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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Honored Daughters by Gerrrie Ferris

Honored Daughters by Gerrie Ferris
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full / 183 pgs
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Laura Kate Plantation Series Book 2

While Jack Rhodes is in London, Laura Kate O'Connell is tussling with a life-changing decision. Jack has asked her to marry him. Love him as she does, marriage and babies has never been in her life plan.

A law enforcement agent asks Laura Kate to find out who killed his niece, one of several students at Honored Daughters who have died mysteriously. Jack can't know she's involved, or he'd be on the next plane home. To complicate the situation, a former soldier-turned-militia-organizer, Pearse Macaula, falls for and stalks her. He's dangerous, but did he murder the Honored Daughters girls? She must trust him to find out, while brushing off his advances. This is a man who always gets his way. Will he try to kill her if he can't have her? It's a chance she has to take.

Laura Kate O’Connell is a super-star of a clever southern bell with quick wit and a nice way with horses. Honored Daughters is truly more mystery than romance, but the romance matters and readers will really enjoy Jack Rhodes when they finally meet him. It won’t be a painful wait though, as from the first moments, interest and intrigue build.

Overall, the quality of the story is excellent. Epic-like adventures – and love – befall our heroine, who seems pulled in several directions most of the time. Her personal life, her decisions and future plans are complicated; Jack Rhodes is her distant, if still true love. He seems to envision an ordinary, predictable sort of future for the two of them, a future Laura Kate isn’t enthused about at all. (Although after meeting him, we do realze he’s more insightful than Laura Kate gives him credit for.)

Before we even get to questions of romance; Agent Nyan Hill complicates her life, with his desperate effort to see the murder of his niece Dari solved. Nyan & Laura Kate’s antagonistic relationship, and occasional sharp dialogue, really make reader’s admire our heroine. She’s nobody’s fool, but is at heart a caring, almost driven person.

Ferris has a distinctive voice, giving Honored Daughters a continuous, rather evocative aura. She creates a time, a place, and a series of characters that seem utterly original, yet also familiar and appealing. There are some seriously suspenseful moments, as well as more tender times; and the mystery is a real mystery, both intriguing and heart-wrenching from the start.

I don’t give it top drawer on rating, only because sentence fragments and frequent odd turns of phrase slow this story one too many a time. It may be a stylistic thing, but it’s annoying and often grammatically incorrect (one example: Moving away from the window, she dressed in riding breeches and … one can't do both things at once, yet this is what this sentence implied).

Although this is contemporary, there is a certain historic feel to it. The horses, the hunt club, the southern-bell comments, and Honored Daughters School itself. Although contemporary, it all has an old, old feel to it. Fans of any southern-style epic will really love this story; perfect reading by a cozy fire.

Finally, Kudos to the artist that got this cover so perfect for the story.