Despite being a devout bookworm, Heather Huffman’s Throwaway (sponsored link) was the first book I’d ever wanted to spread the word about so strongly that I reviewed it. When I was offered an advance copy of Heather’s latest novel to review, I practically bit the proffering hand off!
Stop by on 7th February when I’ll be posting a teaser excerpt from Roses in Ecuador(sponsored link), and 14th February when Heather will be visiting as part of her blog tour.
Roses in Ecuador opens with a young boy performing his job of spying on a Jaguar preservation. It’s clear that Eduardo has scruples about his occupation, and that alone had me hooked from page 1. I was intrigued by Eduardo’s character, and itching to know who hired him, and why they would want to spy on a Jaguar preservation.
When we first meet Jane Russell she is feistily refuting the attentions of the local playboy Devon McAllister, but when the preservation is attacked by angry locals she’s forced to accept his assistance. The plot thickens when the same “angry locals” turn out in force to help search for the missing Jaguars. If they’re not behind the attack, then who is, and why are they willing to kill Jane in the process?
With the whodunit suspense, and the constant “will they, won’t they” tension between Jane and Devon, I finished the novel in two sittings (*ahem* so much for exam revision). I rooted for the feisty & strong, yet vulnerable Jane as a realistic character, although if truth be told I did want to elbow her aside – hell if she’s dithering about Devon, I’ll have him!
I hunted for a criticism of this book, and it turned out to be a compliment in that I wanted to know more about Eduardo’s character. One scene (I’ll call it the espionage scene to avoid spoilers) seemed a trifle rushed to me as I wanted a bit more of a blow-by-blow account, but overall the novel didn’t suffer for it.
Apparently Heather was once told that there was no market for novels which touch on the dark side of life, but are humorous love stories. I’m relieved she didn’t let that stop her as the mixture of suspense, romance, gritty content and moments of lighter relief are exactly what I want from of a book.
Disclaimer: I was sent an electronic advanced reader copy of Roses in Ecuador to review, but the opinions given are, as always, entirely my own.