Monday, April 10, 2017

Final Verdict

If you haven't read a novel by Jessica Patch you are missing out! Final Verdict is my first novel by Ms. Patch, but she is definitely on my favorite writer list! She has a way of capturing your attention from the first page and not letting go until the story is over. I stayed up way past my bedtime trying to figure it all out, seriously it is THAT good.

Aurora Daniels isn't a bad person, yet she feels that way sometimes. Defending those that others deem guilty isn't for the weak at heart. People get mad, make threats but sometimes those threats become reality. When she defended Austin Bledsoe for instance, she knew he had done wrong by drinking and driving and killing someone, but she didn't believe that it should cost him the rest of his life. He's a kid and he made a poor choice of judgement. He has great remorse and she believes he deserves a second chance. Of course, this makes her very unpopular to the town and the victim's family who believe the only justice is seeing Austin Bledsoe spend the rest of his life behind bars. When an anonymous man makes a threat from somewhere in the crowd Aurora shakes it off, until her car gets keyed, a whisky bottle comes through her window and she can't help but feel she's being stalked. Still, she's reluctant to rely on anybody for help. For all she knows they could be the ones after her.

Beckett Marsh is a stand up guy although a bit intimidating. He and Aurora often find themselves on the opposite side of the law. He arrests them, she sets them free, but as a citizen of Hope he feels it is his duty to protect her. A duty he takes very seriously. He knows she has had trouble before, it comes with being good at her job, but this time it's personal. He decides to become her personal bodyguard and chauffeur until they can figure out who exactly is after her. With her job it could be any number of people or it could be someone related to her brother's case. She's determined to prove his innocence but in order to do that she will have to prove someone else guilty.

I have to admit I'm leery of intrigue novels. I have a vivid imagination and if a novel goes too into detail I will stay awake for days. I wasn't too worried with this being a love inspired mystery though and was eager to get started. I have to admit I was wrong about my preconceived notions of this book. I figured about halfway through that I would have figured out who did it or at least have it narrowed down to the two main suspects. Ms. Patch threw me for a loop, not only did I not have a clue who did it, I had way too many suspects! She kept me guessing until the very end!

I love that Aurora loved her brother so much that even after he died she still championed his case to prove him innocent. That's also the reason she became a defense attorney. She wanted to give others who might not have had one a fighting  chance. Everyone deserves a second chance, right? I loved her caring and kind nature, how she wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in but would also admit when she was wrong A true heroine in my book.

Then there's Beckett Marsh. He appears to be a hard case on the outside but on the inside, he's a momma's boy. He's had trauma in his life, his fiancee was killed just yards from where he was staying and he couldn't get to her in time. He carries that pain around with him. Maybe that's why he appears rough and grouchy all the time. Maybe that's why he can't seem to call Aurora anything other than counselor, if he called her buy her name he may begin to see her as something other than the enemy and that wouldn't be good. Not good at all.

The Final Verdict is a perfect blend of intrigue, drama and love. You will get so wrapped up in the story that you will forget Beckett and Aurora are just characters and not real people. I absolutely enjoyed Final Verdict and can't wait to get my hands on Jessica Patch's next book!

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

You can grab a copy here:Final Verdict

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