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Friday, August 29, 2014

Flower in the Desert by Lavender Parker

I am super excited about sharing my review of Flower in the Desert with all of you. This is surprisingly the first book that I've personally had the pleasure of reading by author Lavender Parker. So what made me pick up this one? There was just something about that cover and the title that just caught my attention. It's just that simple. And of course it didn't hurt that it is only $0.99! I one-clicked it and I am so glad that I did! I really didn't plan to read the entirety of this book when I downloaded it, but I was just a bit curious since my trigger finger didn't give me time to read the sample first. Once I started reading I found Flower in the Desert to be a very engaging and exciting book that I just kept on reading until the end.  But I'm jumping ahead of myself...

What it is About: Someone has locked Ruby, a mother of two and a divorcee, in the trunk of her car. This is where the story starts right from page one.  She she can't remember exactly how she got there, but she knows she's going to die if she can't get out of the trunk, and once she does she only discovers that she's abandoned  in the desert that will also kill her.  Jase is a Native-American man who helps track missing persons. He's brought on the case of helping find the missing Ruby and is drawn to the photo of the smiling woman. When finding her isn't as simple as he'd hoped he is determined to do just that - find her even if it is only her body. When Ruby does meet Jase it is an uphill battle to make it from the desert with the both of them alive. But with danger and death looming an attraction and caring begins to bloom. Is it real or is it just the threat of death and the deadly desert?

The Good: I really liked both Jase and Ruby. He's the silent, strong, brooding loner whose attraction to Ruby seemed natural and believable. He isn't going to give up until he finds her and when he does he's just as determined to get her to safety before it is too late. The thing is, he wasn't written over-the-top and his loyalty even when he wanted to seem aloof just got to me. The author wrote this man so that his appeal was effortless and his determination = sexy! I also loved that he's Native American. That was a big plus for me! Let's see more diversity in IR romance! Ruby was also a darned determined character. From the beginning she isn't going to lay down and die. She's a fighter and a survivor and she goes through the gauntlet with Jase. Basically, I really liked the beginning of the book. It was captivating and I cared what happened to these two. After such an intense and action-packed first half, the second half lags somewhat; however, this in no way decreases the likability of the story. The concerns that the hero has after they are rescued are concerns that I think anyone would and should naturally have.

The Bad: Although I really liked this book there were a few things that were frustrating for me as a reader. Although I found Jase's concerns natural and believable, it was also frustrating. I wish he would have been more open with her because she was pretty open with him (almost too much) about how she felt. It would also have been nice to get to know Jase a bit better. That would have gone a long way to completely explain why he lived the way that he did, thought the way he did about himself, and it would have made the story even richer for me because Ruby would have known him as more than her hero, but also as a man. There were also a some unanswered questions. I needed to know the true reason why she was left to die, for example. It was never really clarified for me. Yes we're told who did it (I don't want to give anything away, but it is easily figured out early on), but not why it was done. There are other unanswered questions that I can't express here on my review without giving away what some might consider spoilers, but I think they are questions that any reader other than myself may have

My Final Thoughts: Go out and purchase a Flower in the Desert! You really won't be disappointed. It is well written and exciting. You have great characters, danger and undeniable attraction.This is a book that makes complete use of its 130 or so pages.  Although it is not a long story, you don't feel as if you've been short changed at all. In fact, in the land of mediocre stories, too few pages, and overpriced ebooks, you'll feel like you've robbed the author after reading such a complete story for only $0.99.
I'm giving Flower in the Desert a rating of 3.5 out of 5. (I only took away a half a rating point because of the unanswered questions.)
Rating: 3.5
Pages: 130
Published: July 22, 2014

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