Series: 1st book in the Kendall O'Dell series
- Deadly Sanctuary (1998)
- The Devil's Cradle (1999)
- Dark Moon Crossing (2002)
- Seeds of Vengeance (2006)
First Published: 1998
First Line: "Oh ... my ... God."
Synopsis: Kendall O'Dell moves from a large northern American city to a very small Arizona town hoping that the change in venue will improve her job prospects as well as her asthma. She takes a job at the local newspaper as a reporter to fill in for the former reporter who recently disappeared. When Kendall learns that a couple of missing teens have recently shown up dead in the small town her reporter instincts kick in and she jumps at the chance to figure out why. In the meantime, she meets the handsome and rugged Tally as well as the very rich and charming Eric and has to decide between the two men.
My Thoughts: I found this book on amazon.com's kindle site for free so I figured I'd download it and give this author a shot. Let's just say I'm glad that it was free. As the first book in a series of 4 books I thought that it would be pretty good (it got good reviews on amazon!) but, sadly, it was just barely an ok read. The characters were cliches and totally one-dimensional (big town girl comes to small town, rich guy who adores Kendall, poor guy with a heart of gold ...) and the mystery was very transparent. I guessed almost immediately at whodunnit and there were not nearly enough twists and turns to keep my interest.
Some of the characters and storylines are too unbelievable. There also seemed to be too many different topics that the author tried to touch on. I don't want to go into any detail because it will give away what little storyline there was but needless to say there was too many issues in one book.
Another issue that I had was that Kendall wasn't believable. For me, the main character (as well as secondary characters) have to be believable. They don't have to be likeable but I have to believe that the main character 'could' be a real person. Kendall isn't that kind of a main character unfortunately. She's supposed to be this big city reporter but she doesn't behave like one. She takes people's word at face value and never questions anything! The attempts of the author to write in the dialect of the townspeople was almost laughable. The character that I liked the most was Ginger's grandmother but unfortunately she had a very small role.
Finally, I absolutely hated the rugged man's nickname. "Tally". I knew a female chocolate lab by that name and the name itself doesn't instill a very masculine, rough and tough guy like he's supposed to be portrayed. I realize it's a nickname based on his last name but I think the author could have come up with something a lot better!
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars