First of all, let me begin by saying I’m sorry that I’ve been so sporadically posting. This month has been rough on me and I’m trying to maintain a normal schedule and just failing to do that. So these reviews are both late, but hopefully they’ll help you decide if you want to pick up these two books.
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley, I was able to read A Game of Cones by Abby Collette, a cozy mystery and I’m pleased to review it for you here. And then, thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin, I was able to read At the Rancher’s Pleasure by Joss Wood. Both of these books are available now!
A Game of Cones by Abby Collette
I was curious about A Game of Cones and the first book in the series because of the covers. Berkley has done a lot with illustrated covers in the romance industry and I figured that probably means that this book would be a nice intro sort of cozy mystery and I could dip my toes in the water. Growing up, my favorite books were Nancy Drew and Boxcar Children mysteries or those historical mysteries and the Babysitter Club specials. The point is that I used to love mysteries. Nowadays though, if I read a mystery, it’s usually more on the thriller side and I really just want something that captures that childhood joy. This book did not do that.
What it did do was confuse me immensely. I didn’t love the writing style, which is definitely a me thing, but the way the plot moved had me feeling like I was in a pinball machine. The lack on subtlety in asking suspects questions was horrifying on every level. The sheer amount of characters was overwhelming. I also thought maybe we would get a romance in here and then at the end a romantic development sort of happened, but it came out of nowhere.
I am so hopeful that this book works for a lot of readers, but unfortunately, that reader was definitely not me.
At the Rancher’s Pleasure by Joss Wood
At the Rancher’s Pleasure is book two in this series that Naima Simone kicked off with Back in the Texan’s Bed (ARC Review). This particular installment follows the hero from book one’s mom who is back in town. Sarabeth has a reputation in Royal (underserved as it may be) as a gold digger because her ex husband, Rusty, is a trash can. Truly, he’s awful. Anyway, turns out that when Sarabeth eventually left for California she started her own company that she recently sold and now the woman is RICH. She’s staying at a guest cottage on Brett’s property, a very attractive man a decade younger than her, and also a man who just got back from a solo honeymoon after leaving his fiancé at the altar.
So Sarabeth and Brett have some fire chemistry and there are probably more sex scenes in this book than in a lot of the Desire books I’ve read. So if you’re looking for steamy, this book could definitely be for you. I found myself skimming them because I didn’t actually feel like they were contributing much to the overall progress of the novel, but YMMV. Anyway, Sarabeth and Brett become friends with benefits and then despite the fact that it’s very clear that their connection goes well beyond the physical, they keep trying to tell themselves that they are just friends who have sex.
I think the conflict in the book was pretty well done, but also, it’s a type of conflict that I always wind up rolling my eyes over. And then the very end takes a dramatic turn and I kind of wanted to know more during THIS book. Anyway, I think if you want something steamy with a lot of internal emotional soul searching, this could definitely be the book for you!
Have you read either of these books? If so, what did you think?