Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert, #1)
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.

Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert, #1) Details

TitleCross Her Heart (Bree Taggert, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 17th, 2020
PublisherMontlake
Rating
GenreRomance, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Suspense

Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert, #1) Review

  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    By the time Homicide Detective Bree Taggart gets a cell phone call from her sister, and she speeds to the small town where they grew up, it's too late. Her sister, Erin, is murdered, in a similar way to her memories of her parents' murder-suicide years before.The only difference here is that Erin's husband, Justin, has disappeared.Did he murder his wife ... or is he also a victim?Justin's best friend, Matt Flynn, was once a sheriff's investigator. An on-the-job shooting left him unable to By the time Homicide Detective Bree Taggart gets a cell phone call from her sister, and she speeds to the small town where they grew up, it's too late. Her sister, Erin, is murdered, in a similar way to her memories of her parents' murder-suicide years before.The only difference here is that Erin's husband, Justin, has disappeared.Did he murder his wife ... or is he also a victim?Justin's best friend, Matt Flynn, was once a sheriff's investigator. An on-the-job shooting left him unable to continue and is now a K-9 handler.Bree and Matt team up to uncover the secrets of her sister's life ...and death .... but someone out there wants those secrets kept hidden and will do anything to keep Bree away from investigating.I've always enjoyed this author's writing and stories ... and I was not disappointed here. If you enjoy romantic suspense, I highly recommend Melinda Leigh books. This one is well written .... suspense from the very start .... a budding romance ..... and an unexpected ending. I look forward to see where Bree goes from here.Many thanks to the author / Montlake Romance / Amazon Publishers / Netgalley for the digital copy of this Romantic Suspense. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • Allison Brennan
    January 1, 1970
    Melinda Leigh has topped herselfand goes to the top of my must-read author list. CROSS HER HEART is everything I love in a thriller, and Bree Taggert is everything I love in a heroine. READ THIS BOOK. You wont be able to put it down.*** Review to come *** “Melinda Leigh has topped herself—and goes to the top of my must-read author list. CROSS HER HEART is everything I love in a thriller, and Bree Taggert is everything I love in a heroine. READ THIS BOOK. You won’t be able to put it down.”*** Review to come ***
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    Home was a place of dark memories and a painful past, but now Detective Bree Taggert has rushed back after a frantic call from her younger sister only to discover Erin is dead and her husband, Justin, is missing and a person of interest to the county sheriff's department. Jumping into a new Melinda Leigh series was something I did with all the excitement of a five year old with a pile of birthday presents to unwrap. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to love what I got.Cross Her Home was a place of dark memories and a painful past, but now Detective Bree Taggert has rushed back after a frantic call from her younger sister only to discover Erin is dead and her husband, Justin, is missing and a person of interest to the county sheriff's department. Jumping into a new Melinda Leigh series was something I did with all the excitement of a five year old with a pile of birthday presents to unwrap. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to love what I got.Cross Her Heart is book one of the new Bree Taggert series, but it wasn't far into the story that I had a sense of familiarity and realized that the setting was in the same world (county) as the earlier written Scarlett Falls trilogy and its spin off the Morgan Dane series. There are even a couple crossover bits that fans will enjoy spotting though readers new to the author and her backlist can rest assured that this can be picked up and started without feeling anything is missing.Retired Sheriff's K-9 deputy, Mike Flynn and his retired service dog, Brody, went to pick up his friend for his addiction meeting and gets no response at the door. He goes around back to find the door open and a horrific scene in the bedroom. Justin's wife, Erin, lies murdered on the floor. Interim sheriff and everyone else are certain it was Justin. Mike has known Justin since they were kids and that the guy was deeply in love with his wife and would never have done this. But, it looks bad with Justin missing.Mike doesn't trust, but few at the sheriff's department after his boss the sheriff got brought down for corruption and several were likely complicit. He's pretty sure the career-ending shots caused by friendly fire at him and Brody being 'accidentally' sent in through the wrong door at a scene were meant to get rid of one who was a witness and threat to the sheriff before he was brought down. Mike has no idea how many of the sheriff's loyal crew are left in the department, but he knows for a fact that the patrol officer captain promoted into the temp job of sheriff is in over his head with this murder case.Bree is a tough Philly homicide detective and arrives in her hometown after a cryptic, scared voice message from her sister, Erin, brings her running. Their family's dark past of her parents' murder-suicide and domestic abuse affected them all differently and caused Bree to be reared away from her siblings. They were all slightly distant from each other, but kept in touch. Now she has a grieving teenage nephew and young niece who need her and the potential for their father, her sister's big past mistake to show up and claim them. She is determined to find their mother's killer and is slowly grasping how Erin's death has just changed her life. Mike Flynn is adamant his best friend didn't do it and she can see his concern about the investigation. They team up and go on the trail of a killer who is watching her closely and just as determined not to let her get close to the truth.Like with her older series, this one offers the complete package of a complex storyline, characters' backstories, and a writing style that is deceptively simple and easy to read. I enjoy the ease of slipping into her books and getting behind a tough, but intelligent heroine like Bree Taggert. She is skilled and has her weaknesses like her fear of Mike's K-9 partner or what is sparking between her and Mike, but she isn't stupid and does the best she can with all the emotion load she is carrying. Mike is also a sympathetic main character just trying to figure out his life after his career is taken from him. He's good with training dogs and he has good instincts about people. He's reliable and best of all, he was able to treat Bree as an equal partner in their