By the River by Jennie Hansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from publisher to review
Genre: Clean Romantic Suspense
Book Description: 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.
My thoughts: Kira is an independent woman. There are people she loves who are trying to look out for her, but encroaching upon her personal space. This becomes more evident the day she discovers a body at the river. From that moment her life becomes chaotic. Her father and brother try to talk her into giving up her condo, she has a PI tracking her movements, she is stalked by a killer, and she falls in love.
I enjoyed the characters in the book. Many of them are quirky and show their unique personalities. I loved the dog, Jasper. I would hate to have him living with me, but he adds a level of humor to the book. You have to read about Jasper to truly appreciate him in the story. His escapades bring Kira trouble and comfort.
This book is fun to read and left me wanting to find out who is really the bad guy. I knew it wasn't Ford, Kira's love interest and a suspect in the story. There are several turns in the story. One minute I thought I had it all figured out to realize that my assumptions weren't always accurate.
This is a clean romantic/suspense novel. There are some religious references that do not have a huge bearing on the plot. There is also non-graphic violence and kissing.
About the Author: 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.
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