Monday, November 8, 2010

Review: Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B. J. Daniels

cardwell ranch
  Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch
Author:  B. J. Daniels
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Publisher:  Harlequin
Publication Date:  February 14, 2006
Series Info:  Book 1 in the Montana Mystique series
Cover Artist:  Unknown
Who/What/Why/Where/How:  Downloaded a free copy for my Nook app from Barnes & Noble.
Where to Buy:  Amazon

After Hudson Savage betrayed her, Dana Cardwell hoped never to lay eyes on the seductive cowboy again.  Until a bunch of old bones showed up on her family ranch.  Suddenly her former lover was back in her life in a big way – to investigate a decades-old crime.

Five years ago, Hud left town with a heart-load of regrets.  But now, as acting interim marshal, he has a job to do.  And this time he wasn't walking away.  Because now Dana's life was on the line – as the unsuspecting target of a killer who still walked the canyon.  Hud would do whatever it took to keep Dana close.  Even if it meant risking his own heart for a second chance for both of them...

Now that I have a Kindle 3 and more reading apps on my phone than I know what to do with, I like to peruse the freebie e-book sections of Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon and the like to see if there’s anything that catches my eye.  It’s one of the ways I work around my self-imposed book ban.  *wiggles eyebrows*  What’s that?  My TBR pile is still going to get bigger that way?  I can’t resist free 99!  It’s a disease!  *Ahem*  Enough about my impulse buying problems and on to the review.

I’ve been on a cowboy bender lately and remembered I had this e-book downloaded to my Nook app.  I fired up my Droid X and was immediately pulled into Ms. Daniels’ story about an old unsolved murder and reunited ex-lovers.  Right off the bat I really liked the protagonists.  They were both believable and you could feel each of their plights as they tried to put the pieces of their lives as well as the crime back together.  I also enjoyed, or in some cases, despised the supporting characters.  Another thing I really enjoyed was the setting.  I loved reading the description of the Montana landscape (checked out some pictures of the locations and it’s now on my Top 10 Places to Visit list).  The story had me guessing at every turn.  Even when I thought I’d figured it out I ended up being completely off.

I only had two issues with the book.  There were some typos that distracted me a little while I was reading and the ending.  It wasn’t so much the ending to the main plot I had a problem with.  It was more of a subplot issue.  The mystery plays itself out and you get the full story and all the answers as to who did it and why.  The resolution to the subplot felt like it happened in the blink of an eye.  It was just like, ‘Oh, look, problem solved’ and them BAM the story ended.  I almost felt like the ending was cut too soon.  I scared the hell out of my boyfriend because I jumped off the couch and was like, ‘THAT’S IT?!?’  LOL!  You had to have been there.  His face was priceless.  But, I digress.  Overall, I enjoyed reading this story and I would definitely give more of Ms. Daniels’ books a try.

Favorite Lines:
Her emotions boiled up like one of the Yellowstone geysers just down the road.  First shock and right on its heels came fury.

But none unnerved him like the look in Dana Cardwell’s whiskey-brown glare.

When she pulled back, the kiss was as natural as sunrise.  Soft, salty, sweet and tentative.  And for a moment nothing mattered.

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Also Reviewed By: 
Fire Pages


  1. Hey Jen! Thanks so much for posting a link to my review on your site. Much appreciated.

    I also really enjoyed this book for the same reasons. This title had plenty of intrigue to keep me on the edge of my seat.

    As a reminder, you can totally download 16 free ebooks (pdf format) at I know that this book is in the pack, but there are others in there I definitely think you would like!

    Have a great day!

  2. You're very welcome Zee! Just out of curiousity, how did you feel about the ending?

    Thanks for the heads up. Which ones are stand outs for you?

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have an awesome day too.

  3. Hi Jen!

    How do you like reading books on your Droid? I have a picture in my head of you with a magnifying glass :) I liked this one too as a quick read but was disappointed in that subplot you mentioned...Years worth of anguish and then oh!

    I think I can imagine what D's face was when you exploded - LOL! I've put that one on my DH's too :)

  4. LOL! It's actually not that bad. The screen's pretty big for a smart phone so I don't need my trusty magnifying glass. ;-)

    Whatever picture you have in your head multiply it by 10 and you'll have a pretty good idea of what he looked!