Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Indie Wednesday Spotlight Review: No Greater Hell by Jerrie Alexander

Series:     Lost & Found, Inc #4
Pub. Date:May 17, 2016
Length:330 pages

I sat in on one of Jerrie Alexander's panels last year at an author event, and I thought she was great. So funny. So I have been happy to get a couple of her ARCs since that time. Unfortunately I did myself a disservice with this book. Although I picked up signed copies of the first three books of this series - I haven't actually been able to fit them into my schedule yet. So I tried to come into the series in the middle, starting with this book. Mistake.

Jerrie is a good writer - and she has some good real world sources for her research that make her stories believable and authentic. So I encourage you to read the series from the beginning and not be a numpty like me. If you start with this book, you are going to be missing back story on all of the characters... but more importantly, you will be missing vital history between the hero and heroine of this installment. At the very least, you should read Hell or High Water. I wish I would have had done that myself.

This part contains spoilers for Hell or High Water... 

So now its 2 years later and Jake Donovan has been living the farm life on his aunt's ranch in Murdoch, Texas. He seems to have found a measure of peace after his ordeal, though guilt over past behaviors is a heavy weight on his shoulders. I liked the Jake Donovan we met in this book, but I was missing a connection to his character that I probably would have felt if I read the books in order. I didn't feel like I had the patience or empathy for issues that probably would have garnered sympathy if I knew the history. Most of those issues revolved around him thinking he wasn't good enough for the heroine, or that she was better off without him.

Holly Hoffman has a bit of a tortured past - having been kidnapped by a human trafficking ring, only to be saved by her kidnapper and friends at Lost and Found, Inc. It seems like somewhere in the previous books (I'm not sure which one), Holly developed an attraction to Jake Donovan. She didn't expect to see him again when he left Lost and Found, and Dallas, behind. Yet they find themselves in the same storm-ravaged area of Texas providing care and assistance to families in need. Holly is there working as a nurse and Jake is helping the sheriff keep order and conduct search and rescue. However, danger soon finds Holly again and she and Jake are thrown together to keep her out of harm's way. Holly was a decent heroine... though I wasn't able to form a good connection to her character either. We really don't learn much about her in this story, so her character is another aspect that was hindered by me not reading the earlier books. I did get annoyed at times by Holly's wishy washy thoughts/behaviors with regard to her feelings for Jake. I kept wishing she would take matters into her own hands and stop waiting for him to make the first step.

The suspense features of this book were spot on and really helped advance the story as needed. I liked that we got some of the POV from the villains because my curious mind always wants to know whats happening the big bad's head. None of the events here really required you to suspend your belief very far... the events were plausible even if the lack of regard for life was horrifying. I enjoy romantic suspense a bit more when I can imagine the incidents actually happening, so I enjoyed this aspect of the book.

The romance was a bit hot and cold, which must be attributed largely to the history between Jake and Holly. Most of the obstacles to the relationship could be laid on Jake's shoulders, but Holly was just as much to blame for not taking the bull by the horns. I wish the ending would not have been so abrupt. I think, given the angst between our couple through the story, the ending could have been drawn out a bit more with adult discussion about their relationship and future. I think an epilogue would have also added something extra to the story... though if the characters continue into future books, I can see why that may have been left off.

I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Lost and Found, Inc.