Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
This book is the very definition of a 3-star book. I liked it, it was an easy read, it was technically well written. It wasn't terrible and didn't make me roll my eyes . It wasn't implausible. It made sense. But alas, it will not jump to the front of the my mind when someone asks me for a rec of a good Nora Roberts book or even a good suspense book. It did not move me and it did not prompt me to go back and re-read it immediately after finishing.
I did like the heroine, Lila. She is a professional house-sitter who has enjoyed some modest success as an YA paranormal author. She is house-sitting for a family while indulging in a little bit of Rear Window-esque action. She likes to people watch. And like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window she witnesses a murder.
Lila is funny and personable and warm. She very easily engages people in conversations and somehow manages to effortlessly learn all about them in the process. This was a nice departure from some recent NR heroines who have tended to be a bit on the prickly side.
The hero, Ashton, was a bit more opaque. He is an artist who was all intense and alpha and artisty. I wasn't as won over with Ashton, again a bit of a departure as I tend to have really enjoyed NR's heroes more than her heroines. But I must say, while Ashton felt seemingly run-of-the mill, his family situation was great. I loved how chaotic his family was. His parents had been married multiple times and he is the eldest of a melange of siblings, half-siblings and step-siblings. I liked the glimpses I got of his family and wished we had gotten to spend more time with them. I also tended to enjoy him more when we got to see him in his role with his family.
I hated the villains. They were a bit mustache twirly. Very over-the-top villainous. Made we wish longingly for the Russian mobsters from The Witness - Nora Roberts (fantastic book, btw, this one I definitely recommend) who felt humanized and interesting. They weren't written as just villains who were amorphously evil, they were criminals whose bad deeds were grounded in realism. Big difference.
There is secondary romance that felt perfunctory. I generally liked the two characters as supporting characters, but found myself puzzled by the need to make them a couple.
Anyway, this was a fine book. Easy to read and kill and afternoon with.