Reviews of Gone to Her Grave and Her Grave Secrets

Gone to Her Grave by Melinda Leigh and Her Grave Secrets by Kendra Elliot are books 2 and 3 in the Rogue River romantic mystery series.

Review of Book 1 can be found here.

These books come with the audio included on Kindle Unlimited.  I mostly used the audio version.

This assessment of the narration applies to both books reviewed here.

  • Narrator: Kate Rudd
  • Listening Length: 2 hours and 52 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio

 

Narration:  Very good narration by Kate Rudd for these audiobooks.  The character distinction was clear, and it was easy to understand which characters were speaking.  Rudd displayed good tonal range.  Male characters were easily distinguishable from female characters.  There was satisfactory differentiation from one female character to the next, but not much between male characters.  There was also sufficient differentiation between young and old speakers. There were no awkward stumbles or pauses in the narration.  (4/5)

Production:  Sound quality was good. The audio was clear and sound levels were consistent.  Pauses between chapters was sufficient. No blips detected.  (5/5)

Overall Experience:  Overall, this story translated to audio quite well.  (5/5)

 

Gone To Her Grave

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In Solitude, Oregon, everyone has secrets… and some will kill to keep them.

When she believes a teen is falsely accused of drug dealing, social worker Carly Taylor takes on a high-risk case and her estranged husband – the detective in charge of the investigation – to prove the boy innocent. A deadly new designer drug has taken hold of her small rural hometown of Solitude, Oregon, and Carly is determined to find the real dealer and clear the teen’s name. But the deeper she digs into the case, the more danger she unearths, until someone decides it’s time for Carly to move on… permanently.

Investigator Seth Harding knows he can’t stop his wife when she has a child to protect. But he risks any chance of reconciliation with Carly if he can’t learn to accept her dangerous job. When a drug dealer decides Carly is getting too close, will Seth lose her altogether?

A pulse-pounding Rogue River novella, Gone to Her Grave is the second exciting addition to the new romantic suspense series from Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot.

 

Review of the Story:

The second instalment of the Rogue River Novella series, focuses on Stevie’s sister, Carly. Carly is a spunky social worker for Child Protective Services who is passionate about her work and family.

Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh are the co-authors of this series.  Kendra’s novellas focus on Stevie and Melinda’s on Carly.  Both authors seem to be quite compatible and the writing across the two novellas, so far, flows seamlessly.

The main storyline for Gone to Her Grave pivots around a case of domestic abuse.  Carly has to figure out exactly what is going on behind closed doors and decide how best to help.  One of the family members potentially plays into the bigger drug mystery and that’s where Seth comes in. During his investigation, he crosses paths with his ex-wife several times.

On the romance front Seth and Carly still love each other and are tied together through their young daughter Brianna.  Will Seth be able to accept Carly’s commitment to her job and the danger she’s sometimes in?

For a novella, we get a good glimpse at Seth.  We see his strengths and his flaws. His love for Carly is evident and his attempt at changing his mindset is believable.

Concerning the bigger mystery, the investigation into the new drug moves forward with the discovery of new details and the emergence of new suspects. Characters from the first novella are mentioned and considered as well.

My favourite part:

The family interactions in the bigger Taylor family and in the smaller Harding unit.

My least favourite part:

I would have liked a firmer resolution or path forward between Carly and Seth.

Overall, this second instalment was strong.  It built on the first part, offered a more complete mini-story and set the excitement of the next in the series.

I give this novella 4/ 5 espresso shots.

4 Shots

 

Her Grave Secrets

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There are no secrets in a small town – until someone has one worth dying for.

Local cop Stevie Taylor and police chief Zane Duncan have startling new proof that a deadly street drug is expanding its poisonous grip on their small town: A skull found on the banks of the Rogue River has two bullet holes in the back. Still caught up in the excitement of their new relationship, Stevie and Zane are determined to track down the drug’s source before more lives in Solitude, Oregon, are lost.

Then one death strikes especially close to home, leading to heartache and confusion for Stevie. As the drug distributers strike hard and the body count in Solitude grows higher, she and Zane must hunt down the deadly killer – but are they the predators, or the prey?

Filled with unexpected twists, Her Grave Secrets is the third exciting Rogue River novella in the romantic suspense series from Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh.

 

Novella number 3 amps of the pace for this series.  Her Grave Secrets has more action, plot twists, revelations and resolutions than the first two.

Again the complementary styles of Melinda and Kendra work in the creation of another addition to the series.  As the main players have already been introduced to the readers, this story can focus of moving the plot forward and further developing some of the characters.

The main plot in this instalment centres around the discovery of a skull on the Rogue River banks.  The investigation into the identity of the victim and finding the culprit are the focal points.  The victim’s story and the potential double life he may have been living create the teaser for the next novella.

From Book 1 in this series we have been exposed to the Taylor clan.  This novella again gives us a peek into how they function and even into some of the not so rosy parts of their family’s tapestry.  Better yet, we get a closer look at Zane’s family background thus providing more insight into his character.

My favourite part:

Seeing Stevie and Zane settle into their relationship.

My least favourite part:

Stevie’s mother’s “feelings” are a little bit overly dramatic.  In certain stories they would work fine but they seem over the top within the context of this story and series.

Overall, this was another strong segment.  I like that some questions have been answered but enough suspense has been left to drive me to pick up Book 4.

I give this novella 4/ 5 espresso shots.

4 Shots

 

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16 thoughts on “Reviews of Gone to Her Grave and Her Grave Secrets

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  1. I really need to look at more of these books that come with the audio version! It’s so much easier for me to listen to audiobooks as I am a pedestrian and have loads of time while I walk, and it’s such a challenge when I want to remember a quote, but it’s audio! I don’t really have the time to start and pause it, typing it all out myself. It’s SO MUCH EASIER when you also have the written version and can just find the part and highlight it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. I’m not too keen on the full audio. Exactly cuz you can’t just go back and check over something… plus it’s really hard to take notes for the review to come. But the kindle unlimited books that come with the audio… I love those. I can listen while I’m doing boring stuff and if I really want to I can just read to move it along faster.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great reviews. I have read some of these novellas but not all. I agree that listening to audio books has its pluses and minuses. It is so very difficult to back and check something. If it is way back, it is almost impossible. I often listen, but also have access to a kindle or other book that I can check. I do wish books were narrated by more than one person, one to do the male voices and one to do the female.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!
      Books with multiple narrators are great. Feels almost like watching/ listening to a play. That said, I’ve come across one or two narrators who did brilliant jobs with creating different voices for each character and for the narrative bits as well. They are few and far between though.

      Liked by 1 person

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