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My Thoughts About … ‘Double Crossing’ by Meg Mims

 

Synopsis

Available From Amazon

   A murder arranged as a suicide … a missing deed … and a bereft daughter whose sheltered world is shattered.

August, 1869: Lily Granville is stunned by her father’s murder. Only one other person knows about a valuable California gold mine deed — both are now missing. Lily heads west on the newly opened transcontinental railroad, determined to track the killer. She soon realizes she is no longer the hunter but the prey.

As things progress from bad to worse, Lily is uncertain who to trust—the China-bound missionary who wants to marry her, or the wandering Texan who offers to protect her … for a price. Will Lily survive the journey and unexpected betrayal?

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About The Author

Meg Mims is an author, artist (Meg works in watercolour, acrylic and pen/ink media) and amateur photographer.

Born and raised in southeast Michigan, she lives with her husband, a “Make My Day” Malti-poo and a drooling black cat.

She is a staff writer for RE/MAX Platinum in Michigan – writing articles about the real estate market, community events and Realtors – and for Lake Effect Living, a West Coast of Michigan tourist on-line magazine.

Meg earned an M.A. degree through Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program, joined Romance Writers of America , where she learned much more about the business of writing romance, then entered the SHU programme for a second time, to tackle the ‘mysteries’ of writing in the mystery genre.

She now writes historical mysteries and romantic suspense, although she first became published in the  children’s market in 1997 with puzzles, a rebus, poems, short stories and illustrations.

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My Thoughts About The Book

A Western historical fiction and romance, mixed with plenty of suspense, murder and adventure, which had me hooked from the first page to the last.

Lily is a girl ahead of  her time. Unlike many of her contemporaries she is educated in the ways of the world, intelligent, strong willed and self-sufficient. Qualities which have been instilled in her by a father she loves and whose good name she is determined to see restored after his sudden and violent death. Traits which defy the traditions of the period, for a young lady with class and breeding should be obedient, ornamental, educated only in the finer arts and subservient to men in all things.

Lily’s character is vivid in detail and well defined, even to the point where she is forced to admit that she is not quite as ‘au fait’ in the ways of the world as she has assumed herself to be and that she needs to seek help and advice when it is required. She quickly learns that she needs to be discerning about who she can and cannot trust, but that trust and help needs to be given on her own terms. Her judgement about Ace, her chosen and well paid protector, is called into question on more than one occasion, however her intuitive decision that she can depend on him no matter what, turns out to be well founded and stands her in good stead against both family and friends, who would betray her. Our independent heroine is certainly living outside of her time and must use all her wiles and skills to determine her ever-growing feelings for her new protector and just how to deal with them.

All of the characters, including those who only appear briefly, have been developed and portrayed in this same detailed way, affording them all the ability to draw the reader into the story, each with their own self-centred and selfish motives, meaness of spirit and family values, greed and duplicity.

Perhaps the surprise amongst the protagonists is Ace Diamond, the one person who would be assumed to be along for the ride, only for what gains he can amass for himself at Lily’s expense. Instead we see a man, yes a little rough around the edges, maybe short on temper, a little too quick with his fists and who definitely doesn’t suffer fools gladly. We also get more than a glimpse of his inner control, sense of fairness, perceptiveness in his character analysis of those who would hurt or betray Lily, and his genuine growing affection for Lily, which appears to be a surprise even to himself and tests his control to its utmost limits.

The plotline, whilst to some degree predictable, is well crafted, with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. There is a good balance struck between romance and suspense, with the underlying romantic and sexual  feelings which are growing between Lily and Ace, forming an integral, yet not overwhelming part of the story. The emphasis manages to remain firmly centred around Lily’s quest to find the one person she thinks may be able to help her track down the people who meted out such a cruel retribution on her father.

The vastness, primeval beauty, changing scenery and vistas of a new and fledgling country are brought to life in clear and vivid detail, as we journey across the breadth of the country by train, from Lily’s home in the more prosperous and sophisticated Chicago of the Eastern Seabord; to the wild, untamed territory of the Western Californian lands.

“The prairie possessed a luminous glory all its own, mesmerizing and free, unashamed of its naked grassland.”

Whilst this episode of Lily’s quest reaches a natural, if slightly unexpected conclusion, with the storyline drawing to an unhurried climax, we are still left to wonder what is to become of Lily’s personal and romantic future and thus Meg has gently paved the way for a sequel, no doubt rich with the promise of what is to come with Lily’s impending maturity, and which, I understand, is well underway as I write this post.

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This book was a review copy, sent to me by the author, Meg Mims and as such, was free of charge.

This in no way influenced any comments I may have expressed about the book, in any blog article I have posted. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.

