Red Nights by Shari J. Ryan

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Felicity woke up to her house burning down around her. She barely made it out alive. Unbeknownst to her, her brother was in the house, and he perished in the fire. She was lost in a haze of grief. To get some space, she went to the park in the middle of the night where she met a guy named Hayes. Felicity also had an ex-boyfriend and a friend fighting for her attention. The police informed her the fire was not caused by accident, and she was the primary suspect. Soon she realized one of the people closest to her may have set the fire.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much of a mystery. There was one, but it was incredibly predictable. I was able to figure out every big event long before it happened. I had the murderer and HEA pegged by the 30% mark. Red herrings were used to divert attention from the real killer, but it was obvious it wasn’t them. I also figured out about half way through who was in a secret relationship, what the result of it would be, and what happened to Hayes’ daughter. All of this ruined the book for me since there was no element of surprise.

Aside from its predictability, it was alright. The story was paced well. There weren’t any dull moments. The romance was good. Hayes and Felicity had chemistry. The relationship had tension since Felicity was not sure if she could trust Hayes or not. Felicity’s grief at the loss of her brother was expressed well. I really related to what she was going through since I experienced a similar type of loss at that age.  One issue with her grief was that it lessened due to finding love. Love can help the grieving get through it, but love itself will not make it go away.

One other thing got on my nerves although it was a minor thing, but it was mentioned a fair amount. Felicity smoked one cigarette a day. It was a habit she’d had for a while, but it helped with her anxiety after her brother’s death. She acted as if it was a horrible problem and she’d never be able to stop. If someone has enough self control to smoke just one a day, then it’s not hard to stop. All of her friends were harping on her for smoking. It’s good to encourage courage people to quit, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to bring it up after the death of a loved one.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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