private investigation.Bree and Mike definitely have something together, but I enjoyed that its still a tiny flame at this point. They are in the middle of an emotional case and grieving. They didn't trust each other's motives at first or methods. The author wisely didn't try to force the attraction, but will let it unwind over the course of the series.Like her earlier books, the investigation is not a plot in isolation. There are surrounding layers. Justin's drug addiction, family grief, past family tragedy, conspiracy in the sheriff's department, threat of a custody battle, and adjustment to new reality.Besides Mike and Bree who share the narration as main characters, there are several other great characters. The kids, Bree's brother Adam, Bree's former detective partner Dana who comes to help out mostly at home with her delicious cooking, Marge, the sheriff's department secretary who knows everything and everyone, Mike's confidential informant and also a drug dealer. It was colorful cast who I look forward to seeing in future series books. There was a quick cameo from a favorite character in an older series and I hope we get more of those cameos and crossovers in future.The murder itself had me scratching my head over motive for the longest time. It was literally just before the reveal that I caught a glimmer, but by then, it was in the open. Clever mystery with a few suspects and a steady trail of clues. There are a few check ins with the killer that don't do more than offer flashes of their thinking. When the reveal came, my mind shot back to the little things that should have led me there and I could appreciate how the author fooled me to the end.All in all, it was riveting and I was always reluctant to put it down. It's a great start to a new series and I can't wait for more. Romantic suspense and thriller romance fans who like it moderately gritty with a well developed plot and cast of characters should give this a go.Incidentally, I read this as a Buddy Read with Anne @ Books Are My Heart for the COYER Winter Friends Buddy Readathon. I had a blast reading along and shooting comments back and forth as we discussed our impressions along the way. Pretty fun that we both squeed over the same fun surprise. In the end, we were on the same page about it all and gave it the same rating. Don't forget to check out Anne's tour stop and review that posts on March 12th at her blog.My thanks to Anne @ Books Are My Heart blog for doing a COYER Winter Friends Buddy Read with me and giving this one #4.5 stars with me. It was fun to swap opinions and share our guesses and the exciting moments. Linky #24
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  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.So I really liked this first book though I think that things got a bit too convoluted towards the end. I will definitely read the next book though because I like how Melinda Leigh set this up and I adored the characters of Bree and her partner from the Philadelphia police, Dana. I was okay about Mike (the other lead I guess you could say) but not that focused on him while reading this. "Cross Her Heart" Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.So I really liked this first book though I think that things got a bit too convoluted towards the end. I will definitely read the next book though because I like how Melinda Leigh set this up and I adored the characters of Bree and her partner from the Philadelphia police, Dana. I was okay about Mike (the other lead I guess you could say) but not that focused on him while reading this. "Cross Her Heart" starts with a bang. Bree Taggert grabs and hides her little sister Erin and and her baby brother Adam when their father starts hitting their mother. In one dark moment though both parents are lost to Bree. We fast forward decades later with Bree dealing with a stake-out with her partner Dana. We know that Bree lost her parents and due to that it has left her feeling shy about romantic relationships. She also doesn't have the closest relationship with her siblings either. When Bree gets a call that something has happened to her sister, she's thrown about the fallout and wants to do what's necessary to figure out who is behind it.Leigh also shows us the third person POV of Matt Flynn. Matt is best friend's with Erin's husband, who has gone missing after Erin's murder. Matt previously worked as a K-9 unit with the sheriff's department before something happened that had him leaving. I really liked Bree. She is very good at her job and it shows in this when she starts investigating her sister's death. I also was relieved there wasn't any big romantic things with Matt in this first book. Obviously Leigh is setting it up this way, but to me this book read more thriller/suspense. Some authors I have found have a hard time balancing romantic suspense in their books. I thought the other characters like Dana were great and I look forward to reading more about the sheriff department characters and the town.
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  • Anita
    January 1, 1970
    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.This is the first book in a new series by Melinda Leigh, an author I really love. The setting is not far from her old stomping grounds in Scarlet Falls, NY and the characters have a similar feel. The plot, as always, is a great mystery/suspense that keeps you guessing to the end. There is an almost romance to be fleshed out in coming books, I'm sure. This looks to be a great Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.This is the first book in a new series by Melinda Leigh, an author I really love. The setting is not far from her old stomping grounds in Scarlet Falls, NY and the characters have a similar feel. The plot, as always, is a great mystery/suspense that keeps you guessing to the end. There is an almost romance to be fleshed out in coming books, I'm sure. This looks to be a great series.Twenty-five years ago Bree Taggert's father murdered her mother and then committed suicide leaving Bree, her sister Erin and brother Adam orphans. At eight years old Bree is sent to a cousin in Philadelphia while Erin and Adam were raised by grandparents in Grey's Hollow, NY. It all left its' mark on Bree. When Erin is murdered and her estranged husband, Justin, is the main suspect, all the painful memories come rushing back. Matt Flynn is a former sheriff's investigator and K-9 handler who was the victim of friendly fire in a bust gone terribly wrong. Matt and his K-9 partner, Brody, survived. When he discovers Erin on the floor of Justin's bedroom, he is drawn into the investigation in order to be sure that Justin isn't blamed for the murder because he is a convenient suspect, and he is missing.As Bree and Matt pursue every slim clue, they work together and form a bond of trust and respect. With so little to work with they turn to everyone who knew both Erin and Justin in the hopes of finding the murderer. As they Bree and Matt peel back the layers of their lives, a murderer plans and plots to keep his secret.
