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Publisher's Summary

A musical career in the making. A murdered childhood friend. One chance to catch the killer. 

Ava dreams of building a better life for her daughter through her island pop songs. Her new temp job leads to a once-in-a-lifetime shot at a record deal, but before she can pack her bags for New York, she discovers a dead body outside her office building. Horrified, Ava recognizes the murdered sex worker as her childhood friend. 

The single mother finds herself torn between pursuing her life’s passion or justice for her murdered friend. When another friend is killed, she worries the deaths are connected to a shared trauma that she’s been running from her whole life. After dumping her cop boyfriend, she realizes the pain she keeps locked inside could be sabotaging her shot at lasting love. Before Ava can move on to a bright future in music, she must confront the truth behind her dark past to catch the murderer or she'll be next on his kill list. 

Bombshell is the first audiobook in Ava’s trilogy within the What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery saga. If you like sexy single moms, shocking suspense, and journeys of self-empowerment, then you’ll love Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ award-winning series. 

Buy Bombshell to get into the rhythm with a fast-paced pop murder mystery today.

©2017 Pamela Fagan Hutchins (P)2018 Pamela Fagan Hutchins

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the Narration

The narration on the book, with the Caribbean accent (when appropriate), gave this book the little extra something special to the book. The book had a great story line, although I do feel as if the main character, Ava, maybe could have been portrayed a little different (not so much as a whole, a mother that rather party than spend time with her baby, mooching off of her parents, having an abortion, sleeping with best friends brother, and possibly even hit on best friends husband (mentioned first part of book).....really puts a black light on her morals and ethic), however, I suppose then if the main character would have changed, then we would not have the story that we do have. I also did not enjoy the author talking negative about our current president-it was distasteful and lacked grace. Political opinions are best left to ones self

I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Enjoyable Audiobook Experience for a Newbie

This was my first time listening to an Audiobook and I would say that I found it to be fairly enjoyable. I thought it was entertaining and pretty well written, and her use of different characters made it interesting. The story had a good mixture of humor, drama, and suspense/ mystery.
The author does a great job of transporting us to the fictional island of Marcos . Some sections of the book were very vivid in describing the atmosphere and I truly felt like I was transported and could visualize the scene. I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of character development outside of Ava and maybe we’ll see more in the future books that are part of the trilogy. She also did a good job interweaving different subplots into story.
At times, I had to replay certain sections to fully comprehend what was going on as not to get lost in the development of the mystery. It did take some extra attention, especially in the beginning to figure out the direction of book due to so many characters introduced into the first chapters.
The narrator, Chante McCormick did a wonderful job bringing characters to life. She was able to do the different accents quite well and make the experience more vivid. The book got a special boost from this narration and helped to keep my interest.
The main character Ava wasn’t the most saintly of women and definitely had her shortcomings. I tried not to be too judgmental and thought there are women out there in society that do fit this bill. I looked at her as a colorful character that contributed to storyline. Never a dull moment when she was around.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Sassy Female Sleuth in the Carribean

Bombshell is the ninth book in the “What Doesn’t Kill You” romantic mystery series by Pamela Fagan Hutchins and also the first book of three with Ava Butler as the main character. Ava is a single Mum who has returned to the Carribean island of St. Marcos after breaking up with a boy-friend in the States. She is now living with her parents, working a temp job, and singing in bars at night. When she comes across the body of a murdered woman, who she recognizes from her childhood, Ava becomes embroiled in a dangerous mystery.

The premise of this sounded really exciting and I enjoyed the unique Caribbean island setting. The mystery aspects were intriguing and the plot quite complex. My problem was the protagonist. Bombshell is presented from Ava’s first-person point of view. I don’t usually need likable characters to enjoy a story but I found Ava very difficult to warm up to. She came across as extremely self-centered, was using people, and treating everyone rather badly. I know she’s meant to be this sassy, sexy, and outwardly confident woman, but a lot of her behavior rubbed me the wrong way.

