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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: Death by Honeymoon + GIVEAWAY!

What Book Is That Giveaway Carnival!

Death by Honeymoon (Book #1 in the Caribbean Murder Series)Title: Death by Honeymoon
Author: Jaden Skye
Page Count: 170 pages (pdf format)
Publisher: self-published
Genre: mystery, romantic suspense
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

On the rugged, wild, eastern shore of Barbados, Cindy and Clint are enjoying their dream honeymoon, when paradise quickly turns into hell. Cindy finds her newly beloved taken away from her, drowned in a freak accident in the ocean. The local police are quick to declare it an accident, to insist that he was caught in a sudden riptide. But Cindy, left all alone, is not convinced.

Cindy must return to her and Clint’s now-empty home in New York and face her in-laws, who never wanted Clint to marry her, and who did everything to make her engagement and wedding hell. She must deal with all of these women’s backbiting, gossiping and unspoken accusations, while she tries to get a handle on her own grief and to get clear on what really happened to Clint.

Cindy is mailed an anonymous photo of a woman she had never met, addressed to Clint. As she tries to unravel the mysterious package, as she begins to dig deeper into Clint’s emails and files, she realizes how many secrets Clint had been hiding from his past. She realizes that she didn’t really know the man she loved. And she also realizes that Clint was murdered.

She digs deeper, into the depths of Clint’s massive corporation, DGB oil, and as she starts to unearth information she shouldn’t, she goes too far. Soon her own life is in peril. On the run, she realizes that the only way to get answers, and to save her own life, is to return to where it all began: Barbados. As she heads into the dark underside of the island, into the heart of the local villages, she is shocked to discover what really happened to her husband on their honeymoon.

But by then, it may already be too late.

Welcome to the final days of the giveaway carnival!  After work drama and spontaneous beach trips and all that have come to a close, I'm back to share a few more awesome indie books and giveaways with you and I hope you enjoy.

On the menu today is Death by Honeymoon.  The story opens with Cindy trying to deal with the devastating loss of her husband, who died on their honeymoon in Barbados.  Cindy's loss is even more devastating in the face of the obstacles she and Clint had to overcome to get married (his family did not approve, to put it mildly) and her extremely small support system (even though a lot of people came to visit in the days right after Clint's death, the only person looking out for Cindy was her sister, Ann.)  It's an extremely somber opening.

It becomes clear pretty quickly that there's something rotten on the island of Barbados, as Clint's repugnant family makes very clear when they come to allegedly pay their condolences and end up interrogating Cindy (Clint's widow, remember) instead.  Cindy's sister Ann is doing her best to help but comes across as kind of a bossy boots (I feel like if I were Cindy, every person that tried to tell me what I need or what would be best for me would just start getting punched in the face.)  Everyone wants to help but you can practically hear Cindy screaming inside to just get people to back off.

Anyway, Cindy has a lot of reasons for her Spidey senses to be tingling, although no one else seems to feel the same.  Just when Cindy finally caves and begins to attempt to put her life back together for the sake of other people who love her, it becomes alarmingly clear that her feeling that Clint's death wasn't an accident was right on the money.  Now she has to decide whether it would be better to just remember Clint in her heart forever and ride quietly into the sunset, or to try to uncover the truth, however ugly it may be.

Because this is a relatively short story it has to get down to business fairly quickly, and there isn't a lot of time or space to devote to side stories or ancillary characters.  The plot is lean and streamlined, and we arrive at point B from point A fairly quickly.  We as readers can piece together the game that's afoot pretty quickly; watching Cindy figure it out and overcome the obstacles that have been put in her way is a different experience.  The ending, too, and the resolution of the story, require you to buy into the story as a reader.  Would people necessarily behave that way in real life? Probably not, but that's the great thing about fiction.  The author has created an environment where everything comes out in the wash and the stage is set for book 2, and that's okay by me.  

Jaden Skye has graciously offered up FIVE digital copies of Death by Honeymoon for participants in the giveaway carnival!  You know the drill by now- fill out the form below to enter, and leave a comment on the July 1st Why Read Indie Books post saying you entered the Death by Honeymoon giveaway for an added shot at the $25 Amazon gift card!  Make sure you leave your entry comment in the correct place so it will count.
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