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  • Anne - Books of My Heart
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 4.5 heartsI have really loved reading Melinda Leigh's other series,  so I was excited to try the new Bree Taggert series. I buddy read Cross Her Heart with Sophia since we are both huge fans of this author. We both felt right away it was going to be great.I easily settled into reading right from the start. The world and the This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 4.5 heartsI have really loved reading Melinda Leigh's other series,  so I was excited to try the new Bree Taggert series. I buddy read Cross Her Heart with Sophia since we are both huge fans of this author. We both felt right away it was going to be great.I easily settled into reading right from the start. The world and the characters were all engaging, along with the mystery.  Bree is talented and thankfully local law enforcement accepted she would be there.  It was interesting for her to work with Matt who was Justin's friend and his K9.  There's a hint of romance but I appreciate it wasn't the focus; they just got to know each other here.Bree leaves her current life and heads back to her old home town for the first time in many years. She comes to town for her sister, to solve her murder and take care of her children.  Luckily, she has the support of her detective partner, Dana,  who can cook for me anytime.  She also has help from Matt, who wants to find Justin.I loved watching Bree handle everything with such intelligence and compassion. She is really amazing with her daughter's children, with their best interests in mind. There are too many bad guys available, so it takes time to figure out what happened.  Bree faces these big changes in her life, along with the ghost of her parent's deaths, with such character and personal growth.I enjoyed Cross Her Heart so much!  I highly recommend it. I'm thrilled there will be a new installment, See Her Die this fall.  I know I'll be reading!COYER: Buddy read with Sophia. We both gave it 4.5 hearts. Linky #7
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  • Dísir
    January 1, 1970
    Melinda Leighs an old hand at this by nowwriting taut and tight thrillers, I mean. With cleverly plotted, smartly-paced narratives that scarcely let you blink, the new Bree Taggert seriesfollowing the Morgan Dane one which I lovedis promising to be a good one, particularly if youre more into the suspense than the romance. Bree Taggerts never really far from her violent past, but history seems to repeat itself in her sisters murder, bringing her back to a place where she finds herself saddled Melinda Leigh’s an old hand at this by now…writing taut and tight thrillers, I mean. With cleverly plotted, smartly-paced narratives that scarcely let you blink, the new Bree Taggert series—following the Morgan Dane one which I loved—is promising to be a good one, particularly if you’re more into the suspense than the romance. Bree Taggert’s never really far from her violent past, but history seems to repeat itself in her sister’s murder, bringing her back to a place where she finds herself saddled with new responsibilities while dealing with fresh grief. Former investigator Matt Flynn helps her to unravel what happened that night, though it’s not one that’s easily undertaken both for Bree and the reader. Carnage, gore, complex characters, shady motivations and convincing legalese do make ‘Cross Her Heart’ an intriguing read from the start and it’s one that’s solid. Heavy topics are par for the course—death, guilt, murder—and Leigh cover this well and with sensitivity. There are tangents and off-shoots as Leigh pulls secondary characters under the microscope and hints that anyone might be a suspect as we’re taken on a winding journey of unravelling what seems like a domestic dispute case of a spouse killing his wife. But the overall murder plot is a little bizarre when all’s revealed, admittedly, as though it’s something that you merely give a side-eye to when you’re finally introduced to a pivotal turn of events, then are left incredulous when it finally untangles in front of your eyes. There’s strong friendship here, mature protagonists and barely a hint of romance, but if I know Leigh’s writing style, this is merely a slow burn, with a deliberate (and understandably, appropriate) build that will continue over the rest of the series. It’s a solid introduction however, to a couple that will just grow stronger over the next few books and I for one, can’t wait. *ARC by the publisher via Netgalley
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  • julia ☆ [owls reads]
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars! *Cross Her Heart was the quickest read ever. The writing was amazing as always and the plot was engaging, if a bit convoluted. The first chapter was so so so sad and Leigh perfectly translated that kind of horror to the page as well as the tension that followed with Erins mystery. The focus of the novel was very much in the investigation, but there was still a flicker of romance at the end.This was a pretty good setup for the series. Bree was very well developed as a character and her 3 stars! *Cross Her Heart was the quickest read ever. The writing was amazing as always and the plot was engaging, if a bit convoluted. The first chapter was so so so sad and Leigh perfectly translated that kind of horror to the page as well as the tension that followed with Erin’s mystery. The focus of the novel was very much in the investigation, but there was still a flicker of romance at the end.This was a pretty good setup for the series. Bree was very well developed as a character and her POV was engrossing. Matt’s perspective was very distinct from hers, but I didn’t feel like he was as well developed. We got to know Bree and her struggles in a more developed and fleshed out way than Matt.The mystery was pretty good, for the most part. I really loved how it slowly developed and how all the pieces were presented. The search for Justin and Bree and Matt trying to work together was very well written. I couldn’t figure out which way the story was going to go which kept me glued to the book. The conclusion did leave a bit to be desired, though? I was caught very much off guard about who the murderer was, but mostly because I didn’t really find there was enough build up for it. I really didn’t buy their motives and how they were presented nor did I buy the way they got caught or how they went about committing the crime. It didn’t really work for me. Bree did end the novel in a rather interesting position, though, so I’m curious about the next installment! * Series: #1 in the Bree Taggert series.POV: Told from Bree and Matt’s POVs.Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[Mentions of domestic violence. (hide spoiler)]Cliffhanger: No.HEA: (view spoiler)[Not yet! (hide spoiler)]Up Next: See Her Die.
