Dark Paradise by Tami Hoag
I'm still sloooooowly cleaning my office up. There's just a lot of stuff packed in here at the moment. I think some of my problem is that I only go through the hoard when I'm feeling like tossing things. Otherwise I'll just convince myself to keep it. I think I'm a secret pack rat at heart. I've moved half my "to-be-read" books off my massive pile (group of piles) and into a tall bookshelf.
I've also managed to read three books this weekend, but that's because my sleep schedule is still wacked from the migraine and there's not much else to do at 3 AM. I am technically 17 books ahead of schedule (according to Goodreads). I've set my goal for 230 and I've read 125 books.
Title: Dark Paradise
Author: Tami Hoag
Page Number: 528 (paperback)
Genre: fiction, mystery, suspense, romantic suspense, contemporary, romance
Publisher: Bantam Books (Penguin Random House)
New Eden, Montana, is a piece of heaven on earth where one woman died in her own private hell. Now it’s up to ex-court reporter Marilee Jennings to decipher the puzzle of her best friend’s death. But someone has a stake in silencing her suspicion. Someone with secrets worth killing for—and the power to turn this beautiful haven into a . . .
And as Mari digs deeper beneath New Eden’s picture-perfect exterior, finding the truth is suddenly no longer a matter of justice.
It’s her only hope of staying alive.
This isn't my favorite Hoag book to be fair. I think the mystery aspect of the story is the best part. The romance is not quite doing it for me here. I think it's because the 'hero'. J.D. is rude and unlikable. Well, to me at least. Maybe it's the time is was written in, as there seems to be a plethora of sex pest heros. I wonder if there's some psychological element of that, 'problematic heros as good guys to deal with the problematic men that women might run into'. I'm probably thinking too hard about this. Anyways, J.D. is one of those heros.
The story begins with Marilee showing up to visit her friend Lucy in New Eden, Montana. Montana is a beautiful state but I've only ever seen it on TV. She finds out that Lucy has died in a freak hunting accident. Marilee doesn't quite believe this and sets out to prove her friend has been murdered and to bring her killer to justice. She also runs into Lucy's neighbor, J.D. Rafferty, a surly rancher.
The friction between Marilee and J.D. drives part of the story, as they're attracted to each other but in that 'fine line between hate and love' type attraction.
Marilee befriends some of the "new" locals (wealthy people who have moved to Montana and disrupted how things were) as well as some of the "old" locals (the OG Montana natives). The tension between the two groups is another element of the story. It adds to the mystery of Lucy's death (as she was friends with the new, racy set). Of course, with Marilee getting closer to the truth, the killer sets his sights on her.
While not my favorite Hoag book as stated, I had this rated three stars. It was a good weekend read. I did keep it as I tend to keep all my Tami Hoag books. It's a steamy read as the romance between Marilee and J.D. is hot (even with him being a grade A ass). The mystery aspect is helped along because of the tension in the town and it's pretty good.
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