5 Minutes for Books: Rose House

by Jennifer Donovan

I enjoyed re-reading my review of Tina Ann Forkner’s first novel, Ruby Among Us, in preparation for writing this review.

Rose House features a little more mystery and a little more romance. But it also had what I appreciated about her first novel: clear, vivid, evocative writing following broken people making connections with other people who help them get to where they need to go.

Rose HouseLillian Diamon is still dealing with the tragic loss of her family in an accident five years earlier when she unexpectedly comes across a painting that features her in a gallery in La Rosaleda. The painting features her in a private moment of grief that she had on her first visit to the Rose House in La Rosaleda four years earlier.

Who painted the picture that was donated anonymously to the gallery? Has someone been watching her? Is any of this connected to the accident that killed her family all those years ago?

These questions and more drive the storyline. I enjoyed meeting each of these characters and soaking in the lush setting as created by Tina Ann Forkner — both the beauty of the California wine country setting, and the tasty food writing (much of the story is set at a Bed and Breakfast, and Lillian is a chef!).

Rose House is the story of how one woman remakes herself — finding a new vocation, a new home, and working to restore her relationship with her estranged sister, while testing the waters to see if she’s ready to accept a new romantic interest in her life.

The story builds to an exciting climax. I read the last several chapters quite quickly. This book also has an Epilogue, which I LOVE to see in a novel — to find out where the characters are a few months or years down the road. It gives it great culture.

If you’d like to win one of THREE copies (U.S. and Canadian shipping addresses) of Rose House, please leave a comment. We’ll announce the winners in next week’s column.

Post written by 5 Minutes for Books managing editor Jennifer Donovan, who also blogs at Snapshot.

The winners of the Hachette Books Mother’s Day Book Giveaway are
#89 Sara
#144 Karen L
#109 Renee
#126 Willowsprite
#49 Jinii

You have one week to claim your prize. You should have received an email from me, but if you didn’t, send your address to 5minutesforbooksATgmail(dot)com.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 144 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny May 11, 2009 at 2:20 pm

looks like a very interesting book. i’ll have to check it out.

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2 Celeste May 11, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Sounds like fun!

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3 AmyG May 11, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Sounds like a great book! I’ll have to see if our library has a copy of it.

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4 Amy Bradshaw May 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Please enter me, this book looks very good! :)

MovieMomma@gmail.com

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5 LT May 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm

This sounds like a great book, please enter me, Thank you!

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6 Shirley May 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I love wine, bed & breakfast inns and cooking. This sounds like the perfect book for me.

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7 Stacy May 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm

I’d love to win a copy! Looks like a good book.

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8 Dena May 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I would love to win this book!

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9 Occupation: Mommy May 11, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Sounds like a good one!

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10 jennsquared May 11, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I would love to win this book!

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11 Elli May 11, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Sounds like a great read… and the timing is perfect with summer just around the corner!

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12 Angela C. May 11, 2009 at 10:48 pm

I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

accoupons at gmail dot com

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13 Shannon (The Mommy-Files) May 12, 2009 at 12:26 am

I always love to read a new book :)

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14 Shelly Nissley May 12, 2009 at 5:51 am

Sounds like a great summer read!

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15 Donna May 12, 2009 at 7:06 am

I can not wait to read your book. Please enter me into the contest. Have a great remainder of the week!

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16 randi oaklief May 12, 2009 at 7:14 am

Sounds good, I love a good mystery!

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17 emily May 12, 2009 at 7:31 am

This book sounds like an intriguing story.

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18 MRS.MOMMYY May 12, 2009 at 8:21 am

sounds great

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19 Mozi Esmes Mommy May 12, 2009 at 8:51 am

I want to read this!

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20 Denise May 12, 2009 at 10:03 am

I’d love to read this, thanks!

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21 Michael Capp May 12, 2009 at 10:10 am

I’d love to win!

