Friday, February 16, 2018

"Wicked Charm" by Amber Hart

Wicked Charm
by Amber Hart

Wicked Charm by Amber Hart

Wicked Charm by Amber Hart is currently on tour with Chapter by Chapter Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Nothing good comes from living in the Devil's swamp.
Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn't half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.
Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.
Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell - the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.
But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there's something else that draws Willow to him.
When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts … or if they're leading to her own death.

“Who,” I whisper, “is that?”
Across the way stands a boy. He’s staring at me, wearing a twisted grin like he knows me. The wind ruffles his depths-of-the-ocean black hair. He’s wearing a dark shirt and dark jeans and I cannot tear my eyes from his.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Atmospheric, lush, and razor-edged, this romance is the best sort of trouble - the kind that keeps you up reading all night long.” ~ Jenna Marie Thorne, author of The Wrong Side of Right
“When I started reading this it reminded me of Beautiful Creatures, however, this mystery was like nothing I've read before and I was hooked on every page. I love the swamp setting and the suspense.:” ~ Danielle, Chapters Through Life
“From page one to the end, Hart offers up another irresistible read that will keep the reader guessing and rapidly turning the pages.” ~ Heather Smith Meloche, author of Ripple
“It had everything it needed to be a very good book. An amazing romance, fast paced suspense and great character development. I’m going to keep a close eye on this author because this book was simply amazing!” ~ Lena, The Printed Girl
“Solid romantic suspense. I loved the swamp, the characters, and the Southern Gothic atmosphere.” ~ Outlaw Poet

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Willow and her parents have just moved in with her grandmother, who lives on the edge of the swamp. Willow is instantly attracted to her neighbor Beau but, while everyone warns her to stay away from him, they grow closer every day. When his ex-girlfriend shows up dead in the swamp, Beau is the obvious suspect, but he has an alibi. When more of Beau’s ex-girlfriends show up dead, Willow can't help but wonder if she’s next. And if Beau isn’t the murderer, who’s hiding in their swamp?
The story is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Willow and Beau, but their voices are so similar I kept forgetting who was narrating. While Beau is described as “wicked”, he never does anything to warrant that title and, because we get the story from his viewpoint, it’s obvious that he’s not the killer. I would have preferred the story to be told only by Willow, keeping open the possibility that Beau is the culprit. I guessed the identity of the killer straight away and then proceeded to collect the not-so-subtle clues left by the author. Even though not much happens (apart for a few murders that take place off-page and of which we are given no details) and there is no build-up of suspense (because we know Beau is innocent), I kept reading to see how long it would take for everyone else to figure it out. I don’t know if I missed something (like the fact that it’s summer break) because the characters are never at school; they just spend their days swanning around the swamp or the swimming pool, drinking sweet tea and suspecting each other of being the murderer. Towards the end of the book, there is much talk about how terrible storms can be in the swamp, and I was expecting an exciting climax, but the storm never eventuates. Then, once the murder is caught, too much time is spent wrapping things up. The story is saved by the brooding and atmospheric swamp that serves as the backdrop and has a personality all of its own.

An okay read if you’re looking more for romance than murder mystery.

About the Author
Amber Hart resides on the Florida coastline with family and a plethora of animals she affectionately refers to as her urban farm. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She's the author of several novels for teens and adults, including Wicked Charm, The Before and After Series, and the Untamed series. Rep'd by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.