Those who prosper by thievery, thuggery, or by ruining another, have chosen to live on the devil’s dime.
She is a beautiful, talented violinist. He is a crusader against crime, using his newspaper column to expose injustice and bring down those who lived on the take -- on the devil’s dime.
When investigative reporter Jess Pepper’s column re-opens a twenty-year-old case, he has no idea it will put a target on the back of his sweetheart’s father. And get her abducted. Now he has forced an innocent Samaritan into the public eye, and set a corrupt precinct chief on a course for revenge. Jess must discover not only who wants this good man dead, but how to save the woman who has turned his world upside down and captured his heart.
Why I read this book: I bought this title for my Kindle in December 2011 for $2.99, and have no memory of where I heard of it and what led me to buy it. I randomly chose the title from my Kindle list last month when scrolling for something to read, probably because the author’s surname starts with B, so it was near the top. (Did you think it was a scientific or fair process? Psh)
From an editorial standpoint, there was one scene (to do with a hanging) in which there were a few cases of head-hopping that were very distracting and required a re-read of the section. Mostly though, I was absorbed in the story enough to not read critically and ignore little things. Content aside, the book’s cover design feels wrong. It’s an intriguing cover, which is probably what drew me to read the blurb back when I bought it in 2011, but my first assumption was dystopian, a genre I love. Nothing about the cover says historical fiction or New York; the woman with sultry eye make-up is nothing like the heroine, who is a relatively average low- to middle-class woman who doesn't wear eye make-up, nor is she sultry; and when viewed as a small-ish icon it’s not discernible that the lower portion of the cover is a violin (which is thematically accurate).
Favorite quote: Jess Pepper writes a review of the Avalon Strings, the heroine’s orchestral group, and it made me desperate to hear them! It’s a long quote though, so I’ll direct you to Goodreads for it. Here, I’ll go with: “Whatever cosmic attraction had drawn [Jess & Addie] to one another in the first place was beginning to fill in with the chinks and mortar of very real, very likeable human traits.”
Series: Book 1 of The Samaritan Files. Book 2, The Gilded Cage, is expected for publication late summer 2013 – and I’ll definitely be reading it. It’s worth noting that The Devil’s Dime doesn’t end with cliffhangers, so it could be read as a standalone.
Publication: Trade Paperback & ebook from Prairie Muse Publishing (October 26, 2011)
Similar reading: If you’re looking for setting, Delilah Marvelle’s Rumor series is historical romance set in early-1800s New York, and some of the characters work at a Newspaper. Style-wise, they are quite different, as Marvelle writes less mystery and more steamy. For the investigative reporter aspect, check out Pamela Clare's contemporary romantic suspense I-Team series.