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Justified Misfortune
by Lori Matthews
Review

JUSTIFIED MISFORTUNE

Cover image of the book 'Justified Misfortune' by author Lori MatthewsHudson Riggs has returned to his family’s ranch after years spent traveling the world.

The former Navy SEAL accepted a position as a Personal Security Specialist, a job that didn’t leave much free time. He never expected his visit to his hometown to turn into another job.

His former High School flame has been arrested for murder but Hudson’s gut instinct is she didn’t do it. All he has to do now is prove it.

For Sunny Travers, being back in Canyon Springs is bittersweet. She desperately misses her life in California but her grandmother needs her.

Sunny’s world flips upside down when she’s arrested for killing the local hero. Now the citizens of Canyon Springs have turned against her and she’s forced to accept help from the man who broke her heart all those years ago.

Hudson knows Sunny hasn’t forgiven him. Hell, he hasn’t forgiven himself for how he left things but all his emotions take a back seat when someone tries to kill Sunny.

Can Hudson protect Sunny long enough to apologize to her and right old wrongs or will the killer get to her first?

Cover image of the book 'Justified Misfortune' by author Lori Matthews

LORI MATTHEWS

Image of author Lori MatthewsLori was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada. She grew up in a house filled with books and readers. Some of her fondest memories are of reading in the same room with her mother and sisters, arguing about whose turn it was to make tea. No one wanted to put their book down!
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She was introduced to different genres because of her parents’ habit of leaving books all over the house. Her mother read romance, and her father read thrillers. Her love of reading and books led to her becoming a librarian. She started her career as a public librarian and then eventually made her way into schools as a high school librarian with a stop in the corporate world along the way.
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When her children went off to school, Lori finally had the time to pursue her first love, writing and she’s been pounding the keyboard ever since. She has won numerous writing awards including two Daphne Du Maurier awards. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, crazy dog, and grumpy cat.
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Keep up to date with all Lori’s news at her website
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Follow Lori on Twitter
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Connect with Lori on Facebook
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“My world is a wee bit of a crazy place. I get asked a lot about the inspiration for my books. In truth, I am rarely inspired by anything enough to write a book about it. The ideas just come to me out of the blue. I try not to ask too many questions 🙂

I’m what’s called a pantser. I don’t plan out my books. I know a few points I want to include, but I let the characters tell their stories for the most part. I have plotted out books in the past, but I never write them once I finish plotting. Knowing what’s going to happen makes them less interesting to me. I know how that must sound but think of it this way; if you picked up a book and immediately knew the ending, would you bother to spend the money and invest the time to read the rest? That’s how it is for me as an author. Why spend the time and energy if I know what’s going to happen? I’d rather be on the edge of my seat, waiting to see how the story turns out”