I haven’t listened to any of the other books in this series. This worked fine as a standalone, although there were a couple of instances where I thought I would have probably felt more engaged if I had further background information on some of the characters and their history with each other.

This was a fantastic book to devour in audio format. Ava regularly switches from Carribean dialect to American, and the narrator, Chanté McCormick, absolutely killed it with her superb reading. She enhanced the story to no end with her wonderful changes of accents and her wide range of voices. She made a rather average story into an enjoyable listening experience for me.

So while Ava certainly stands out from other heroines in romantic mysteries, which was good, my dislike for her ultimately made it difficult to care about her or become fully invested in the plot. Bombshell is advertised as a romantic mystery, but I wouldn’t really describe anything that happened as particularly romantic.

Overall, this was ok, but I’m not sure I want to spend any more time with Ava. However, I would certainly want to listen to Chanté McCormick again.

There were no issues with the production of the audio.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

The Narrator was the Bomb, the Story not so much.

Unfortunately, this book did not go the way I expected. The narrator asked me to provide an honest review for this title. I was hesitant at first but the things that influenced my decision were the protagonist is a West Indian woman and the genre a romantic mystery.

The story took me days to get through. I put it down several times before finally completing it. I enjoyed a few aspects but unfortunately; the issues overshadowed them.

I enjoyed the mystery arc. It took a while to develop, but when it did, it was exciting, twisty and unpredictable. I could never figure out who the villain’s identity and when it was revealed it was a jaw dropping moment.

My issues lay in:

1. The protagonist: Sadly, I did not like Ava. I had difficulty connecting with her. I found her to be shallow and self-centered. I especially did not like how she treated the man she claimed to love. Even her relationship with her parents seemed forced. I also had issues with her interaction with her daughter. From what I saw, she barely spent time with her, always leaving her with parents while she goes about gratifying her desires.


2. The portrayal of the book: The book is advertised as a romantic mystery. Well, I am still waiting for the romantic element of this story. There was absolutely no romance. I do not consider Ava’s hookups with her ex and Samuel, her co-worker romantic.


3. Pacing: The slow pacing made it difficult to get through the story. Majority of the story focused on Ava’s job, her interaction with Samuel and her struggles with Colin, the guy she recently dumped. It was not until around the sixty percent mark that the story improved where the pacing and the mystery were concerned.

Narration
I thought Chante McCormick did a great job with the narration. For someone who is not from the West Indies, she captured the accent and the island patois well. I loved how she seamlessly switched between the West Indian and American accent. I loved the voices she used for the characters, which helped to make listening to the story bearable.

Conclusion/Recommendation
The story received quite a few rave reviews, but I am in the minority. It did not work for me. It is book 9 in the What Doesn’t Kill You Romantic Mystery series and the first book in the Ava trilogy, but it can be read as a stand-alone. I am not sure if I will continue the trilogy, but I may try the books from the other series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hmmn.

The main character is frustrating. Selfish, self-absorbed and has no insight into her own character deficits. She doesn’t treat anyone around her well and frankly, doesn’t deserve much of anything that goes well for her. She uses sex as much as possible and then laments when men treat her as an object. I sincerely hope that no one uses this character as a judge of what island women are really like.
The only redeeming quality was the narrator. She flows into her characters easily and transports from the island to American accent/culture well. I’ll be looking for more of her narrations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dee
  • LA
  • 07-08-18

The narrator killed it!

This is my first book by McCormick and I sincerely enjoyed it. She slipped so easily into her island dialect and was quick to switch to the other character's. Her narration was like a one-woman theatrical performance and is what took center stage with this listen.

The story was just okay. I absolutely did not like Ava. She was a tad selfish (and over-sexed) and I just did not care to be in her head. (I can't believe how she kept saying she needed to do something for her kid and was constantly palming said kid off to be babysat.) I was constantly struggling to keep listening since this book was told from Ava's POV. If not for the narrator. I would have stopped.