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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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8 comments
    • Hi Kathy,

      Although Meg has had work published previously, this is her first serious foray into the world of adult fiction and she couldn’t have got off to a better start than this.

      ‘Double Crossing’ is certainly well written and edited and was a light, easy and very pleasant read.

      I know that I commented on the plot being ‘somewhat predictable’, but if you knew just how many twists, turns and false starts it took to get there, I think I could probably live without that kind of predictability in my life ….. far too much hassle!

      Thanks for stopping by today

  • I quite like books set in the wild west times of the USA so I might grab this if I come across it anywhere. I used to be a huge fan of cowboy westerns as a child and it’s never really left me. Very nice review, Yvonne!

    • Hi Cath,

      Cowboy Westerns were never something that I can remember reading as a child, although western television programmes were always avidly watched by us all as a family, and I seem to remember my father returning from trips to the library with his usual array of detective fiction and a couple of westerns.

      ‘Double Crossing’ would certainly be worth reading if you fancy a change from your present genres. It is maybe a genre that I wouldn’t follow on a regular basis, but as an occasional read, it certainly might well work for me.

      Thanks for leaving comment, it is always welcome.

      • Good morning Yvonne! (And a real autumn one it is, we actually put the heating on last night!)

        I must apologise for not being clear. (Story of my life.) When I said cowboy westerns I meant TV programmes not books. As a family we loved the likes of Laramie, Wagon Train, Bonanza, Rawhide and several I can’t remember the names of now. The US sent loads of them to our shores and I think we watched most of them. LOL. They were more innocent days when we were quite happy with a story about right and wrong, rather than something like Eastenders. I don’t think my mother would have let me watch something like that as a child to be honest. She would have been horrified! And then I think about the westerns and how much killing there was in them and maybe they weren’t so suitable after all… nothing is black and white is it? Oh well.

        I intend to keep an eye out for this book, anyway.

        • Hi Cath,

          Sorry about the misunderstanding earlier this morning (it was quite early as you can see by the time line), I guess I wasn’t quite with it when I read your comment.

          We also used to watch all the cowboy westerns that you mentioned, plus ‘The Virginian’ (James Drury ….drool, drool), ‘The Big Valley’ and ‘Alias Smith and Jones’, to name a couple of others that also came to mind.

          When I featured ‘Double Crossing’ on a ‘Wondrous Words Wednesday’ post, I had quite a lengthy debate with fellow blogger ‘Scribacchina’ , about the rights and wrongs of the suitability of westerns, with all their inherent violence, as childhood viewing, when I made pretty much the same observations as you have just done …

          https://www.fiction-books.biz/my-latest-news-and-musings/wondrous-words-wednesday-2/

          As you say, nothing is ever black and white is it? I find myself harping on about ‘the good old days’ when I was a child; apart from the fact that I now sound just like my parents, were they really any better times, in all reality?

          Dave and I do admit to watching ‘Eastenders’ when we are around, basically because it happens to coincide with the time we sit down to eat, but we have both commented that it is something that we no longer want to watch and are struggling to fathom the logic of the BBC in pursuing some of the storylines which they adopt … at the very least we both feel that the programme should be scheduled after the 9pm watershed. My parents ceratinly wouldn’t have allowed us to watch such a programme and I most certainly wouldn’t have allowed any child of mine access to it!

          ‘Double Crossing’ is still a great book though!!

  • How did I miss this lovely review? Or if I did read it, I didn’t check back for comments. 😀 Shades of a busy life, and I’m so happy you liked my first historical western romantic suspense! Check out my book trailer and you’ll see how I was also influenced by some favorite actors from TV westerns – here’s the link: http://youtu.be/2mDe17A5aF8 Enjoy!! I am writing the sequel, Double or Nothing, and have a “sneak peek” on my blog — http://www.megmims.com under the “Double Series” page.

    Thanks again for your kind words.

    • Hi Meg,

      I thought I was going a bit mad when I read this comment, as I was certain that I had e-mailed you when I published to post, because you had invited me to read and review and in that circumstance I will always inform an author when the review is up and running.

      I did find the e-mail eventually, just to prove that being of a certain age hasn’t adled my brain completely, but I apologise if for some reason you didn’t receive it.

      Some of the old Westerns were great, weren’t they? It is such a shame that it is almost a dying genre now and that many youngsters (maybe more so here in the UK than in the US) have no idea what a Western is, let alone playing ‘Cowboys and Indians’

      I am waiting patiently for the follow-up to ‘Double Crossing’, so don’t forget about Fiction Books, if you want me to read and review at any time.

      Thanks for stopping by and joining in the discussion and I hope that you have a great weekend.

Written by Yvonne

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