Cover image of the book 'Justified Misfortune' by author Lori Matthews
FIRST LINES
CHAPTER ONE
Sunny pulled her silver BMW into the lot behind the diner. Chances were good it would be dark when she left, so she parked it directly under the streetlight. It was unfortunate the streetlight was in the farthest corner of the lot next to the fence, but she certainly didn’t want a repeat of yesterday. Sunny looked all around before exiting the car and hustling to the back entrance.
Cover image of the book 'Justified Misfortune' by author Lori Matthews
MEMORABLE LINES
“But everyone’s in control of their own lives. What she did with hers is not on you”
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“Hudson in her space was the absolute last thing she needed, but she had to admit Hudson wasn’t last on the list of things she wanted. He was nowhere near the bottom and way too close to the top for comfort”
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“All she wanted to do was run. Run far. Run fast. Run so her grandmother would be safe. Run so she wouldn’t be sent to prison for a murder she didn’t commit”
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“Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve … Hindsight was twenty-twenty”
Cover image of the book 'Justified Misfortune' by author Lori Matthews
REVIEW
“Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve … Hindsight was twenty-twenty”
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Okay! So I’ll admit right off, that I don’t tend to read these ‘happy ever after’, steamy, romantic/suspense novels on too regular a basis, however they are great way to ratchet down the tension between the more hardcore psychological thrillers which make up a large percentage of my reading schedule. I also know just how relaxing Lori’s writing style is and how she can add her own flavour to any storyline. This book is one of two which Lori has written, since she has taken up the mantle of contributing to the ‘Brotherhood Protectors’ series, which was originally begun by her fellow author Ella James and has now been expanded as the ‘Brotherhood Protectors World‘, with books being added to the series by many other authors.
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Having previously read the second episode in the ‘Justified’ series, I knew exactly what I was getting from this book and luckily they work great as stand alone stories. With some great structure to the story outline, keeping the chapters short, fluid and punchy, the action hits the ground running. There was no let up in the pace from start to finish, and when it came, the end was satisfying with all the loose ends neatly tied up. When I say non-stop action, I mean in all areas, so whilst from a purely personal point of view there was no issue, for those of you who don’t want to get caught unawares, there a couple of scenes containing explicit sexual content and language, although it is totally an integral part of the story.
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Two of Canyon Springs own, are reluctantly returning home after several years away pursuing their individual dreams and ambitions. That they have a history as a couple, is obviously going to set the cat amongst the pigeons, which it does with alarming speed and ferocity when they are thrown together again! Walking back into a minefield when another ‘son’ of the town is found strangled, Sunny experiences a sudden change of attitude amongst her long-time friends, when she is charged with his murder. Private Protection Specialist, Hudson, has something to prove to himself and the town, as he sets about keeping an increasingly fragile and vulnerable Sunny, safe and out of harms way, as the real murderer becomes more and more desperate and dangerous, taking evermore daring chances in an effort to remove Sunny from the equation. Hudson is man enough to admit that given Sunny’s very stubborn nature and the fact that she still bears one heck of a grudge against him, this is one battle he is not going to be able to fight and win alone, so he enlists the help of fellow security specialist and his friend, Rhys, who rides shotgun with a team of marksmen and protection operatives. Sunny is ‘specialist’ in her own right though, a food specialist, and it is her area of expertise and knowledge which eventually leads her to track down her nemesis and put a name to the murderer, although whether she is ever going to get to reveal her suspicions relies entirely on Hudson and Rhys, on whom she now totally depends for her very life.
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This fast-paced, multi-layered story, is richly textured, with a finely balanced and compelling blend of an intriguing murder/mystery and some racy, sultry, erotic romance. As the suspense heightens, the tension ramps up and as ever increasingly dangerous events draw Sunny and Hudson further into their clutches, the couple are literally thrown together, so it isn’t difficult to work out, that the action between them personally, is only heading in one direction, the bedroom, if they make it that far! The atmosphere, both between the sheets and surrounding the case, is constantly taut and intense, as Sunny continually fights against Hudson, only adding to the danger, as he begins to take his eye off the ball in protecting her. The synergy between the two of them is sizzling to say the least, that’s when they are not tearing strips off each other that is! With the skilled confident ease and total assurance I have come to expect from Lori’s writing the fast changing dynamics of this storyline are compelling, as those extra twists in the tail are set to mask the perpetrator and throw us unsuspecting armchair detectives off the scent.
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For the most part, Lori has created an authentic, multi-faceted cast of characters who were well developed and defined, easy to connect with and invest in, although there were one or two who I didn’t take to at all, which I’m afraid to say didn’t include the real murderer, so perhaps my judgement isn’t all that sound after all! Lori seems to have left her characters to make and shape this story, giving them a strong voice, whilst offering just the lightest of guiding hands when she felt it necessary. Their conversational dialogue really drew me into a community which is very much at odds with itself right now, as personal agendas have been allowed to surface, which have revealed and laid bare a good many vulnerabilities and long-term hidden grudges, none more evident than that between the local police chief and county sheriff, which always seems to surface on such occasions and adds a real sense of time and place to these small town locations.
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Chilling, yet erotic and sexy, this one ticked quite a few of my boxes for a satisfying read; enjoyment, escapism, emotion, entertainment and engagement! Who could ask for more?
Image of author Lori Matthews

I purchased a review copy of this book from Amazon via Kindle.

Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article which promotes this book or its author.

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars!

 

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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16 comments
    • Hi Angie,

      ‘An Old Flame Never Dies’ pretty much sums up this genre in general and definitely this story in particular – Sunny and Hudson have a real ‘love/hate’ relationship at the start of this story, although true to form, love prevails in the end!

      Not a genre I could read all the time, but a great ‘down time’ interlude occasionally, especially now I know just how much I enjoy author Lori Matthews writing style too!

      Thanks for taking time to comment, even though I remember this is not one of your personal favourite genres, I appreciate your support! 🙂

  • I had thought straight away that this wasn’t a genre you featured very often but then it makes perfect sense that you are looking for some light relief between the psychological thrillers that feature so often on Fiction Books and you obviously find this author’s reading to your liking.

    • Don’t tell anyone, but I have been known to read the odd Mills & Boon on occasion – and these stories are definitely a few notches up the scale on those! This is the third book I have read of Lori’s and yes, I thoroughly enjoy her style of writing and the energy she brings to her storylines 🙂

      I have been accepting quite a few personal challenges in response to direct author requests just lately, and I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the diversity of storylines I have really enjoyed, when I didn’t think I was going to!

      I hope that you are having a reading blast right now too and thanks for stopping by, it’s great to chat with you! 🙂

  • I would have passed this one over just on the cover art alone, but it sounds like it was a fun diversion from your usual genre. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    • I knew this one wouldn’t be your cup of tea at all and definitely isn’t a genre I could read all the time. However I am quite selective about the authors I choose and I have worked with Lori a few times now, so I know exactly how good her storylines and characters are.

      I still do appreciate you stopping by though and taking the time to have a chat and I hope that all is well with you! 🙂

  • You gave it 5 stars even though you are not usually reading this type of books, so that means you really loved it. That’s fab! 🙂
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend. xx

    • I have to admit that I have been trying to be quite lenient with my star ratings these days. I tried taking the opposite approach and I seemed to be out of sync with everyone else!

      I really don’t like the idea of star ratings, as what I get from reading a book is purely personal to me and the next person who reads the same book may have a totally different opinion.

      Reviews alone work much better for me, as I can really gauge someones true feelings from that narrative. But then I suppose not everyone writes reviews for all their books, so there has to be another measure and star ratings are probably the next best option!

      However, Yes! I did enjoy this book. It had just about the right mix of romance and suspense, it was a well structured storyline and I like the author’s style of writing.

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comment and have a great weekend! 🙂

    • I have to say , that with the exception of sci-fi or fantasy, I will give just about any genre a try and I do enjoy the odd romantic interlude from time to time. It ratchets down the tension between thrillers, especially as the next book I am reading is a real ‘chunkster’ at 800 pages, although it is brilliant so far!

      “A pantser is a term most commonly applied to fiction writers, especially novelists, who write their stories “by the seat of their pants.” The opposite would be a plotter, or someone who uses outlines to help plot out their novels. Many writers fall into one camp or the other, though it’s not uncommon for writers to try both methods from book to book”

      If you want to check out the rest of this interesting article:
      https://www.writersdigest.com/getting-published/what-is-a-pantser-in-writing

      Thank you for taking the time to visit, I always appreciate your support, even when the book may not be to your personal choice.

      Have a fabulous weekend 🙂

  • This sounds like a good romantic suspense I might like.
    I just jumped in to say “Hi” as I’ve been missing you at MM.
    I hope all is well with you.
    Enjoy your reading!

    • Hi Martha,

      Thank you so much for stopping by, I was really surprised and touched to hear from you, such a lovely thought! 🙂

      I hope that you and your family are doing well, despite the persistence of our not so friendly virus!

      I really miss my weekly memes, especially MM, as everyone was so friendly. However, I needed to take some time away to try and work out exactly where I was going with my blog, as things were becoming just too hectic and stressful, when it was meant to be a fun hobby.

      At the moment, I am quite happy posting my Blog Tours and Reviews, whilst I work through things, so ‘never say never!’ I might be back yet!

      I hope that Serena and yourself are keeping well and not getting too stressed by keeping MM going for so long between you. It looks as though ‘Velvet’ really has hit the ground running, so I hope that she is enjoying herself enough to want to stick around for a while. I do hope that Leslie is okay though, it is strange that she went silent so suddenly!

      Happy Reading to all my MM friends and have a great week! 🙂

      • The blogging definitely needs to be something to enjoy and not a stress issue. I do very few blog tours anymore for that reason. I may do more when I have more time but not in the near future.
        You take care and stay well. I’ll visit now and then. 🙂

        • Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate them.

          I will definitely aim to post on MM occasionally, as it will be good to check in with you all.

          Take Care 🙂 xx

Written by Yvonne

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