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  • İlkim
    January 1, 1970
    A good suspense is always one of my favorite genres. I didnt read any novels before from this author, but I heard about her. And Im very glad that I got the arc from netgalley, I really liked the story. Bree Taggert is the heroine that I want to read in suspense novels. Shes smart, strong and good in her job. Her childhood was hard, and now she is in that town again. Her sister Erin is dead and she will do anything to find her killer and be with her children. I liked the writing. I liked both A good suspense is always one of my favorite genres. I didn’t read any novels before from this author, but I heard about her. And I’m very glad that I got the arc from netgalley, I really liked the story. Bree Taggert is the heroine that I want to read in suspense novels. She’s smart, strong and good in her job. Her childhood was hard, and now she is in that town again. Her sister Erin is dead and she will do anything to find her killer and be with her children. I liked the writing. I liked both hero and heroine, they are really a good match. I will wait for the next book. This could be the one of my favorite romantic suspense series.
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  • Bea
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Twisty, menacing, and intense!In this compelling first installment in the Bree Taggert series, Cross Her Heart, Leigh has written a well-paced whodunit where cases from the past and the present collide, suspects are numerous, and danger lurks around every corner.The writing is smooth and tight. The characters are dependable, persistent, and troubled. And the plot is a captivating police procedural with lots of twists, turns, red herrings, familial drama, deception, jealousy, obsession, abuse, Twisty, menacing, and intense!In this compelling first installment in the Bree Taggert series, Cross Her Heart, Leigh has written a well-paced whodunit where cases from the past and the present collide, suspects are numerous, and danger lurks around every corner.The writing is smooth and tight. The characters are dependable, persistent, and troubled. And the plot is a captivating police procedural with lots of twists, turns, red herrings, familial drama, deception, jealousy, obsession, abuse, murder and a dab of romance.Overall, Cross Her Heart is a suspenseful, entertaining, sinister tale that’s an encouraging start for this new series with its intriguing characters, and engaging storyline.Thank you to Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Paula Phillips
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite female mystery writers is Melinda Leigh, so when I saw her latest for review on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. The only thing I have to say which was a personal thing was I didn't like the surname Taggart as after watching a few TV shows including Eureka - Taggart seems like an old person name, though as she is a Detective it does work as more often than not cops are called by their surname alone - so in that aspect it did work. Cross Her Heart is the first book One of my favorite female mystery writers is Melinda Leigh, so when I saw her latest for review on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. The only thing I have to say which was a personal thing was I didn't like the surname Taggart as after watching a few TV shows including Eureka - Taggart seems like an old person name, though as she is a Detective it does work as more often than not cops are called by their surname alone - so in that aspect it did work. Cross Her Heart is the first book in a new series by Melinda Leigh which introduces us to Bree Taggart and her siblings. The story starts when they are young children and tragedy happens to their parents, it then jumps about twenty years and Bree is now a Homicide Detective and is semi-estranged from her brother Adam and her sister Erin who still live in their hometown. The book moves from the past into the present when Bree gets a missed call and voicemail from Erin - it sounds like she's in trouble. She tries calling but no answer, eventually she feels the need to visit her hometown. She arrives sadly in time to learn her sister has been killed and that they are looking at her current husband Justin. Justin's best friend Matt doesn't believe he would harm Erin and as the new Police Department is a little short-staffed and not exploring all options we read as Bree and Matt pair up to solve the crime of who killed Erin and where Justin is. I did like the support that Bree had with her friend and police partner Dana and did wonder if there was some underlying possible romance as they give off this lesbian vibe but then we see her chemistry with Matt which chucks that theory out the window. Anywho, looking for a new female mystery writer to sink your teeth into? Then check out Melinda Leigh and her array of series as you will not be disappointed.
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  • TJ
    January 1, 1970
    What a great start to a promisingly addictive series! Ms. Leigh has crafted the main character of Bree Taggert so deftly that the reader will immediately connect and become involved in both her struggles and her strengths. She is heart-breakingly sympathetic and admirably resilient. The possible love interest of Matt Flynn is also a masterful move. His character compliments the tortured and closed Bree in all the perfect ways - paving the way for fabulous future possibilities, both personally What a great start to a promisingly addictive series! Ms. Leigh has crafted the main character of Bree Taggert so deftly that the reader will immediately connect and become involved in both her struggles and her strengths. She is heart-breakingly sympathetic and admirably resilient. The possible love interest of Matt Flynn is also a masterful move. His character compliments the tortured and closed Bree in all the perfect ways - paving the way for fabulous future possibilities, both personally and professionally. The murder mystery aspect is also neatly done, as the reader follows each step, question, possibility and frustration the characters experience. The final conflict was the only small drawback. It was hard to really buy into the villain and the extreme response he or she had (can't give anything away!) Without delving into that character more, it is impossible to truly understand and believe the actions. Still, it keeps readers on their toes and turning those pages! And, once that last page is turned, looking anxiously forward to more of Bree, Matt and their world!
