Series: Rogue River Novellas #1
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* |
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Blurb from goodreads:
In a small town like Solitude, Oregon, keeping a secret can be murder.
Stevie Taylor had left her sleepy Oregon hometown for a more exciting life. But after her police chief father passes away, the LAPD cop returns to Solitude and signs on as a patrol officer, hoping to heal from her loss…and from the horrific things she’s seen in the city.
In Solitude, everyone knows everyone else’s business—and, to Stevie’s dismay, local gossip soon ties her to the new police chief and a man from her past. Tragedy then shakes up the small town when a teenager dies after taking a strange new drug. Now, the seasoned LA cop must hunt down the dealer while investigating the most important case of her life, one that could divide her tranquil town.
The first of four thrilling Rogue River novellas, On Her Father’s Grave launches a new romantic suspense series from Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh.
Wow. I was sucked into this story from the first page and didn't want to stop. Romance, intrigue, murder, small town life, family drama - oh yeah. Add in a heroine who's strong yet vulnerable, smart, compassionate, funny, and loyal and then a hero who is honorable, kind, clever, and a good kisser. Yeah, what's not to like?
Well, the fact that it's not a complete story. Aaaaargh! There are several mysteries introduced in this story and none of them get solved or resolved. The lead couple, Stevie and Zane (I love that name!) are co-workers on the police force. Zane has been in town for five years, just became chief of police, but is still an outsider. Stevie grew up in Solitude, left to go to CA, and recently returned home to work on the local police force. She's missed her family and small town life. Stevie and Zane are attracted to each other but there's that pesky supervisor/employee issue. By the story's end, they've decided to give dating a go and the story ends on a HFN (Happy For Now).
The various mysteries however are all left open-ended: did Stevie's father die of a heart attack or foul play? Who is running drugs in Solitude? Why are teenagers dying? Why did the interim chief of police suddenly quit and then leave town? What's the reason for the marital discord between Stevie's brother and his wife? For a short story, maybe a hundred pages, there's a lot packed in and not a wasted sentence. The story moves briskly, Elliot has a good grasp of small town life, and she deftly gives us solid development of the main characters. While they're not fully developed, they're fleshed out enough to feel real and I didn't feel short-changed as if they were cardboard cutouts. I do feel short-changed that it was really just a teaser for the series and not a full-fledged story. I'd have probably skipped it had I known but I'm glad I didn't. Elliot hooked me in and I want the next book, which happily is out in a few weeks.