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22 Cheryl F. (The Lucky Ladybug) May 12, 2009 at 10:15 am

I’d love to read this :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

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23 Dezi Allen May 12, 2009 at 10:24 am

Looks like something I’d love!

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24 Renee Concolino May 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

I love books where the heroine who is on a journey whether caused by loss or growth or any major change. Journey’s are real and I feel honored to vicariously experience emotions as I go along for the ride.

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25 Mary Ward May 12, 2009 at 10:57 am

It sounds like a book you can just sink your teeth into. I live near the Napa Valley so I’d love to read how it’s described in the book.

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26 Jenn S. May 12, 2009 at 11:10 am

Sounds like a great read.

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27 Sandra K321 May 12, 2009 at 11:17 am

From your description, this sounds like the type of book I would pick up at the bookstore, read the back cover and put it on my to read list. (I don’t like paying full price for books so I probably would look for it after it goes on sale or wait for a coupon!)

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28 Kristi May 12, 2009 at 11:27 am

I have Ruby Among Us and would love to win Rose House to go with it!

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29 Mary May 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm

After reading your review, I am really anticipating reading Rose House! Would so love to win this – am an avid reader and this sounds like a terrific late night read!

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30 DeeAnn S May 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Mystery and romance always make for a good book. Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks.

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31 Ann Fantom May 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm

I would love to read this! Please enter me

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32 judy brittle May 12, 2009 at 5:42 pm

The book sounds really good! I would love the chance to read it. Thank you!

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33 Heather May 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm

After reading this, I want to know who painted the picture! Please enter me in the contest.

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34 Marla T May 12, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Sounds like a good book. would love to win. Thank you for the entry.

koinonia572001@yahoo.com

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35 Meredith Rogen May 12, 2009 at 9:08 pm

I’d love to read this, thanks!

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36 christopher h May 12, 2009 at 10:36 pm

sounds like a good read

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37 Pat May 12, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Your review is excellent and it makes me want to read this book. Thank you for the contest.

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38 Leann S May 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm

I love an epilogue in a book too. Sometimes I even have to make up my own.

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39 HilLesha May 13, 2009 at 12:09 am

Sounds great! :)

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40 Adrian Lamont May 13, 2009 at 12:54 am

This is great, count me in.

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41 Diane S May 13, 2009 at 8:32 am

I would love to read this book, very interesting review

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42 Connie K. May 13, 2009 at 8:54 am

This book sounds very interesting.

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43 SUZANNNA May 13, 2009 at 9:29 am

Roses are my favorite flower my Cat is named Rose a book named ROSE HOUSE how interesting

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44 Carol G May 13, 2009 at 9:38 am

Always willing to put a new book on my TBR pile.

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45 Djp May 13, 2009 at 9:55 am

sign me up

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46 Tawnda May 13, 2009 at 10:07 am

sounds good

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47 Ellen C. May 13, 2009 at 10:11 am

This sounds like a great read. thanks for the chance.

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48 Cindy Armstrong May 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

Tina Ann Forkner is an artist with words. She can capture you immediately with the pictures she paints. Rose House is the kind of book that you want to savor. I do want to know what happens next, yet, I want to absorb all the pictures that were just painted.

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49 Sheri May 13, 2009 at 11:59 am

I have been very interested in reading Tina Ann Forkner books, just haven’t been out to pick one up. I would love to be entered into the drawing. Thanks for the great review.

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50 Angie May 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm

SOunds like a great book!

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51 Candee May 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Loved Ruby Among Us and this one sounds amazing too. Great job Tina!

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52 Vicky Boackle May 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm

i woild love to read this book.

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53 beth shepherd May 13, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Thank you for a great giveaway! Thank you!
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

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54 Deborah Wellenstein May 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm

This book sounds wonderful-please enter me to win! Thank you!

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55 jennifer cecil May 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I’d love to read this. Enter me, please.

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56 Evelyn May 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm

I’d love to read this

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57 Angela J May 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm

It looks like something I would enjoy reading.

