Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a solid detective thriller sequel and a romance story that sadly failed to hit the mark.

Title: In The Clearing
(Tracy Crosswhite #3)
Author: Robert Dugoni

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Detective
First published: May 17th 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: July 12th 2022
Pages: 335

“That’s what our minds do. They protect us. They bury those memories that would cripple us, so that we can live with ourselves.”


I’m trying to work my way through this series before the next book is published in August, and In The Clearing is book number three. I’ve become a fan of main character Tracy Crosswhite and the rest of her team, and it’s been great catching up with them again. This time around we have two different cases: a cold case featuring an apparent suicide back in 1976 and a murder case set in the present which might have been self defense. The main focus of the story is on the cold case one though, with both flashbacks to 1976 and Tracy’s investigation in the present. I think I almost would have preferred having the story just focus on this case, as the present murder case almost seemed like an afterthought since it gets so little attention in the plot. I was able to guess what happened back in 1976 almost straight away though, which kind of put a damper on things because there was no big twist to look forward to. In The Clearing was still a solid sequel though and I managed to get to the pages quickly enough. This is probably both thanks to the writing style itself and the cast of characters. I also enjoyed seeing Jenny again! Reading the novella The Academy first definitely worked in the story’s advantage as it gave me more background on her character and her connection to Tracy.

Title: Meet Me In Paradise
Author: Libby Hubscher

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: March 23rd 2021
Publisher: Berkley Books
Finished reading: July 14th 2022
Pages: 352

“The cruel thing about death is that you forget it happened. So you get the torturous experience of re-learning that your someone is gone again and again. It’s like being stabbed in the heart with a blunt object every time you think to tell them something, or reach for them, or dial their number by accident. And then you remember.”


Guess what? It’s unpopular opinion time again!

Right… I remember adding Meet Me In Paradise to my shelves both because I loved the cover and the blurb sounded like the perfect fun romcom with a travel element and tropical setting. I was fully expecting to love my time for this story and treasure the escape from the cold winter weather it would provide… But I think I much prefer having to deal with this dreary weather rather than spending more time with this book. The cover and blurb almost seem like false advertisement, because this is in fact NOT the fun and uplifting travel romcom it seems to be. Instead, it focuses a lot on cancer, family and death, and it was considerably more heavy than I expected it to be. This might not be a bad thing on its own, but I was in the mood for something light and the switch didn’t come as a good surprise for me personally. I also had major issues with the main characters Marin and Sadie and the way they treated each other and behaved in general. Basically both lie to each other and want to force the other to change their life style into whatever they think is better; it’s not respectful and I found both characters to be highly frustrating. I never felt the chemistry between Marin and Lucas either, and as a result I wasn’t a fan of the romance… It became even worse once the love triangle was introduced (with yet another character who doesn’t respect the opinion not his own). I confess that I started skimreading well before the halfway mark, and I probably should have just DNFed it… Because there is no doubt that sadly Meet Me In Paradise and me didn’t get along at all. The only highlight of this story was the tropical setting with the descriptions of the Caribbean island Saba, which made me wish I could travel there myself.

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