Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: By the River by Jennie Hansen

By the River, by Jennie Hansen
2015, 204p, Clean Suspense/Romance
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

It was supposed to be a relaxing early morning run, but the path along the river trail quickly turns into the scene of a nightmare for recent college graduate Kira Paxton. An unintended exploration of a secluded riverbank leads to a gruesome discovery that sets her on a collision course with danger: it is the body of a young woman. In shock, all Kira can manage to do is scream . . . From the moment Ford Kettering hears the cries for help along the trail, he is drawn irrevocably into a mystery in which he plays a shocking role. Ford, a local high school teacher, had a recent classroom clash with the victim—now, he’s a person of interest. As Ford and Kira bond over their shared ordeal, they work together to prove Ford’s innocence—and soon, their attraction is undeniable. But it seems that Kira’s nightmare is far from over. What begins as a series of close calls and acts of vandalism soon escalates, putting Kira’s own life in jeopardy. It appears that Kira saw something that day along the trail, something that has made her a target. With Ford’s help, she is determined to track down the killer—before she becomes the next victim.

This book starts off fast--Kira has just discovered the body of a young woman. Actually, her brother's dog, Jasper, has due to his fascination with shoes. Kira's screams attract the attention of Ford, a local high school teacher. He realizes that he knows the victim and has had some negative interactions with her recently. He does become a suspect but I didn't feel that he was looked at seriously past the first interview with the detective. 

Things start heating up for Kira as all sorts of crazy things start happening. She is constantly fighting her father and brother for her independence. Unbeknownst to her, her father sets up security for her. By the time she learns of it, though, things have gotten to the point where she is grateful for it.

The characters we get to know in this book are all likable. Jasper, the dog, was particularly fun to read about. He annoyed Kira and didn't obey her at all. I understand why she didn't want him around, but there were times she was glad he was there. Kira and Ford were attracted to each other and it didn't take long for them to start dating. There was a lot going on which made for some challenges but they were willing to figure things out.

The pace of the book was fast and there was quite a bit going on. There was someone trying to keep Kira quiet and it was difficult to pin down who it was. I was ready for some answers at the end and was a little disappointed in the reveal. I'm not sure what I was expecting but after all the craziness Kira went through, it seemed like it would have been something different. 

Overall, it's a great read, especially if you enjoy clean, romantic suspense. This is the first novel I've read by Jennie Hansen and I look forward to reading more in the future! 

Jennie Hansen lived a nomadic life during her early years and can remember living in twenty-two different houses and attending eight schools. The two colleges where she earned degrees, Ricks and Westminster, made ten. She worked as a model, secretary, newspaper reporter and editor, legislative page, teacher, and librarian. Through it all, she kept writing. To date she has twenty-three published novels, numerous short stories, and many magazine and newspaper articles to her credit. She has written reviews of LDS fiction for Meridian Magazine since 2001.

She and her husband have five children, all of whom are married to wonderful people, and eleven grandchildren. Two days each week Jennie and her husband can be found serving at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, a fifteen-minute drive from their Utah home.

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