Review of ‘Gray Matters’ by Dolores Arden
I really enjoyed this one. In fact, I thought I might even be rating this wlw debut novel 5 stars but it ended up having a few too many bumps for that. The fact that it’s a debut by Arden makes this book even more impressive. If Arden’s first book is this good, with only a few bumps, I can’t wait to see what other stories she’ll come out with. She is definitely on my author to watch list for sure.
While this is a crime/mystery romance, I think I would call it more a ROMANCE with a little mystery. The book felt more like 75% romance 25% mystery. While I’m a big mystery fan and I usually like a more 50/50 split, I ended up really enjoying the romance so I didn’t even mind. There is a killer out there and one of the victims is only 16 so there are some heavy parts. But while there are some tough parts including one that got my blood pumping, most of the book is about the romance so it didn’t leave me with an overly heavy or depressing feel.
Before I get into the romance I have to talk about the characters. You have the main character of Giana, a medical examiner, and Remy a detective inspector. I found myself completely smitten with the character of Giana Falco. She was perfect. Very sweet but she doesn’t take any crap from anybody and will put you in your place. She was this totally sexy power femme and I could not help but have a complete character crush on her. She reminded a lot of CJ St. Clair from Eric Abbott’s Alex and CJ series, one of my all-time favorite characters. Remy, was also a very likable character but she could drive anybody nuts. She was the cause of much consternation for me as a reader.
The love story is a toaster oven romance. It is also very angsty. In fact, I got plenty annoyed at the angst in one part. There is one very frustrating part where it was hard not to yell at the book. The bad part was it slowed down the romantic pace and the book got a little slow but luckily it picked back up again.
While the romance hit some bumps and was overly push-pull for my tastes, I still really enjoyed it. These two women had great chemistry together. As soon as the flirting started, I was instantly all for them to become a couple. This is more of a chemistry and sexual tension-filled romance than a feeling and connection type of romance. Usually, I want both but the characters just shot off so many sparks together that I didn’t care. The sex scenes were steamy and I was sold on them as a potential couple.
When it came to the mystery itself I thought it was interesting. As I said, it wasn’t the heart of the book but it added some excitement to the story. I do wish Arden would have added one or two other suspects. I found it easy to guess the “bad guy/girl” and I think most mystery fans will think it is easy too. But overall, the bits of excitement the mystery added were good for the book.
The last small complaint is that I didn’t care for the Remy dream thing. I actually love that kind of stuff normally, but it just didn’t go anywhere. It didn’t seem to make a difference to Remy and it didn’t amount to anything. It seemed like a plot-line that was just dropped or forgotten about. I don’t know if Arden is thinking about making this a series. It could be, and if it is I hope that part actually turns into something.
As you can see, this had a few newbie bumps but overall, I really enjoyed this. I would recommend this to romance fans that like a good amount of angst and push-pull in their romances. As a character-driven reader, it was such a treat to meet Giana and I would love to read about her again. Arden impressed with this debut and I’m really excited to see what she has in store for us next. 4.25 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this one. In fact, I thought I might even be rating this wlw debut novel 5 stars but it ended up having a few too many bumps for that. The fact that it's a debut by Arden makes this book even more impressive. If Arden’s first book is this good, with only a few bumps, I can’t wait to see what other stories she’ll come out with. She is definitely on my author to watch list for sure.
URL: 4.5 stars, Abuse, Angst, Assassin - Murderer, Coming out, Cops and Docs, Medical, Police
Author: Dolores Arden