The other books in this series did not have Ava as the main protagonist. I hope this is the last.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

WOWSA! Ava is a whirlwind!

WOWSA. Bombshell is the ninth book in the What Doesn’t Kill You series by Pamela Fagan Hutchins (and the fourth for me), and it’s the first of three books in the Ava stories. Now back to the WOWSA. Ava is a fabulous (and fabulously flawed) character and there is a lot of train wrecks going on to keep you engaged. But be warned: there are graphic scenes that have left scars on my face from the heat! Use headphones!

“Repression is my friend. And no, I don’t let anyone blame women for the bad things men do.”

If you like your characters flawed, then Ava is your gal. In Ava’s world, there are a whirlwind of plots and sub-plots and side-stories galore. Based on the other books I have read in this series (all the Emily books), I think the chaos of lives fully lived must be a trademark of Hutchins’s stories. And let’s face it: the chaos of living is very realistic thing. I mean, who do I know (self included) that doesn’t have a million things happening in her life? A million fires to put out? Doesn’t deal with “when it rains it pours” on a regular basis? No one. That’s why even though Ava is about as different from me as can be, she’s still me in a lot of ways. It makes reading Bombshell feel more personal.

Bombshell is categorized as “romantic mystery,” but I don’t think that’s quite right. While the ending of the book hints at a romance to come, the relationships in Bombshell are far from my definition of romantic. They are more about lust than love and pining for someone other than the person you’re getting nasty with doesn’t qualify as romance. As for the mystery label? Maybe. The murderer is obvious early on; however, another story branches off, and it may or may not be related to the murders, so there is some mystery there and plenty of suspense. An interesting addition to the story is a paranormal element: the influence and ghost of Annalise, who returns from the first books in the series.

Author Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes characters and scenes that feel authentic and jump from the page. Her descriptions of the island of St. Marcus, the island life, and the rich cast of characters put readers right in to the setting. Everything in the story is there for a reason, and that’s one thing I have enjoyed in reading Hutchins’s books. Bombshell is no different, but a scene with an intentional political statement felt awkward and unnecessary (though I did enjoy the jab) plus including a specific current event will date the book.

“I spent an idyllic Saturday with my daughter and parents, and that s--t is hard work.”

I don’t love Ava, but Hutchins made me feel invested in her. I want Ava to do better and be better; I want her to stop sweeping everything aside to deal with later; I want her to take care of her child and her parents. By the end of Bombshell, there are indications some of what I want for Ava might happen, but there is a lot that is unresolved and even unrealistic. Given this is just the first of the three Ava books (Stunner and Knockout are the others), and despite Bombshell ending with a sorta-feel-good scene, there’s no way there aren’t going to be sparks and tension and messes to come that will likely entice me back to the series. (Just with a good set of headphones and a fan.)

ABOUT THE NARRATION. At first, I was thrown by the narration by Chante McCormick. I had expectations of how Ava would sound (based on her appearance in the Emily audio books), so I had to sync with the new voice. As always, I found the pace too slow and I listened at 1.25x and even 1.5x at times. I really enjoyed McCormick’s smooth transitions into the Caribbean patois of Ava and other characters. There wasn’t a clear pattern for when Ava spoke in island voice – sometimes her internal monologue/narration/dialogue was in plain ol’ American English and other times it was island English – but it was always fun to hear and reinforced the setting. There are a few odd pronunciations, but overall, I’d say McCormick was an excellent choice for narrating a complicated person’s life and stories.

Thank you to Audiobookworm Promotions for allowing me to adopt this book for review in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

ENTERTAINING STORY....

I thought it was a good entertaining story - I don't care much for the political stuff mentioned in here, nor the sex, but aside from that (haha) I thought the story itself was good. I thought the narrator did a great job, and I did feel for the character, Ava, with all her struggles. I would be interested in reading other works from this author, but without the political jabs. Overall, it's a good book and loved the narration! :)
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful