I read my free download of Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch, the Harlequin Intrigue by B.J. Daniels, yesterday.
The prologue of the book shows a murder in an old well on Cardwell Ranch. Fast forward seventeen years to the start of the book, when the discovery of the body brings ranch owner Dana Cardwell into contact with her ex-fiance and acting Sheriff, Hudson Savage, after five years apart. To add a little spice, the discovery of the body happens on Dana's birthday.
Excerpt from a surprise birthday party at the fabric shop Dana co-owns with her best friend Hilde:
p. 30 ""Quick! Make a wish!" her friend Margo cried.
Dana closed her eyes for an instant, made a wish, then braving the heat of thirty-one candles flickering on a sheet cake, blew as hard as she could, snuffing out every last one of them to the second chorus of happy birthday.
"Tell me you didn't wish Hud dead," Hilde whispered next to her as the smoke started to dissipate.
"And have my wish not come true? No way.""
My feelings on the book are a little mixed. I enjoyed the way the author described the Montana landscape in winter and the internal thought processes of Hud and, especially, Dana. There's a lot of detail in the book that adds to quality of the overall story. I didn't think that Dana and Hud spent enough time together, though, so most of the chemistry between them came through learning what they were thinking and feeling about each other internally instead of seeing the external actions and reactions. There was almost no sex in this one, too. I thought the killer was pretty obvious very early in the book, as well, and that was disappointing.
Again, I'll save the copy of the e-mail message from Harlequin with the free download until September 12. You can either post a comment here with your e-mail address, or send me an e-mail at Choco223@aol.com, and I'll forward you the message from Harlequin.
My overall personal rating of Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch is a B-.