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

Monday, March 9, 2020

Bea Reviews Cross Her Heart by Melinda Leigh

Series: Bree Taggert #1
Read As A Standalone: Yes
Publisher: Montlake
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review
Release Date: March 17th, 2020
Buying Links: Amazon* | B&NBook Depository* | *affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

A homicide detective’s violent family history repeats itself in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, secrets, and retribution.

For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.

Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.

My Thoughts:

Well, "Cross Her Heart" gets the new series off to a rocking good start. As I read it, I resented the need to sleep and to go to work. I didn't want to put it down.Now, there were a few things that were predictable, but others weren't. For instance, I did not figure out who the killer was until they were revealed.

One quick note. The book is published by Montlake, Amazon's romance division, but it's about 95% mystery and only 5% romance. The romance is mild, extremely slow burn, and strictly secondary to the main murder plot. It may be more central to future books in the series; that remains to be seen.

"Cross Her Heart" is a mix of mystery, suspense, and family drama. When Bree gets a call for help from her sister Erin, she returns to the town where she was miserable as a young child and where her parents were killed. Bree's too late to help her sister but not too late to help her niece and nephew. While she deals with them, and with her brother Adam, she also inserts herself into the investigation of her sister's murder. She teams up with Matt, a former police officer and best man at her sister's wedding. Together they look for Erin's killer, though their motives are different.

With compassion and insight, Leigh writes characters who are achingly real. The story was gripping though it did contain a few implausibilities. Bree, Matt, Adam, Luke, and Kayla have flaws and weaknesses. Dana was less fleshed out but perhaps in the future books. The villains of the different mysteries were also not as well fleshed out as I'd like but they too felt real, as did their motivations. There is some domestic violence in the book and it's a fairly key element so if reading it bothers you, you may prefer to skip this. I was fascinated with the investigation, the family dynamics, and the little details. I was drawn in and when the book ended, I was disappointed that I couldn't immediately start book two.

6 comments:

  1. I do enjoy books that focus on the mystery with just a bit of romance. I have wanted to read more from this author so I will have to add this one to my wishlist.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it. I didn't mind the low key romance but I was surprised since it was published via the romance imprint. I like a slow burn.so it worked for me.

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  2. I love romantic suspense (especially when it is light on romance) and have had this author on my TBR for awhile. This sounds fun!

    Thanks for the reading suggestions on my Sunday Post. I'm compiling a list and I don't want to miss any good reads!

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    1. Happy to help! I hope he enjoys at least some of them.

      I wouldn't call this book fun, but it was engrossing.

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  3. Sounds like a good one. Glad you enjoyed.

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