Just discovered this series. If you like reading about strong female lead characters who have a habit of unintentionally finding dead bodies, then try to solve the crime, this is your series. It is sort of a mix of Stephanie Plum and Hannah Swensen, to name two other similar female leads (authors Evanovich and Fluke, respectively).
I liked the pace, the who unknown, the side cast, and the twists. Book one is out now, book two will be released in early June 2016. I liked Swimsuit Body more, but Bones and Roses is good too. I also recommend reading in order, so the side stories make sense and don’t ruin a previous book.
This is the first book I read by Brenda Novak, but it will not be the last. Novak presents a complex story of familial relationships gone sour. Maisey is the youngest daughter of a very cold, domineering mother and a more easygoing father. Unfortunately, he passed away when Maisey was just a girl, and her mother did not seem to make any effort to show extra affection towards her or her older brother. As a result, when Maisey is an adult she leaves home, intent on never returning. However, life had other plans and Maisey finds herself returning to the family homestead, beaten down by upsetting circumstances, primarily the death of an infant daughter, a divorce from an unfaithful husband, the inability to do her work, and the unsuccessful suicide attempt by her brother, Keith.
Upon her return, Maisey faces her past and her future with a clarity previously unseen. She begins to mend the relationship with her mother, helps her brother figure out his demons, while rediscovering her motivations and purpose. Along the way, she gets reinvolved with a man, Rafe, she knew more than ten years earlier.
I liked many aspects of this story. There is the mystery of whether or not Maisey and Keith had an older sister, the dynamics of her immediate family’s influence and interaction, and the budding romance with Rafe. The pace is quick, though the plot is slower. The first portion of the book is largely devoted to setting up the different events of the relationships of the main character. As a result, the plot takes a while to move to the title point. However, once Novak introduces this point, it goes very fast, and ends with a great conclusion. I really felt for all the main characters, as each had to overcome different trauma in order to move forward. I have already recommended the book to friends, as I think they will enjoy the story. Another reviewer stated this book is the first in a new series, and I hope that is true. I would enjoy revisiting Maisey, while learning more about other characters on the island where she lives.
Filed under fiction, romance
Here are some authors and titles I have read that have at times, made it hard to sleep with the lights off.
Lisa Gardner, DD Warren series. Begins with Alone, though the first one I read was The Neighbor. Some plots are quite intense; I have both read and listened to the series and truly enjoy both methods of getting the story.
Kate White, the Bailey Weggins series. Begins with If Looks Could Kill. White is a former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and has a good way with words. I liked the earlier books in the series better, but I will continue to read them, as I enjoy reading about Bailey’s character development.
Invisible City (Rebekah Roberts Novels) by Julia Dahl. Impressive debut.
Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown are both known for romance books. Yet each writes excellent stand alone novels too, that have good mysteries, red herrings, and that unexpected character who turns out to be good or evil, but never what the reader anticipated.
The Preservationist by Justin Kramon. Quite creepy. Will make parents think twice about who their daughter dates.
Someone Is Watching by Joy Fielding. Just not sure who to trust; the book has a lot of curveballs and all is not revealed till the very end.