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  • Lulu Dumonceaux
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsBree Taggert and her siblings Erin & Adam survived a violent and traumatic night that left both her parents dead. Bree has made it a point to not return to the town where they all grew up because of those bad memories but when her sister calls and says she is in trouble she gets in the car. Unfortunately, Bree arrives too late and Erin is murdered, Erin's estranged husband, Justin, has vanished, and Erin's two children are devastated. Bree vows to avenge Erin's death by finding who 4.5 StarsBree Taggert and her siblings Erin & Adam survived a violent and traumatic night that left both her parents dead. Bree has made it a point to not return to the town where they all grew up because of those bad memories but when her sister calls and says she is in trouble she gets in the car. Unfortunately, Bree arrives too late and Erin is murdered, Erin's estranged husband, Justin, has vanished, and Erin's two children are devastated. Bree vows to avenge Erin's death by finding who murdered her sister. What she doesn't count on is running interference from Matt Flynn the ex deputy and K-9 handler who is Justin's friend. Bree and Matt agree to look into the murder together. The suspense and twist builds from the beginning and does not let go until it unravels at the end. The writing is descriptive, smart, with likable and truly unlikeable characters and enough intensity to keep you guessing. I liked how Bree & Matt's friendship evolved and will likely develop into something more. This was a great romantic suspense can't wait for more in the series! #CrossHerHeart
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  • Bea
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars 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 3.5 stars 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.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    A new series that kicks off with homicide detective Bree Taggert's world being turned upside down another violent death of a family member similar to the one that shattered her world as a child. Three children were left orphaned when their father murdered their mother in front of them and then killed himself after. The oldest left the small town of Grey's Hollow and became a homicide detective in Philadelphia. The younger sister and brother were raised Greys Hollow and never left. When Bree gets A new series that kicks off with homicide detective Bree Taggert's world being turned upside down another violent death of a family member similar to the one that shattered her world as a child. Three children were left orphaned when their father murdered their mother in front of them and then killed himself after. The oldest left the small town of Grey's Hollow and became a homicide detective in Philadelphia. The younger sister and brother were raised Greys Hollow and never left. When Bree gets a frantic call from her sister in fear for her life she drops everything and races back to the town with horrible memories only to be to late when it turns out her sister was murdered leaving her own two children without a mother. As this is the first book of a new series somethings are on a fast track – the murder and investigation – and some on a slow track – the romance between Bree and former K9 investigator Matt Flynn (who happens to be the best friend of Bree's sister husband who is missing and suspected as her killer). I enjoyed all the characters/family we were introduced to over the course of the book and think the author has another winner on her hands with his series. Looking forward to the next in the series.
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  • Christa
    January 1, 1970
    Cross Her Heart is a really great start to a new series. Bree Taggart makes a fantastic heroine. There were other great characters in the book, and it had a storyline that kept my attention and left me impatient for more once I was finished.
  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    If you love romantic suspense, you will love Melinda Leigh. This is her seventh series, I think, and shes definitely a solid and consistent author and always delivers.Cross Her Heart is book one of a new series and is loosely connected to her Scarlet Falls and Morgan Dane series. I was so excited to meet this new character, Bree Taggert, a homicide detective in Phillidelphia and jump into the sad, dark murder that brought her back to her hometown after so many years away.Bree Taggert is If you love romantic suspense, you will love Melinda Leigh. This is her seventh series, I think, and she’s definitely a solid and consistent author and always delivers.Cross Her Heart is book one of a new series and is loosely connected to her Scarlet Falls and Morgan Dane series. I was so excited to meet this new character, Bree Taggert, a homicide detective in Phillidelphia and jump into the sad, dark murder that brought her back to her hometown after so many years away.Bree Taggert is precisely the kind of heroine I love to read about in romantic suspense novels, she is not dumb but smart, strong, and competent. She didn’t let a hard childhood hold her back. She grew up, became a police officer, and is a productive member of society. She did, however, stay away from her hometown because of the bad memories they invoked. But she comes home when her sister reaches out, unfortunately, she arrives too late and Erin is dead. Bree is relentless in hunting down the killer while also trying to support her sister’s children.It’s a great book one for a series and promises to be just as well written and addictive as Melinda’s other works. I was able to immediately connect with Bree, she’s a very sympathetic character but very resilient and empathetic - you root for her right from the start.Matt Flynn, Bree’s possible love interest, balances Bree out and there is huge potential for the romance between them. A lot of secondary characters were also introduced – a brother, former partner, niece, nephew, etc that I am looking forward to having them more fleshed out as the story continues. The murder in this book is done very well - although I did end up guessing who the killer was shortly after they were