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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 3 star ratings
3 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.7 out of 5
3
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    Recommended

    An interesting and entertaining cozy mystery with paranormal aspects. I liked the vivid setting, the well written cast of characters and the solid mystery. I'd like to read other books by this author. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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    A perfect beach read!

    The Keys has everything I love in a paranormal mystery: great world-building, a hard-to-solve mystery, romance, ghostly intervention, a good message on second chances and moving on, intriguing characters plus turtles. Who doesn’t love turtles? Karen Hulene Bartell has a gift for paranormal writing that’s both realistic and believable. I honestly don’t know if there are people out there who can talk with animals but Bartell makes me think it is true. The plot moves at a nice easy pace with just the right amount of conflict. There’s a lot of surprises I didn’t see coming and trust me, it just adds to the richness of this story. If you looking for a fantasy combined with a mystery and romance, you will love The Keys. Highly recommend! Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I'd review it. My Rating: 5+ stars
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    Great 'Western' for a non-Western kind of reader!

    I can’t remember the last time I read a western let alone a western romance! Okay, probably never. I didn’t even know the genre existed until a friend introduced me to this surprisingly captivating tale. While expecting a Hallmark-esque story line with shallow characters and predictable plot, I was pleasantly surprised. The focus of the story, a young couple brought together by chance in the 1880’s West, introduces them and their surroundings with great detail. The author sticks to the history and conventions of the time yet highlights the main characters’ unique personalities that immediately provide depth and humor in situations that are occasionally fraught with danger and deceit. After only a few pages it is very easy to get into the heads of all the characters, not just the leads. But what I most enjoyed was the way the author mixed in a near constant but not overwhelming amount of historical trivia and slang, transporting the reader back to a time when things were simpler yet still recognizable where human emotions and bigotry come into play. I enjoyed the story from beginning to end and highly recommend this read, especially for those who have never dipped into westerns, romances, or both!
3

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