Series: Ali Reynolds #9.5
Format Read: print ARC
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: November 24, 2014
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Blurb from goodreads:
New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance brings her trademark breakneck pace to this fun and exciting e-novella, where fan favorite Ali Reynolds takes on double responsibilities as both sleuth and bride.
Ali Reynolds is finally getting married to her longtime love B. Simpson. They wanted a simple Christmas Eve wedding, but nothing is ever simple with Ali. Even as a motley crew of her friends—Leland Brooks, Sister Anselm, and others—descend on Vegas, the bride-to-be finds herself juggling last-minute wedding plans and a mystery in the form of a stray miniature dachshund. Ali’s grandson rescues the little dog, but Ali’s not in the market for a new pet right before her honeymoon, and leaves no stone unturned in hunting for the dog’s owner. But what she finds is more than just a shaggy dog story…Bella’s elderly owner has vanished, and her son seems to be behind it. So it’s Ali and B. to the rescue—and still making it to the church on time!
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this story. I enjoy Jance's Joanna Brady books, didn't care for the one J.P. Beaumont book I read, and hadn't read any of the Ali Reynolds books. And could I jump in at book nine? But how could I resist that cover? That adorable face?
As it turns out, you can jump in with this book. For the regulars, it should be a nice gift, to see the wedding of the two main characters and to spend time with the other characters. Weddings are fun, especially for the guests, and this one is held in Vegas at Christmas. There's not a strong Vegas feel to the story but there are some nice details about the hotel they stay at and the amenities available.
For newbies such as myself, it was a good introduction to all of the characters and the story line was self contained. The wedding was sweet and Ali and her groom and business partner B. were interesting people. I loved that they were older, proving that neither romance nor interesting stories are the province of the young. They had rich back stories, sharp senses of humor, and while Ali was occasionally cranky, both she and B were full of compassion.
In addition to the wedding, we have the minor mystery of an abandoned dog. They take it in and care for it while trying to find its owner. Both Ali's grandkids and her fiance B fall head over heels for the dog while Ali wants no part of it. The last goodbye of the story has to do with the dog's storyline.
"A Last Goodbye" is a quiet story, low on drama and mystery, but a touching one about family, acceptance, and love. I think I'll look for book one in the series.