introduced to us. But the journey to solve it engages you, it's a rollercoaster of angst, frustration, and sadness for the characters, as they work the case and you feel it all right along with them.I find there are some similarities in this series and the Morgan Dane series. Morgan is a widow who has live-in help who is part of the family to help with the children and has stalwart Grandpa to lean on. Here Bree becomes a single guardian, acquires live-in help in the form of her former partner/like family, and has a rich brother to lean on for financial help. But I suppose if the formula is not broken, don’t fix it.I am very much looking forward to book two (See Her Die) in the series coming out this September!I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Bree Taggert is a homicide detective in Philadelphia. She has managed to put a horrible childhood behind her - mostly. When she was eight, her abusive father killer her mother and then himself leaving three children. Bree was raised by a cousin while her younger siblings were raised by their grandparents. She's managed to rebuild her relationships with her siblings but have very mixed feelings about returning to her hometown.However, when she gets a call from her sister Erin, she drops Bree Taggert is a homicide detective in Philadelphia. She has managed to put a horrible childhood behind her - mostly. When she was eight, her abusive father killer her mother and then himself leaving three children. Bree was raised by a cousin while her younger siblings were raised by their grandparents. She's managed to rebuild her relationships with her siblings but have very mixed feelings about returning to her hometown.However, when she gets a call from her sister Erin, she drops everything to go to help her. Unfortunately when Bree arrives in town she finds that her sister has been murdered and her estranged husband Justin is missing. Erin's body was discovered by Matt Flynn, a former sheriff's deputy who is Justin's best friend. While he knows Justin had problems with drugs, he can't believe he would have killed Erin.Bree and Matt decide to investigate the crime themselves. Matt doesn't have good thoughts about the sheriff's department since the accident that ended his career might not have really been an accident. Bree just needs answers. Bree is also dealing with her sister Erin's two children because she knows the trauma that they are feeling. Things get even more complicated when Erin's ex and the father of her children shows up out of the blue and decides that he wants custody of the kids. Part of Bree's investigation is looking into this deadbeat dad and thinking that he might have had a reason to kill Erin. This was an entertaining thriller. I liked that the murderer had chapters told from his viewpoint. Fans of fast-paced thrillers will enjoy this new series.
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  • Reen
    January 1, 1970
    Homicide Detective Bree Taggart gets a frantic call from her sister and she rushes to their hometown but it's too late. Her sister, Erin, is murdered in way similar to their parents' death 25 years ago. And Erin's husband Justin is missing and a person of interest. Matt Flynn is a former sheriff's investigator and K-9 handler who survived an incident of friendly fire along with his K-9 partner Brody. Matt is a friend of Justin's and wants to be sure that Justin isn't blamed for the murder simply Homicide Detective Bree Taggart gets a frantic call from her sister and she rushes to their hometown but it's too late. Her sister, Erin, is murdered in way similar to their parents' death 25 years ago. And Erin's husband Justin is missing and a person of interest. Matt Flynn is a former sheriff's investigator and K-9 handler who survived an incident of friendly fire along with his K-9 partner Brody. Matt is a friend of Justin's and wants to be sure that Justin isn't blamed for the murder simply because is a convenient suspect. Bree and Matt investigate Erin's murder and the couples' lives in order to find the killer. Bree is a dedicated detective with an aversion to dogs, which makes her afraid of Matt's dog Brody. Matt is sure that Justin did not commit the murder and they must work together to find the truth. There relationship is starting slowly and I am sure will develop more in future books. This is the first book in Melinda Leigh's new series and definitely does not disappoint, Leigh's style of intertwining complex characters and storylines continues in this series. She writes easy to read, multi-layered stories that keep you interested from beginning to end. Looking forward to the next book in the series. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.Cross Her Heart is the first book in a new series following Detective Bree Taggert. The prologue for this story is pretty confronting. We are with 8 year old Bree as she calls 911 while her parents fight which ends in tragedy. Fast forward 25 years and Bree is again facing tragedy when her little sister is murdered.Bree travels to her home town to track down her sister's killer, arrange a funeral and determinate who will I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.Cross Her Heart is the first book in a new series following Detective Bree Taggert. The prologue for this story is pretty confronting. We are with 8 year old Bree as she calls 911 while her parents fight which ends in tragedy. Fast forward 25 years and Bree is again facing tragedy when her little sister is murdered.Bree travels to her home town to track down her sister's killer, arrange a funeral and determinate who will raise her niece and nephew. She teams up with former local cop Matt to track down her sister's missing husband and get justice. There are various suspects and dangerous situations that had me holding my breath. I didn't guess who did it which I liked. When the killer is revealed we get a scary action packed showdown which is all to real in this day and age.This story is really well crafted. It has a good mix of crime solving and personal drama and gives us possibilities for the future that left me wanting to read the next book to see where Bree's life will go next. I can see things between Matt and Bree are going to build slowly and I can't wait so see their relationship grow. .
