Publishing Info: April 19, 2012 by Kelly Cochran
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 12, 2012
Breaking It Down Further: After witnessing her ex-fiance’s murder, former high-powered business woman Aspen Moore takes shelter in the witness protection program and relocates to St. Louis, MO. After nearly a year there and a decently successful new business as a personal concierge, Aspen finds one of her clients dead – But under suspicious circumstances. Determined to unravel the mysteries of his death, Aspen employs the help of her maybe-more-than-platonic friend Peter Parker and his (sexy) friend and lawyer Jack. As Aspen begins to connect the dots, unearth buried secrets, and befriends others involved along the way, trouble dogs her every step. Dodging henchmen, recovering a client’s lost dog, and trying to balance her hormones for her two male co-conspirators, Aspen fights to solve the mystery before she gets herself killed or blows her WitSec cover.
I really enjoyed so much about this book! Aspen was a really easy character for me to relate to. She seemed normal/down-to-earth with just the right amount of tough and feminine. I also really liked the twist of her being in the witness protection program. It really added another element of edge to the story, along with the fact that she’s dodging known stalkers and possible hitmen; she needs to keep her real story under wraps as well.
One of my favorite things about the book was Aspen’s existing relationship with Peter and then her conflicting and developing relationship with Jack. There’s a lot of tension between her and Peter, but it’s just so relatable — Everyone’s been there — The sexual tension with someone who’s “just a friend”. And then we’re introduced to Jack (who I was glad she started to carry on with!) and we see Peter’s conflicting emotions towards their relationship as well as a few curveballs. I also really liked Peter because I saw a little mix of a lot of my friends in his character. I loved the back-and-forth between him and Aspen, and also that their friendship is obviously mutually valued because he always has her back.
I do admit, I was a bit lost in the mystery at first (I think it was all the M names… Martin, Marston, Mitchell…) but I was able to straighten myself out and was really surprised by the ending and how the mystery was resolved! Another one I didn’t expect.
I really look forward to the next novel when it comes out. I really enjoyed Aspen’s character a lot and I look forward to seeing her character develop as well as her sleuthing skills. And I can’t wait to see what happens with her and Jack!
It was a really great first novel! Nicely developed with some really great characters and creative twists. I really look forward to reading more in the series.