Thursday, July 26, 2018

Blog Tour ~ Locked Out (A Welcome to Rebuild Mystery) by L.M. Schukraft (Review + Giveaway)

Blog Tour ~ Locked Out (A Welcome to Rebuild Mystery) by L.M. Schukraft (Review + Giveaway)

Locked Out
Welcome To Rebuild Book 1
by L.M. Schukraft
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Emeline Watson hoped that by changing careers and going back to her home town, Waverly, it would be a new beginning for her. She could forget her horrible ex and the troubles he caused, move on from her father's passing away six months ago, and start over. She finds out quickly enough that her past has followed her. 

Amid overhearing clandestine conversations, her ex stalking her, and her home town being plagued with recent break-ins, Emeline's first week at Rebuild, a local chain hardware store, is anything but easy. The only bright spot is her gorgeous new co-worker, Ethan Walker. They're paired up together the first day, and the mutual attraction is undeniable, but Emeline senses there's more to Ethan than he's letting on. 

Starting out a new job, in a new town, is never easy but Ethan Walker has become a pro at blending in and adjusting to change. He figures this should be one of the easier changes he's had to face in a while. Little did he know the trouble that was awaiting him when he first set eyes on Emeline Watson. Her girl next door blonde hair, curvy fit body, and stunning eyes catches his attention instantly. Time and again, he finds himself playing knight in shining armor to her damsel in distress. 

Waverly is experiencing its first wave of crime in centuries and Emeline seems to be mixed up in the center of it. No matter how much she denies needing Ethan to rescue her, the two are thrown together after Emeline discovers the grizzly remains of a body. 

Can Ethan and Emeline figure out who's behind the crimes? Will their attraction, and Emeline, survive the sinister plot threatening the entire town? Or will their secrets keep them locked out of each other’s lives?

Time is running out and the stakes are getting higher with each passing day....the danger is real and it's coming for Emeline.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

I’m a big fan of cozy mysteries. They’re typically a fairly short read, something that can be done in a couple of hours. They have a likable main character, typically female, who is strong, smart and not any type of investigation work. The story is told through the POV of the main character as she works to solve the puzzle of the murder. Cozy mysteries are typically considered “gentle” books that you can be comfortable to recommend to your parents, grandparent or teen. There’s no graphic violence, profanity or sex in the stories. The focus is on discovering clues and solving the crime with the main character.

Though Locked Out is labeled a Cozy Mystery by the author, it is unlike any cozy mystery I’ve ever read. The explanation above for cozy mysteries does not apply to this book. This book is twice the length of all other cozy’s I have read. This story is told from alternating POV’s from Emmie and Ethan. I didn’t think Emmie was all that likable, smart or strong. She also did not solve the crime but instead was given the confession from the person, or persons, who perpetrated the crimes. There was a lot going on in this story and I didn’t feel like the solving of the crime was the main purpose of it.

I didn’t not like Emmie and she did grow on me a little. There were moments where she wasn’t completely confused or blind to what was going on around her. