Mr. Serious by Danica Winters

“the emotional part of this story lacks where the intrigue part excels ”

by Scandal
The Deets Genre: suspense  | Series: Mystery Christmas #2  | Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue  | Source: ARC  | GoodReads

Ok, we are back in the mysterious and murder-plagued town of Mystery, Montana. MR. SERIOUS picks up right where Ms. Calculation left off. This is Waylon’s story, more or less. He is the career Army brother that left the ranch to see the world. Well, he’s back because his crazy ex-wife went on a killing spree and now she’s gone missing, thus putting his family at risk. Little does he know, his family is bigger than he realizes, but I’ll get to that little detail. These are clearly category style mystery/suspense stories. They are short, fast reads that tell a complete story while teasing at what’s to come next. It’s funny to think this is such a small town and the crime level is so freaking high – I mean come on, I’m from a small, rural farming town, you can’t fart without your neighbor knowing about it. Anyhoots, let’s discuss MR. SERIOUS.

Waylon Fitzgerald is back on the ranch to help find his crazy and murderous ex-wife. She is decidedly not good people, nor did she come from good stock, apparently. Waylon is a good man, maybe too good, if you ask me. I’m not so sure I’d forgive and forget as easily as he did. (okay, that’s a lie, I KNOW I wouldn’t forgive like he did because I am a grudge holding mother fucker) See, once he arrives, he learns, well into the book mind you, that Winnie, the cute 3 yr old living with his parents and her Aunt, Christina, is actually his daughter. Yes, you read that right, his parents and family are caring for HIS YOUNG DAUGHTER without his knowledge – no one thought to tell him the little girl is his daughter, NO ONE…for YEARS. The girl has lived with them from birth, don’t forget that part. Dude, I have so many issues with that there isn’t room for all of it here. Christina treats him like he’s a child murderer when she meets him and even kinda judges him for not being nicer to his kid…you know, THE KID HE DOESN’T KNOW IS HIS. His own mother knows the truth and doesn’t tell him…for years. And when he finally finds out he’s all, yeah, you had your reasons, I understand, it’s alright. Well, I’m glad one of us is alright with this because I sure as hell am not. Moving on…

Christina Bell is Winnie’s aunt, caregiver and the sister to Waylon’s ex. I have to say, I find it rich how everyone is so loyal to this obviously crazy and evil ex, I mean she fucking murdered people, good people, in the last book and everyone is willing to give her the benefit of doubt but no one is telling Waylon HE HAS A DAUGHTER. Please. Obviously, this plot point is not sitting well with me. At least she feels remorse for keeping the secret and for straight lying to his face about the little girl’s parentage. She tries to get his family to tell him the truth sooner but they refuse. Again, I have problems here. She quickly realizes she misjudged Waylon and finds herself falling for him. I’m gonna call this almost insta-love – she takes the first few hours after his arrival to hate him, then she flips the switch.

The crime-solving aspect of this story saves the day. There are some seriously fucked up people in this town. Make note, do not move to Mystery, Montana! There are a lot of leads and false starts/red herrings in need of tracking down. It’s just twisted enough to keep you going and more than once the creep factor gets turned up to 11. This story does a better job explaining the mind of our killer than it does the love story – that part I found to be a bit too easy. I can’t leave out the part about how Winnie almost dies and is laid up recovering in a hospital room all alone (SHE’S THREE) while her father and aunt go home to bang one out. This just further illustrates the fact that the emotional part of this story lacks where the intrigue part excels. It’s a miss for me. The ending feels rushed. Yes, the mystery is solved, the kid is saved, the HEA happens but the bigger complications this couple, now family faces are left up in the air. I guess we are left to believe love conquers all? I’m moving on to the next book, Mr. Taken. This is another brother’s story, Colton and he’s a firefighter. Fingers crossed this one doesn’t leave me ragey! What can I say, I’m an emotional reader and this one pushed all of my angry¬†buttons.


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