Tuesday, November 29, 2016

ARC Review: When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

Pub. Date:Nov. 29, 2016
Publisher:Berkley Romance
Length:304 pages
Source:NetGalley

This is my first read from Jayne Ann Krentz, and I am glad that I have finally got her on my calendar. I have had a couple of her series on my TBR for quite a while, so hopefully I can work those into the schedule soon. When All the Girls Have Gone is a good combo of women's fiction and romantic suspense, with relatable characters with real world problems.

Charlotte Sawyer is an eminently logical person... she isn't the type of person that you will find skydiving or bungee jumping, or anything spontaneous at all really. She works as a resident coordinator at a retirement village, spending her days with an endearing group of elderly people. After being jilted at the altar, Charlotte's life consists of work, wine, netflix and reading. While this doesn't sound horrible to me, I totally related to her feeling stuck in a rut but not being able to find that a hobby or niche to occupy her free time. I loved that she was not a whiny heroine, but when going got tough her practical nature stayed true and she persevered by putting one foot in front of the other.

Max Cutler is a profiler turned private investigator who has relocated to Seattle after a failed marriage and forced resignation. He was much like Charlotte with a practical nature but some alpha male tendencies mixed in. He also had a difficult childhood, escaping from a cult and being taken in by the sheriff who rescued him. Between his childhood, something that happened when he was a profiler, and his failed marriage, Max seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. He is almost embarrassed by his current circumstances, and I found that to be both endearing and relatable. He felt like he had to make excuses to Charlotte for the state of his fixer upper house, and he was a bit like a puppy being praised when Charlotte accepts him for who he is. 

Max and Charlotte are thrown together as he is investigating a possible murder, which turns out to be connected to the seeming disappearance of Charlotte's step-sister. They become an investigative team trying to uncover the truth behind recent murders, disappearances, and decades old unsolved rape cases. While the reader knows who the bad guys are, there are a couple twists that may keep you guessing for a bit. I enjoyed following them on their journey to discover the answers and save the day. I also enjoyed their sensible approach to the shared attraction that they were feeling. This story was a good example that not every romance has to be a grand passion to be worthwhile. Aside from all the suspense and dangerous bits, the relationship between Charlotte and Max is more realistic and something I would expect to see in real life (vs. fiction). 

This was not a heart-pounding suspense story, but I thought the pacing was good and it kept me turning the page to finish in one sitting. I liked putting the puzzle pieces together along with our main characters while seeing them grow closer together as a couple. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Max and his foster father, and hope there may be future stories involving Max's foster brothers.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley Romance.