I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I have a few friends on GR who read the first book in this series and didn't like it but I found enough to like that I bought and read the second one - which I thought was quite good. This one was NOT.
I really did not enjoy this book at all. It took me forever to finish this one because I just didn't want to.
When I pick up a cozy, it's for entertainment, for escape. Something nice and light, maybe a bit of humour - nothing too 'real'. So when this book started with Hayley being beset by financial disasters, being so broke she has to beg her mom for money, her mom telling her 'no'; well, we're not off to a good light-hearted start are we? I realise the author is trying to set up the whole coupon-clipping-gameshow scenario, but she went about it in the most depressing, downtrodden way possible.
In addition to this, Lex, the love interest the author has been championing throughout the series, decides to go on a couple of benders through out the book and Hayley acts like this drunken, aggressive behaviour is a non-event. It's never discussed or even acknowledged - not even when he beats down her brother's door at night, falls down, and passes out on the floor. Really? I'm supposed to find this endearing????
I will give credit to the author for an excellently crafted plot - I did not see the villain of this story at all until the end. Also, the columns throughout the book are cute and entertaining, as well as a clever way to incorporate the recipes and cocktails into the story.
I'll consider the fourth one when it comes out - because the second book was a good one, but this one is a definite black mark on the series so far.