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58 Carol Lawrence May 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Please enter this bookworm,Iwould love to win and read the book.

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59 Emily L May 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I’m always looking for new books to read! =)

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60 Linda Peters May 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm

sounds like a good read, thanks

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61 janeh May 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm

this would make an excellent summer read……..please include my name!

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62 JD May 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I enjoy reading so much. This book sounds great. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

JD

visionquest2020@msn.com

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63 JD May 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Email subscriber.

JD

visionquest2020@msn.com

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64 JD May 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Newsletter subscriber.

JD

visionquest2020@msn.com

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65 Tammy May 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Sounds like a great book.I would love to win

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66 berrynat May 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Please enter me. Thanks!

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67 Kathy Scott May 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I need some summer reading.

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68 pag May 13, 2009 at 8:33 pm

would love to win this

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69 cheryl kellery May 13, 2009 at 8:45 pm

sounds like a wonderful book for summer

thanks for the giveaway

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70 michele anne May 13, 2009 at 10:03 pm

love the giveaways…just hope to win one one day.

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71 Bonnie Shaw May 13, 2009 at 10:28 pm

I would love to win Rose House. The review sounds great!

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72 Pamela S May 13, 2009 at 11:59 pm

I like books about strong women finding their way. Thanks for the giveaway.

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73 Alicia May 14, 2009 at 12:43 am

Looks like a good book.

Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

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74 May Schultz May 14, 2009 at 7:15 am

Looks like an exciting book.

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75 Selinda McCumbers May 14, 2009 at 9:05 am

Thanks for the chance!

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76 Diane F May 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm

sounds like a great read!

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77 Julie May 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Sounds like a fun one!

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78 Christina Brunetti May 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I would love to read this,

Thanks.

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79 Susan Smith May 14, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Looks like a good book

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80 bridget May 14, 2009 at 8:08 pm

This looks like a fun book and one I would love to read.

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81 Janet F May 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I would like to read this book.

Thanks!

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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82 Linda May 14, 2009 at 9:13 pm

I am a subscriber.

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83 Belinda May 15, 2009 at 7:00 am

This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win.

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84 Kathy D May 15, 2009 at 7:15 am

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR GREAT BOOK REVIEWS

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85 Kathy D May 15, 2009 at 7:15 am

I am a subscriber

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86 Sharon May 15, 2009 at 7:17 am

SOUNDS LIKE A REAL NAIL BITTER BUT GOOD

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87 Sarah May 15, 2009 at 9:47 am

enter me!

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88 Sue Farrell May 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I like books that combine mystery and romance–so I think I’d like this one.

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89 barbara wright May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Ooh – book sounds good. Never heard of the author. I’m always looking to find new authors that write good books!

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90 A. Ozair May 15, 2009 at 8:46 pm

would love to read such a wonderful book

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91 Victoria May 15, 2009 at 10:01 pm

My local library is closing so I’m hoping to stockpile some books to get me thru until I can find a job.

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92 Andria May 15, 2009 at 11:31 pm

I would love a chance to win. Thank you.

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93 Deedles May 16, 2009 at 1:11 am

Oh! what a great scenario.

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94 Erma May 16, 2009 at 8:26 am

I would love the chance to win, thanks.

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95 Jennifer Hedden May 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm

enter me

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96 Tiffany Durant May 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Now I can certainly appreciate a read like this. ;-))

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97 Daniel M May 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm

lookin good add me please!

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98 Angela May 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I would love to read this!

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99 shawna f May 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Would love to read this!

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100 Ed Nemmers May 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Happy Weekend!

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101 Angie P May 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm

This one sounds like a good read ~ thank you :)

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102 Hesper F May 16, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Sounds like a fantastic read! I love reading books and I hope to win!

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103 Ellie W May 16, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.

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104 Sherri B. May 16, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Sounds like a super read! Romance and suspense rolled into one! Thanks for the chance!

sherri419 at gmail dot com

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105 Paige May 16, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Sounds like an interesting book.

