IT manager Mia Connors is up to her tortoiseshell glasses in technical drama when a glitch in the Horseshoe Falls email system disrupts security and sends errant messages to residents of the gated community. The snafu’s timing couldn’t be worse—Renaissance Faire season is in full swing and Mia’s family’s business relies on her presence.
Mia doesn’t have time to hunt down a computer hacker. Her best friend has disappeared, and she finds another of her friends murdered—in her office. When the hunky new head of Horseshoe Falls security identifies Mia as the prime suspect, her anxiety level registers on the Richter scale.
Eager to clear her name, Mia moves into action to locate her missing buddy and find out who killed their friend. But her quick tongue gets her into trouble with more than the new head of security. When Mia begins receiving threats, the killer makes it clear that he's closer than she’d ever imagined.
I read all three books in the series over the course of a couple of days, so apologies if the books blend together a little bit.
First, the Mary Sue heroine – gorgeous, a millionaire, amazing wardrobe, super smart, every man in the world is in love with her, but of course the detractors, she has no idea about the in love with part, and she’s a “geek”, in that she likes RPGs, RenFaire, computers, ComicCon, and that apparently isn’t a good thing. As a heroine in what is marketed as a romance (also a cozy mystery, which, also not really) she is a serious, serious prude. I didn’t need them to bring out the whips and chains, but I did want even a hint of chemistry between her and the hero. One teeny longing of what it would be like to feel his lips on hers or his body against her or even a tingle at his touch.
Second, the lack of depth in the book. I never got a sense of place in the entire story, nor really felt like the characters were anything more than superficial stick figures the author was puppetting about. Digging deeper into feelings and emotions would have helped immensely here, and not just with the “relationship” between Jake and Mia (if you can call it that).
Third, I knew who the villain was the first time they were introduced. And I’m sorry, but Spoiler you didn’t play with me at a party that one time is just not a strong enough motivation for murder and the type of destruction perpetuated.
Finally, just altogether too long. Way too much of Mia’s family, not enough romance or mystery. Huge chunks of extraneous stuff could have been cut out of the book or even replaced with the depth I needed.
That said, the voice was readable enough and once you got past the prudishness and the obliviousness, Mia was fairly likeable – enough that I moved on to the next book.