I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
Not a bad read. I think it started off a bit slow for me, although the pace picked up quickly enough.
I tend to prefer that the characters I read about are strong, independent women with sass, and while Mona is all of those things, she's also sporting a massive inferiority complex and there's a lot of 'ugly duckling' throughout the story. It's tempered well with the strong aspects of her personality, but it did detract from my enjoyment of the story overall.
The mystery itself should have been an excellent one but for some reason it was completely predictable to me. I was convinced of the culprit VERY early in the book. But I will give Ms. Harlow kudo's for making me work so hard for vindication. She was able to convince me several times I must be wrong, only to re-convince myself I must be right. It was definitely a roller coaster ride, this plot line. Lots of action too, with the story peaking at several points, something that kept me totally involved in the plot.
The rest of the cast of characters are likeable or seem likeable for a first outing. The oldest niece (Sophie?) needs an attitude adjustment but given the past she's supposed to have come from, I suppose it's in keeping with the story. Adam is very likeable and I liked reading the interactions between him and Mona. There's more "romance" in this story than I expected. I expected sexual tension, sex, etc. But the actual 'I love you so much I'll set you free/you have to really want this' romance was unexpected, although not too over the top.
I liked that this new series will be taking place in the same universe as the F.R.E.A.K.S. series and the crossover of a couple of characters was fun. I look forward to the next book in the series, and finding out where Ms. Harlow intends to take this series.