The Harlequin Intrigue series had been one of my favorites growing up. They moved fast, had decent characterization, and intriguing storylines where romance met murder (and other criminal activity).
But when I moved to books by Iris Johansen and other such authors, the romantic suspense genre turned into something that had the potential of greater detail – in plot and characterization. Which is why I never really got back to reading anything from the Intrigue series.
I picked up B.J. Daniel’s Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch a while ago, when it came as a free download on an emailer list. I tried reading it, but couldn’t get past the first couple of pages because there was altogether too much drama. I tried again a while ago when I wanted to read something quick and not-too-serious. I don’t know whether it was this specific book or the genre in general, but I was definitely left underwhelmed. It was only for old times’ sake that I read it through to the end.
Let’s get right into the review.
Romance, Romantic Suspense
Five years ago, Dana Cardwell was betrayed by the man she loved. Hudson Savage left the town without explanation, and Dana hoped to never see him again. But when years-old bones are found on Dana’s ranch, an investigation is begun – led by the new acting Marshall, Hudson Savage, who is back in town for redemption, and some answers.
Soon, Dana begins to struggle with new revelations that threaten everything and everyone she believes in. Had she been wrong in questioning Hudson five years ago? Or is she wrong in trusting him now? Dana needs to find the right answers even as someone continues to threaten her every more, her home, and her life.
4 out of 10
6 out of 10
5 out of 10
6 out of 10 for its suspense, 7 out of 10 for its romance
5 out of 10
Part of a Series:
No. 1 in the Cardwell Ranch series
Nothing really remains with you long enough to be taken away.
What I Liked:
The plot twists, although predictable, were decent.
What I Didn’t Like:
No one in this book speaks to one another. Apparently, it’s easier to remain angry and detach yourself, than give the person you supposedly love the most in the world a chance to talk. Is it really that difficult to just speak to one another?
Characters were incredibly clichéd. Women are feminine, but strong and determined. Men are sinfully handsome, troubled, but trying to do the right thing.
Who Should Read It:
Anyone who enjoys Mills & Boon books, or similar, typical romances and the romantic suspense genre.
Who Should Avoid:
Anyone who likes their stories to go beyond the basic theme, and expects greater depth in story and characterization.
Read It For:
The love of basic romances – its typical romantic turmoil with a splash of suspense keeps the story moving forward. Or read it as a way to escape into a book for a short while.
The Intrigue series is a huge success and, I’m sure, for good reason. But it’s just not my cup of tea (anymore). If it’s romantic suspense you’re looking for, there are better ones out there. But if you are looking for something less complicated but still steamy enough with a touch of suspense, the Intrigue books will not disappoint.
As always, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my two cents worth!