3.5 on the Masq Scale. Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder by @MaryAnnKempher #bookreview

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Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder

Written by MaryAnn Kempher

Genre: Romance, Mystery

Book Synopsis

Wnstead of feeding her late-night appetite, a midnight food run nearly gets 28-year-old Katherine O’Brian killed. She’s the only person to see the man who brutally murdered a local woman, and the killer is hell-bent on making sure she doesn’t talk.

Scott Mitchell left a broken engagement behind when he moved to Reno, and the last thing he needs is more melodrama. But when he and Katherine are paired for a college project, that’s what he gets. It can be very distracting when someone is out to kill your lab partner. Together, they try to figure out what the police haven’t been able to—the identity of the murderer. Passion flares, but with Katherine’s life in danger, romance seems like more than a bad idea.

Scott and Katherine will face jealousy, misunderstandings, lust, and rivals, not to mention attempted murder—and all before their first real date.

Sandra's Review

As the title would suggest, the book combines mystery with romance. I liked reading it, although it took me a while to really get into both the story and the characters. One reason for that is because even though the Murder happens quite early on, it takes the story a while to get more exciting on that front. We just stay with main character Katherine and get to know her life, while the murder mystery disappears into the background. The other reason is because we are introduced to more than one character in a point-of-view sense. So you switch before you really get to know the person through whose eyes you are witnessing things. Which is interesting, but to my taste there are a few too many viewpoints.

This is more a romance than a mystery book, I think, because there is more focus on the nature of the relationship between Katherine and Scott than on the murder-down-the-street, which develops almost as a background story, pushing through every now and then to spice up current events and narrative. And I'm not usually a romance reader, but there is a lot of going back and forward between these two people that is mainly due to miscommunication and (wrong) assumptions, which irked me, because it became a little repetitive.

The ending was a bit of a disappointment to me (emphasis on that), but that is likely due to the fact that the author's twitter stream raised expectations sky-high. And while it's true that there was a surprise twist that was carefully never hinted at in early chapters, this plot strand has managed to overshadow the murder from the title, which is unfortunately bleeds out rather uneventfully. The same goes for the romance ending. Of course we all know what's going to happen to Katherine and Scott, but both their dates suddenly have to grab the spotlight with a few revelations that were basically too much for me.

The book was an enjoyable read, with only some minor errors, but there was a lot going on in 244 pages and sixty-something chapters, some only a paragraph long. I think I had hoped for a stronger crime-detective-mystery element, which is more of my thing, while this book really is more of a romance novel with mystery elements. And I'm sure that for romance readers who like mystery and crime, this novel delivers. Surprise twist and all.

Review Disclaimer: Book provided in exchange for an honest review.

Content Disclaimer: It's not necessarily heavy on the sex, just some details younger readers don't need to read.

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