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Book Review #Bone Deep ( Widow’s Island Novella 9) by Kendra Elliot #Thriller #Romantic Suspense @Montlake


When two men kidnap former FBI agent Cate Wilde’s fiancé, the boldness of the crime rattles the community. Desperate to find the man she loves, Cate joins forces with the FBI and the local sheriff’s department to launch an investigation and bring Dr. Henry Powers home.

Cate soon learns that a brotherhood of bank robbers abducted Henry in the hopes that he might be able to save their youngest brother, who had been shot during a robbery. But this man is beyond saving, which spells life-threatening danger for Henry.

While Henry plots his escape, Cate uses her investigative skills and experience to track down her fiancé. Can she get to him in time, or will Widow’s Island live up to its name?

Publisher: Montlake
Expected Publication Date: October 18th, 2022

Widow Island Series:
1 Close to the Bone
2 A Bone to Pick
3 Whisper of Bones
4 Bred in the Bone
5 Below the Bones
6 A Broken Bone
7 Buried Bones
8 The Lost Bones
9 Bone Deep
10 The Wrong Bones

My thoughts:

Bone Deep is the ninth novella in Widow Island series written by Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot. If you have been following the series, you know how the stories from the two authors (Melinda Leigh wrote books 2,3, 6,7, and 10, Kendra Elliot -1,4,5,8, and 9) intertwine and merge.

Kendra Elliot’s novellas are told from the point of view of Cate Wilde, a former FBI agent who left her extremely dangerous and highly stressful job to come back to her tiny home island in the Pacific Northwest and become a baker and bookstore owner. Her feelings towards her decision to leave FBI are still mixed, but she seems to have found real happiness in her close-knit community of Widow’s Island. Cate and her brother Logan were raised by their grandmother Jane who plays an important role in everything that is happening on the island. Cate’s best friends Samantha and Deputy Tessa Black also support Cate’s decision. Melinda Leigh’s novellas are written from the point of view of Tessa.

If you’re a newcomer to the series, don’t worry- you won’t be lost. It’s amazing how the authors provide crucial recap details without overloading the narrative structure. Still, it is definitely better to read the series from the beginning and in order to keep up with the developments in the recurring characters’ lives. Plus, we get to know the island itself, how it got its name, and little snippets on its history. This time we learn about Jane/Cate and Logan’s ancestors and learn about one of the most long-standing feuds on the island.

The plot is based around the kidnapping of Cate’s fiance Dr Henry Powers and we are thrown into action from the first page. Two masked men threaten Henry’s assistant’s life and lead him away at a gunpoint. all he knows he will have to take care of someone who’s been shot, but for some reason can’t (or won’t) go to hospital. Needless to say, Henry’s feelings are complex- he is terrified, he is trying to figure out who his kidnappers are and whether they will let him live, but he’s also going to do his best to save ‘his patient’. In the meantime Cate is going to do everything possible and possible to find him. We see how easy it is for her to slip back into the old role. We also see how much she has changed and how unlikely it is that she will ever go back to her old job.

As in all novellas in this series the pace is excellent. There’s a great balance of action and slower, more private, intimate moments of reflection (and Cate is dealing with a huge change in her life which she still hasn’t processed). Cate isn’t just a tourist on the island- her roots are here as well as the most important people in her life- her childhood friends, including indomitable Tessa, her family and her community all come through in this moment of need.

Given the fact that these novellas are really short, it isn’t surprising that action takes precedence over character development and this is a good reason why I urge anyone interested in picking up the series to start from the beginning. You will see that the characters are well-differentiated- Cate may be missing the intellectual stimulation of being an FBI agent, but she also has few regrets and few doubts she is better suited to this calmer stage in her life. Henry may have got a bit more than he bargained for when he took up his job on Widow’s Island, but he’s not a person who run away from a challenge. Tough Tessa has a lot to deal with at home, but she also has a soft side, and we see it clearly in this novella when she is helping Cate. Once again, I was amazed at how well Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh provided character and story continuity in their creatibìve collaboration.

I am a bit sad that the series is coming to an end, but it was a great journey, and I am looking forward to finding out more about the authors’ new projects!

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

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