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    Enjoyable Romantic Suspense

    My three-word description of An Excuse For Murder by Canadian writer Vanessa Westermann is captivating, intriguing and intense. Book Synopsis: As a former bodyguard, it should be easy for Gary Fenris to kill, especially when the motive is revenge. But Gary has made two mistakes in his life. The first was letting the woman he loved die on his watch. The second was thinking vengeance could bring him peace. Local bookstore owner and amateur lock pick Kate Rowan loves nothing more than a good mystery. Her curiosity soon leads her down a trail of blackmail, obsession and death. Despite the risk - or maybe because of it - Gary finds himself drawn to Kate. When danger strikes, Gary is forced to face the fact that he used love as an excuse for murder. And he's got one last score to settle. My Musings: I found this compelling and hugely entertaining. It is a charming cocktail of romantic suspense and mystery. Set in Caulden, England, this book is mainly told from the viewpoints of protagonists, Gary Fenris and Kate Rowan. Gary, a self employed security officer, is a complex character battling his inner demons and his character development certainly complements this story. In addition to being a local bookshop owner, Kate Rowan is driven, self-assured and independent. Her moments of strength and empathy impressed me and I was definitely on Team Kate. Both of the main characters were likeable and they had wonderful chemistry. It would have been easy for Vanessa Westermann to have made Gary the proverbial knight in shining armour, but she kept Kate strong throughout. Their interactions and banter were very pleasing and the romantic suspense added a charming element to this simple, though effective mystery. Vanessa Westermann's writing style and prose was engaging as I found myself in Caulden, alongside everyone. There were some excellent supporting characters; Percival, who works for Gary, and Marcus Evans, Kate's best friend, in particular. The story revolved around themes of vengeance, loss and regret and there were also hit-men with their own personal vendettas. The pace could have been faster towards the end, but the suspense and entertainment value were still very much in evidence. Overall, I had no real issues with An Excuse For Murder, but it didn't bedazzle me. Verdict: A well-executed, satisfying, and easy read that I highly recommend with confidence, for lovers of the genre. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from The Wild Rose Press via NetGalley at my request, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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