May 24, 2014

Title: Where There’s Smoke
Author: Elizabeth Lee
Publisher: self-published
Published: May 20, 2014
Genre: NA contemporary

Synopsis: There is something to be said for letting go. Ryland Roberts knows that better than anyone. He’d let go of his ambitions, of his family and—most of all—of her. He’d perfected the art of putting his past behind him and accepted the fact that the town he wanted to leave in his rearview was the place where he was going to live out his days. But sometimes the past doesn’t just go away. Sometimes it comes back to haunt you.

Piper Jameson convinced herself that she left for all the right reasons. She’d saved people by leaving—made sure that they weren’t tainted by her rebellious ways. When her little sister asks her to come home and say goodbye to their ailing mother, she’s forced to see that things aren’t always as they seem. The people who she’d left behind might not have been saved at all.

In the amount of time it takes a bullet to travel from point A to point B, Piper and Ryland will have to put their feelings for each other aside and make a choice. Forced on the run with Piper’s sister, they begin to understand that the future they thought was gone was never really lost.

**I received a copy of this book,
but that did not influence the review**

3 stars A great storyline with characters that totally spoke to me, but execution fell just a little short. If the ending hadn’t been rushed, and some of the characters had been given just a little more substance it would definitely have gotten a higher rating. Would I read more of this author? Yes, I have a feeling she is just finding her groove…I see lots of potential.

The romance was good, really good, and really steamy in parts. While Ryland and Piper had been together before, Ms. Lee really did make it feel fresh and new. I could feel the attraction they had, the desire. That was well done.

On the other hand there were a few things that I struggled with. I had to take many situations and acts at face value, but in reality they never would have worked out that way. For example a lot of the crime in this book and the way law enforcement handled things seemed kind of made up. I’m no expert in that department, so when it seemed a little far fetched to someone like me, it’s probably not accurate at all. I wanted more more research into police procedure to make it more realistic.

I also wish some things had been fleshed out more, not rushed. I wanted to get to know more of the characters and the relationships better. I think I got an idea of Piper and Ryland by the end, but it would have been nice to know Hadley and Dean a little bit more too. It would have rounded out the story a lot for me since I liked those characters so much. So again, it was a great start, but I felt a little incomplete. However, maybe book 2 will give me the answers I need about them and I’m just a greedy reader.

I might get slack for this, and those that know me know that 99% of the time this is not really an issue for me when I read a book, but this time…not so much. The errors were atrocious. I realize I had an ARC, but I’ve never even had an ARC that was so unedited. Now, I am aware that I have no idea how the final copy is, so it might be fine, but like I said, no ARC has ever been as rough. Ever. Now, on the flip side the cover is gorgeous and clearly a lot of effort went into picking it out. I love it. I just hope the final copy with edits got as much love as the cover selection got.

Would I rec this? Yes, it’s a good read, and I definitely plan on reading more by Ms. Lee in the future.

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