BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sizzling PR Blog Tour: Review of Thicker Than Water by Sharon K Owens


Series: Brands Crossing Series #1
Release Date: July 7, 2011
Buying Links: Amazon

Book Blurb (from goodreads):

As a child, KATE O'DONNELL spends summers at her grandparents' estate in Brands Crossing, Texas where she and her girl cousins confronted make-believe monsters, rescue endangered victims and a save a mythical kingdom. 

At twenty-five Kate is a singer/songwriter living in Nashville and pursuing a promising relationship with computer game designer PHILLIP NORWOOD. There, her only battles are fought in Aidenne's Revenge, Phillip's online fantasy game based on her childhood adventures. 

With her grandfather's sudden death from injuries he sustained in a suspicious car crash, Kate is forced to make a choice. Will she remain in Nashville to focus on Phillip and her music career? Or will she move back to Brands Crossing and honor the promise she made to her grandfather that she would investigate the mystery surrounding his death? 

Family trumps career and romance and Kate heads back to Texas where the monsters, victims and endangered kingdoms are all too real. 

In an attempt to protect Kate from danger, Phillip joins her quest and helps her search for incriminating documents, investigate a centuries-old family feud and confront an anonymous rose-bearing admirer who stalks Kate in both real and virtual universes. 

Thicker Than Water is the first in a series of novels set in Brands Crossing, Texas. It chronicles the lives of the Kincaids, a prominent family in this mythical town, and focuses on a mystery that extends back to the mid-eighteenth century and the young Texas Republic.


"Merveilleux. I always rest more ... comfortably when I know you watch over ma petit-fille. I'm sure Katy does as well."

Phillip wasn't sure Kate would agree with the last remark but he didn't argue. "You mentioned something about Kate moving back to Texas Is that still the plan?"

"But yes, she has been invited into the doctoral studies at Cedars University. Did she not tell you of that?"

"No." Philip winced at the reminder that Kate no longer shared every event in her life with him. "She didn't mention it."

"Well, she has been busy and you have been in California. No?" After a significant pause, she continued, "I expect she will accept and arrive home this summer. Have you, perhaps, shared with her your own interest in relocation?"

My Thoughts:

This review was hard to write. I liked much of the story but there were some parts of the story that I had problems with and there were mechanical errors - formatting, spelling, mixed up sentences, etc.  Yet, the story kept pulling me in and held me until the end.

I received a PDF and had it converted to read on my Kindle. The first 10-15% of the book was very clean, only a few errors, but then they began to accumulate. I kept highlighting passages and noting "check PDF". Most of the ones that I did check were also in the PDF but happily some of the worst ones were the result of the conversion process. The book would be clean for pages at a time then there would be another crop of grammar and spelling pronlems. The accumulation of all of the typos, missed words, doubled words, etc was annoying and distracted me at times from the story. Some examples:
It confirmed his belief that Miss Isabelle's still had suspicions about her husband's crash.
But it was much better than being suited up in some glassed-in, shoebox boardroom with piped-in heat, music and air freshener, Polishing off a Dos Equis, he leaned back in his chair. 
When, in final desperation, she keyed up a Bach Concerto and opened the Thomas Harris novel.
My grandparents have an appointment Monday you're your lawyer to sign the final papers. 
I like the premise and was looking forward to the book - romance, friends to lovers, mystery, music - all of which I like in my stories. It started out well and I was cruising along, then the typos, etc started and then Phillip started creeping me out. I wondered for a while if he was the stalker. Kate had a crush on Phillip when they first met years ago, but he wasn't interested and they became friends. Now he's interested in her but doesn't admit it. She finds herself attracted to him again but they keep misreading each others cues and think the other is not interested. At first, I enjoyed watching them figure out the changes in their feelings but I got tired of the constant misunderstandings. I really didn't like Phillip's attitude, and behavior, which seemed to border on stalkerish - he inserts himself into her career plans and begins arranging things without telling her, he tries to discourage her from attending graduate school because it doesn't suit his plans (if he talked to her and discussed his concerns, that would have been fine, but he acts as if it's up to him what she does with her life), he sells his house, packs and moves to another city to be near her without telling her or discussing it with her, etc. But, he was the good guy, not the official stalker of the book. Eventually, he does back off somewhat, and I end up liking him again.

At first, Owen keeps us in the dark as to the identity of the "official"stalker but I guessed it about halfway through. I didn't figure out, however, the why of the other mystery in the book. That pretty came out of left field, Owen kept us in the dark for most of the book as to what was at stake and why everything was happening, and the hints as to the people responsible were pretty much non-existent.

And yet, I was sucked into the book quickly and read it in just a couple sittings. I liked Kate, liked her cousin Claire (she's the female lead in the next book, "Whatever Goes Around"), really disliked her overbearing, condescending brother Gordon, and hope that Mick makes an appearance (or is the male lead) in a future book. The familial relationships were realistic and interesting, and the pace of the story was brisk but not rushed. Despite the problems, I enjoyed the story and want to read the next one.

I received a PDF for review.

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