Double or Nothing

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Expected Release Date: March 13, 2013
Publisher: Blue Oyster Press
Imprint: N/A
Author’s Website: http://www.megmims.com/
My Source for This Book: Gift from the author
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Double Series
Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone
Steam Level: Warm
Pet Peeves: Public Nudity
Favorite Tropes: Forbidden Romance, First Person POV

Official Blurb:

A mysterious explosion. A man framed for murder. A strong woman determined to prove his innocence.

October, 1869: Lily Granville, now heiress to a considerable fortune, rebels against her uncle’s strict rules in Sacramento, California. Ace Diamond, determined to win Lily, invests in a dynamite factory for a quick “killing,” but his status as a successful businessman fails to impress her guardian. An explosion in San Francisco, mere hours before Lily elopes with Ace to avoid a forced marriage, sets off a chain of unforeseen consequences.

Despite Lily’s protests that her new husband has been framed, Ace is dragged off to jail as the culprit. Evidence mounts against him. Lily must learn who was actually behind the diabolical plan… and save Ace from the hangman’s noose. Will she become a widow before a true wife?

What Worked For Me:

  • As a fan of the first novel, I liked seeing Charles and Kate play such a large part in this story. I also liked that even though this is the second book in a series, this book would likely stand well on its own, as it’s been quite some time since I’ve read the first one, and yet I never felt as though I’d missed anything due to the “refresher” of sorts that Ms. Mims wove into this storyline.
  • I’ve adored Ace for a long time, and it was great to see how he’s grown not only as a character, but as someone who now feels worthy of Lily’s affections.
  • I loved the excitement of the murder mystery. Ms. Mims had me on the edge of my seat with the plot twists, never knowing who to trust, and there was plenty of action to boot. 
  • I loved the historical backdrop, with the mining, the dynamite factory, and the anarchist group, as well as the presence of Pinkerton detectives and even an illustration of some of the more brutal aspects of police work in those days.
  • I know, it’s probably horrible of me to list this as a positive point, but I also liked that even though this was an inspirational read, we were never bludgeoned about the head with the Christian elements. They blended in seamlessly with the plot, and the faith elements were merely an appropriate part of the Lily’s own character.
  • I was thrilled that there was a Happily Ever After for Lily in this book. Anyone who read my review for the first book in the series, Double Crossing, knows that the lack of HEA in that book was one of my biggest problems with that installment, so it was great to see her story come to completion, even if that means there will probably be no more books in her world.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • This didn’t actually count against the final rating, because I knew this going into it based on having read the first book, but I do prefer my books have a bit more steam to them, even if it’s just a matter of chemistry between the characters, especially once the characters are married. I understand that being more of a Christian/Inspirational read, there’s almost always going to be a lower heat rating, but that doesn’t mean that I have to be completely happy with only a few short kisses, does it? 😉
  • One of my biggest pet peeves — the heroine seen naked (though in this case it was “almost naked”‘, though I’m counting it as she was in a wet white chemise, which we all know  means is transparent), albeit briefly, by someone other than the man she intended to disrobe for. Blah. It could have been far worse, as you’ll see when you read it, but still, this is a big pet peeve for me, and so I couldn’t let it slide.

Even though “Inspirational” titles aren’t typically the sort of thing I seek out, having read and enjoyed the first book in the series, Double Crossing, I knew that I wanted to read this one and see how Lily’s story would play out. Though it is the second book in a series, I think the author did a very good job of making it work as a standalone title, though of course, I’d recommend reading the first book simply because it was a good story in and of itself.

I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a bit more chemistry and heat between Ace and Lily, though I knew going into it that the steam would be far lighter than I typically read simply due to the genre, and there was one scene in particular that contained one of my biggest pet peeves in romance, which was highly disappointing as well.

Outside of that, however, I really enjoyed it. The vibrant historical setting, with quicksilver mining, dynamite factories, and even anarchists determined to restore California to a sovereign state, all made up a beautiful backdrop for a love story that was blended with an exciting murder mystery, and I loved it.

04stars

A very solid 4/5 Stars