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106 Susan C May 16, 2009 at 7:43 pm

This book sounds a little mysterious, I would love to read it!
smchester at gmail dot com

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107 Gianna May 16, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Please enter me :)

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108 Denise May 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Another great summer read. Cool!

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109 Plumbpretty May 16, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I love mystery romance books! Sounds like a good read.

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110 chris A May 16, 2009 at 11:47 pm

I would enjoy reading this

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111 Doreen May 17, 2009 at 12:14 am

Hi. I would love to enter this giveaway. Thanks.

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112 Melanie D May 17, 2009 at 1:03 am

I would love to enter this!
I agree with you about epilogues, I enjoy them as well. Its interesting to know how characters end up.

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113 Mary May 17, 2009 at 1:08 am

That book looks really good :)

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114 Kelly F May 17, 2009 at 2:08 am

This book sounds really interesting. Great giveaway!

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115 J Chaborek May 17, 2009 at 5:25 am

Looks & sounds awesome; great cover!

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116 Ann May 17, 2009 at 6:05 am

It sounds terrific!

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117 Lily Kwan May 17, 2009 at 7:14 am

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

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118 Kelly Grant May 17, 2009 at 8:57 am

I love to read new books!

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119 JoAnn Legano May 17, 2009 at 9:17 am

I love reading, the book looks good. Thanks for the contest.

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120 Veronica Garrett May 17, 2009 at 9:24 am

I would love to read this book. It sounds great.

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121 Pamela Hansen May 17, 2009 at 9:57 am

i would love to read this please enter me thank you

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122 dorothy l May 17, 2009 at 9:58 am

I would love to win a copy of the book

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123 Suzanne Reichel May 17, 2009 at 10:08 am

I think I’d really enjoy this book! I love mystery and romance.

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124 jayne May 17, 2009 at 10:26 am

This sounds like a great read!! I would love to enter!

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125 Lori Walker May 17, 2009 at 11:46 am

Would love this book!

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126 Lorie J. Shewbridge May 17, 2009 at 12:51 pm

This looks like a good book, we all could use a little intrigue and romance! Thanks for the chance to win.

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127 Betty C May 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm

This style of book is right up my alley.

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128 kathy pease May 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Thanks for the GREAT giveaway
please count me in :)

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129 Terri L May 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I would love to win this boook!

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130 sarah woods May 17, 2009 at 3:33 pm

This sounds like a winner; especially with this being pool reading time this summer!!!! Thanks SW

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131 Jennifer Jozwiak May 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I love to read and am a big fan of mysteries so this would be a great win!

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132 Raelena May 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm

the book sounds good

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133 Francine Anchondo May 17, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for the giveaway.

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134 Karen Gonyea May 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Sounds great :)

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135 herblady May 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I would very much like to read this book. Thank you very much!

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136 Janet May 17, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

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137 Jane Hoh May 17, 2009 at 10:19 pm

I love to read. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

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138 Chrysa May 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

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139 Heather C May 17, 2009 at 11:01 pm

I need a good book for this summer. Thanks!

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140 Gabriel J. May 17, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Please, enter me, great prize!!!

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141 Gabriel J. May 17, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I follow you on twitter.

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142 Kari May 18, 2009 at 12:05 am

i’m entering the contest! thanks

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143 kathleen yohanna May 18, 2009 at 12:40 am

I would like a chance to win this book. Thanks.

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144 Melissa April 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I got this book from Paperback Swap based on this review. I am really glad I didn’t pay for it! I thought the book was awful!

It never fully develops the mystery of the story.

Where does she get her money that she’s able to have a driver???

There were no conclusions to the mystery of the story except that they arrested one person for doing what???? and why was he doing it? The author never says.

I found the story to be stilted and boring and I didn’t think it developed the characters at all.

Just thought I’d share in case anyone considers getting the book!!

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