enough to read quickly but deep enough to make you think. Highly recommended and one of the few 5 star reviews I've given
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2019
Pleased to meet you Emily! I’ve enjoyed your company, sympathised with your problems, chuckled at your faux pas, winced at your bad luck and pain and drooled along with you at secretive lawyer Jack of the single dimple. Fun dialogue, drama and a dash of heartache made this a winning read for me. I dropped lucky for a free copy from Amazon and have bought the next two - because Emily, I have to find out how life pans out for you.
I loved the characters, the storyline was strong with humour & romance sprinkled throughout but not over done either.. The main character, Emily, is a fascinating character. I found her to be realistic & believable. It's a light enough read, perfect for a summers evening read.
I liked Emily, a strong, gritty lady. The story is based on a serious theme, but is handled with care to make an entertaining read. There is some romance between Emily and Jack which is one for the romantics, including me.
The main storyline, centred on people trafficking, is strong, well developed, and persuasive in its grittiness. It is set into sharp relief by the two subplots, in which Emily, the first person narrator, is both a loser and a winner. There are some self-indulgent passages, particularly towards the end with a lengthy chase sequence, but overall it moves at a cracking pace and raises some serious issues.