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  • Gloria Herrera for As You Wish Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    It all started with a desperate call from her little sister Erin asking for help. Bree was busy apprehending a perp when her phone rang. Retrieving the voice mail, she was deeply disturbed her sister was calling for help. Erin never called unless it was to just stay in touch and never asking for help.This is the story of a complex crime not only deeply impacting her family but also with echoes from the past. Bree travels five hours to her sister's home worried about the worst that could happen. It all started with a desperate call from her little sister Erin asking for help. Bree was busy apprehending a perp when her phone rang. Retrieving the voice mail, she was deeply disturbed her sister was calling for help. Erin never called unless it was to just stay in touch and never asking for help.This is the story of a complex crime not only deeply impacting her family but also with echoes from the past. Bree travels five hours to her sister's home worried about the worst that could happen. Calling repeatedly, she was never able to reach her sister after the distress call. Working with a retired deputy, Bree puts all her skills to work on solving her sister's murder and the disappearance of her displaced husband.This is a non-stop who done it that will keep you riveted. I read it in one sitting because I just could not put it down. For all of you wanna be detectives, this is a gem!I am voluntarily reviewing this book. Thanks to the author for sharing a copy with me.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Bree Taggert had a rough childhood. It all came to a head one day, and she had to grow up quickly. At only 8 year old, she saved her two younger siblings from her abusive father. The town sheriff became her hero that day, and he made quite the impression. It was then she knew what she wanted to do with her life. But the memories were too much in Grey's Hollow, so she decided to do it elsewhere. She rarely came back to Grey's, even to visit her siblings. But that all changed the day she received Bree Taggert had a rough childhood. It all came to a head one day, and she had to grow up quickly. At only 8 year old, she saved her two younger siblings from her abusive father. The town sheriff became her hero that day, and he made quite the impression. It was then she knew what she wanted to do with her life. But the memories were too much in Grey's Hollow, so she decided to do it elsewhere. She rarely came back to Grey's, even to visit her siblings. But that all changed the day she received a scary voicemail from her younger sister. She knew she had to go back to help her. I am a big fan of Melinda Leigh, and this new series will be no exception. I love that she writes strong, intelligent female leads. Bree proves to be just that in this first book; she really has her priorities on straight. i cant wait to see where this series takes Bree.thank you netgalley and Ms. Leigh
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  • Avid Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert #1) by Melinda Leigh4 starsM/F ThrillerTriggers: Addiction, Blackmail, Abuse, MurderI was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.Bree is a tough woman. She knows what lurks in the night and still chooses to go out and fight those who are unable to fight for themselves. But, because of her past, she is also slightly distant when it comes to her family. She is the protector, but can't always connect like she wants. After a mysterious call from her Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert #1) by Melinda Leigh4 starsM/F ThrillerTriggers: Addiction, Blackmail, Abuse, MurderI was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.Bree is a tough woman. She knows what lurks in the night and still chooses to go out and fight those who are unable to fight for themselves. But, because of her past, she is also slightly distant when it comes to her family. She is the protector, but can't always connect like she wants. After a mysterious call from her younger sister, Bree takes some time off to figure out how she can help.Matt knows what disappointment is. Having been disabled by friendly fire, he has tried to get his life back on track and moving forward. When his good friend goes missing and it looks like falls off the wagon, he'll have to work fast to try and help figure out what is really going on.Bree and Matt are an interesting team. They both bring different dynamics to the situation. They work well together and feed off each other's experiences and knowledge. Bree will work tirelessly to figure out who killed her sister and how to protect her nephew and niece. This is a good mystery with a lot going on. There is also a lot of baggage that comes with the two main characters. I hope that we get to see more of these two working together, as they worked in a very dynamic and fun way.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. Trigger warning - child abuse/domestic violenceIt's been a while since a book grabbed my attention, and held it, to the last page. I only put this book down when my poor neglected dogs and cats would not stop clamoring for my attention because it was past their supper time.Bree Taggert is a strong woman, having survived a very difficult childhood. When tragedy strikes again, not only does it bring back the terrible memories I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. Trigger warning - child abuse/domestic violenceIt's been a while since a book grabbed my attention, and held it, to the last page. I only put this book down when my poor neglected dogs and cats would not stop clamoring for my attention because it was past their supper time.Bree Taggert is a strong woman, having survived a very difficult childhood. When tragedy strikes again, not only does it bring back the terrible memories of the past, but she knows exactly what her sister's children are going through.Matt Flynn's law enforcement career was derailed by not so "friendly fire", yet there was nothing he could prove. Facing the truth is hard for him to face, but eventually he comes to accept the fact that he can no longer do the job he was trained for.Matt and Bree meet again in the most terrible of circumstances. Each trying to figure out a way find Justin, Bree's brother-in-law and what exactly happened the night Erin, her sister, was killed.Melinda Leigh has a way of crafting characters that immediately draw you in and you can't help but root for.~~Wicked Reads Review Team~~
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    Bree's mother was murdered by her father when she and her siblings were just kids. Now a homicide detective, she has to deal with her sister's murder and the aftermath for her niece and nephew.Cross Her Heart grabs you from the very first page and doesn't let go. This thriller kept my complete attention even when there was no action at the moment. The characters and their individual problems are all so believable that you truly feel for what they are going through. It sounds like this may be the Bree's mother was murdered by her father when she and her siblings were just kids. Now a homicide detective, she has to deal with her sister's murder and the aftermath for her niece and nephew.Cross Her Heart grabs you from the very first page and doesn't let go. This thriller kept my complete attention even when there was no action at the moment. The characters and their individual problems are all so believable that you truly feel for what they are going through. It sounds like this may be the first book in a series and I am really looking forward to more of Bree Taggert.Note: I received a free advance copy from the publicist
