J. Lynn Bailey’s PEONY RED, a Granite Harbor Series Novel, is available now!
Title: Peony Red
Author: J. Lynn Bailey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About Peony Red:
Alex Fisher hasn’t been able to find her stride since the death of her husband three years ago. She’s out of a job, out of time, and running on fumes. So, when she receives two postcards from Granite Harbor, Maine, inviting her for a visit, she takes it as a sign for a start fresh. For game warden Eli Young, life is simpler when he’s exploring the back roads of Maine. In the north woods, he doesn’t have to deal with town politics or his soon-to-be ex-wife. When Alex makes Eli an offer he can’t refuse, he should say no. He should walk away. Except he can’t. Something about her leaves him tangled. A dark storm is brewing in the small coastal town, and everyone is on edge when word spreads quickly about a young woman who has gone missing. When a picture of Alex shows up at a gruesome scene, no one is prepared for what will happen next. Eli wants to save Alex, but she has to save herself. The question isn’t, Can she? It’s, Will she?
**************Cait Sidhe’s Review of Peony Red by J. Lynn Bailey***************
Alex Fisher is a well-known romance author, who lost her husband three years before Peony Red takes place. Ever since Kyle died, she can’t seem to connect to anything anymore and her writing career is suffering as a result. When she receives two postcards from an unknown “Eli”, written in her dead husband’s handwriting, inviting her to Granite Harbor, Maine, she decides on a change of scenery. Granite Harbor is a quaint little town and Alex quickly makes friends with the couple that owns the bakery, Hello Good-Pie. In walks game warden, Eli Young. Inspired by Eli and his job, Alex immediately decides to write a series of contemporary romances centered around wardens. And, hey, the butterflies Alex keeps getting around him certainly don’t hurt!
Alex and Eli have an instant connection, but they are both struggling with their own pasts. Alex feels like she is dishonoring her husband’s memory and Eli hasn’t yet bothered to file divorce papers, even though he and his wife are no longer an item. They both are trying very hard to not get involved but to no avail.
It’s not all sunshine and peonies in Granite Harbor though. Someone is lurking in the shadows, killing and mutilating animals, leaving gruesome scenes all over town. Then they start finding body parts. When Alex’s picture shows up at one of these scenes, Eli will do whatever it takes to find out who is behind the killings and keep Alex safe.
Cait Sidhe’s rating: I give Peony Red 4 propellers out of 5. Granite Harbor is so beautifully written that you feel like you are there. Alex and Eli, in spite of their own hesitations, are adorable together and find yourself rooting for them the whole time. The plot is unique and the characters are so real and charismatic. Even the secondary characters are endearing! We also get to see Alex’s struggle with her father’s Alzheimer’s disease, which adds another layer to the story, as well as her grief over the death of her husband.
There were a few things that kept me from enjoying Peony Red completely though. One is the animal killings. I wish I would have known that ahead of time. They are glossed over and not described in much detail, thankfully, but for those of us that are animal lovers, I wish the blurb mentioned it. The other is that we frequently have to repeat a scene with dual POV’s from both Alex and Eli. I didn’t feel it was necessary to hash out the same scene again from the other character’s POV. It just didn’t lend anything extra to the story for me.
Overall, Peony Red was an enjoyable read, with genuine characters and a slow burn romance, peppered with a little mystery and danger. Peony Red is a tale, not only of second chances but of finding yourself again!
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About the Author:
Lynn Bailey has loved to write since she learned to read, around the second grade. When she isn’t running after her children, watching COPS, or on the hunt for her next Laffy Taffy joke, you can probably find her holed up in her writing room feverishly working on her next book. She lives in Northern California with her family.
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