Author: JS Cook
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Veteran police chief Eli Gallagher doesn’t ask for much, but he does insist that his officers uphold the “serve” part of “serve and protect.” Conscientious young Deputy Stan Leach takes Eli’s motto to heart, maintaining a high standard of personal accountability.
When Eli’s long-distance boyfriend, Gilbert Nees, telephones from Philadelphia, Eli thinks he intends to further cement their relationship. Unfortunately, Gilbert’s news is anything but good. But Eli doesn’t have time to wallow, because a violent act results in murder in the small town of Morristown, Mississippi.
But as Eli and Stan uncover evidence, their personal lives begin to unravel. Stan, working closely with Chief Gallagher, grows increasingly attached to Eli and learns what it really means to be an advocate of justice.
Novellas are a hard format to write well. You have to balance the needs of the story with the restrictions of the word count. Some authors excel at the novella format (Harper Fox comes to mind). Unfortunately, more often than not a novella is lacking… something… You know what I mean, right? That “something” that makes a story resonate with you, the reader. You don’t have room for a lot of backstory in a novella so what you do show the reader needs to be rich and complete.
I found The Winter Dark by JS Cook to be lacking that “something” to make my reading experience complete. There was an interesting enough premise and story, but too much time was spent on the backstory and not enough on the relationship between the two main characters. They each have a past, but nothing that unduly impacted what should have been the main storyline. Nothing that should have been given two-thirds of the entire story.
Once the MCs finally get together, they aren’t even together. It is all rushed and suddenly there is a Happily Ever After moment, but nothing between point A and point C. Yes, I get that men aren’t all the emotional saps that romance novels lead one to believe. Yes, I understand that sometimes they fall into bed together at inappropriate times. But the reader should not read one story for 2/3 of the book and then be given an ending for something completely different.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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