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  • amberreadsromance
    January 1, 1970
    I have not read a book by Melinda Leigh before so I did not know what to expect. I will say that the thrill and suspense is there but I'm not sure how this is a romantic suspense. I did not pick up on any romance whatsoever. I actually found skipping many pages to get through the book so it's possible I missed it between to the main characters. Unfortunately this just wasn't cutting it for me.*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Ang -PNR Book Lover Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Review: I love it when a favourite author creates a new series in an already established world. If you have read Melindas other series called the Morgan Dane series you will like this just as much, for me I liked it but I was not wowed by it. I wanted more romance more then what we were given, this is categorized as romantic suspense there was NO romance like in at all. I know from previous books that there will be some slow burn romance eventually, but at least gives us a bit more then what we Review: I love it when a favourite author creates a new series in an already established world. If you have read Melinda’s other series called the Morgan Dane series you will like this just as much, for me I liked it but I was not wowed by it. I wanted more romance more then what we were given, this is categorized as romantic suspense there was NO romance like in at all. I know from previous books that there will be some slow burn romance eventually, but at least gives us a bit more then what we got. OK so now that my only complain is out of the way, lets talk about this new series.Bree Targert is an exciting new character to read about she is a homicide detective living in Philadelphia, until she gets a phone call from her sister Erin who leaves her a message saying that she is in trouble. But by the time she gets to her hometown Grey’s Hallow, Which I think is in the town Scarlet Falls as we already know from the Morgan Dane series the sheriff is an acting deputy sheriff. Anyway, she gets there to late as Erin has been shot and killed, discovered by her (Erin) husbands Justin’s, best friend Matt who is an ex K-9 investigator. Bree and her siblings come from an awful situation, where their Father killed their Mum. So, when she gets a call from her sister, she immediately thinks the husband did it, and brings her past into the mix.As this is the first book in the series, sometimes things are written way for you to either love it or hate it , I guess like for example in this book we are really focused on the murder, missing person investigation and then the romance between Bree and Matt is on the back burner you know it’s there and going to happen but it never does.In saying that I didn’t hate this book, I really did enjoy the story and how it was written, the way Melinda writes is fantastic. She has a formula that I personally really enjoy, a strong kick ass heroine, a great mystery that makes you think everyone is the killer, a supporting cast that consists of a close knit family and in this story we have Erin’s children Luke and Kayla. Then Bree’s brother Adam, and Bree’s retired police partner who comes and helps with everything. The murder mystery is neatly done and the reader will be able to follow each step and question the possibility of who done it. I really did enjoy that Bree was able to investigate her sisters murder, I think personally it added a special touch. Overall Cross her Heart is going to be a great new series to read and get excited about. Especially knowing what is to come with Bree and the future, I hope we see some other characters from her other series sprinkled throughout the books to come. I was/ am so grateful for my arc copy that was generously provided to me by the publishers.When you do check this novel out, it will be available with kindle unlimited and I highly recommend that subscription, as you can get to read it for free but what I love most is that with all her titles on KU you can read and listen for free. Defiantly check that out, I have read most of her work like that. I look forward to the next one, I love that this a new series in a world I love.3.5 StarsRead ad Reviewed by AngPnrbookloverreviews.com
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this. It's well written, complex and subtle: a real page turner, with credible characters. I was into it from page one.
  • buzy_reading
    January 1, 1970
    In 1993, Erin and her siblings, Adam and Bree, survived a gruesome murder of their mother by their father. Twenty-seven years later, Brees an adult and shes made tragedy and violence a permanent part of her life by becoming a cop. Bree is the best homicide detective in the world. Yet, Bree couldnt separate her own past from the present.Overall:Cross Her Heart is the first book in a new homicide detective series featuring Bree Taggert. Bree was eight years old when her father shot her mother then In 1993, Erin and her siblings, Adam and Bree, survived a gruesome murder of their mother by their father. Twenty-seven years later, Bree’s an adult and she’s made tragedy and violence a permanent part of her life by becoming a cop. Bree is the best homicide detective in the world. Yet, Bree couldn’t separate her own past from the present.Overall:Cross Her Heart is the first book in a new homicide detective series featuring Bree Taggert. Bree was eight years old when her father shot her mother then killed himself. She was separated from her brother and sister to live with different family members. It’s ironic how individuals become police officers or detectives after experiencing a traumatic upbringing. This tragedy seems to define them carving a path of justice for others. In this case, justice is served when Bree has to investigate her own sisters homicide. I appreciated having Bree investigating her sisters murder. It adds that personal touch that is necessary in finding closure. I liked the use of the K-9. I haven’t encountered this in any of my recent reads. It was a nice investigative tool.It’s a story I can’t stay connected with. It’s slow building. Some of the characters and the theories associated with their lifestyle choices are okay. I’m just feeling very unattached to the characters and the storyline. The premise was so promising with that very chilling opening scene. I had hoped for a faster paced investigation with some dangerous activity. This romantic suspense had very little romance which was fine considering I wasn’t feeling any lust or passion between Matt and Bree. I find it isn’t always necessary to force a romantic relationship between two characters. Sometimes it’s better to focus on finding the killer without the distraction of romance. There were many suspects, but mostly theories. No Easter eggs to solve on your own you pretty much had to consider the theories laid out before you. I don’t really enjoy stories where all the speculation is discussed openly it takes away from the mystery.There were four minor mini plots working in concession to the main plot. Erin’s kids. Erin’s ex. Erin’s friend. The dog. Fifty percent of the plot was spent on the investigation while the other fifty percent was spent on the mini plots. Sadly, it was a mediocre story. Nothing too exciting and not very epic or memorable.
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