Wednesday, April 16, 2014

~~Review for Blood Orchids by Toby Neal~~

Title: Blood Orchids
Author: Toby Neal
Publisher: Toby Neal 
Genre:  Crime/ Mystery/ Romance/ Contemporary
Publication date: November 27, 2011
ISBN: 0-983952-41-1
Pages: 314
Series:  A Lei Crime Novel, Book 1
Reviewer: Julianne

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews LLC
4 1/2 kisses, 1/2 pepper implied rape, implied romance

Leilani Texeira has had to overcome a lot of obstacles from her past, but she persevered and is a cop on the Hilo Police Department. While she is on patrol, Lei finds two dead teenage girls who appear to have been murdered. And one of the girls, Lei recently busted for drugs. Lei wants to solve this case and becomes obsessed with finding justice for the girls. Lei's friend Mary has also been kidnapped and murdered. Are the two related or separate cases?

Lei is also being stalked. But among all this, Lei feels herself falling for Michael Stevens who has been helping with the case. The killer is closing in and closer than Lei can imagine, but she is determined to solve it. Will Lei be able to catch the killer before the killer catches her?

I normally don't read murder/suspense books; I just don't like graphic details that would make me shudder. I was very leery of starting Blood Orchids, but I quickly found out it wasn't what I expected. Blood Orchids, the first Lei Crime Novel in a series by Toby Neal knocked my socks off. When I wasn't reading the book, I couldn't wait to get back to it—I was that caught up in the story. Ms. Neal’s descriptive writing kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen next.

All of the characters were very three dimensional and so well written that I felt like I was part of the book. Lei was a great heroine, strong willed and determined, but also with a vulnerable side that was believable. I really admired Lei's strength and liked that she wasn't a whiny, self-centered person. Michael was a little bit more of a secret. He had his own skeletons in his closet to overcome. I would have liked just a little bit more insight to Michael.

The killer was very slick and well prepared to keep his identity a secret. Ms. Neal’s ability to create characters for the reader to place suspicion on is fantastic. I was very surprised when the killer was revealed; I never would have guessed who it was. The story flowed well and takes the reader on a wild ride of emotions, twists, turns, and lots of surprises. Blood Orchids is a debut novel for Ms. Neal and it is magnificent. I encourage everyone to read it.

I also gave Blood Orchids a Reviewer's Choice Award.

Blood Orchids (Lei Crime Series)
Paperback: Blood Orchids
Barnes & Noble

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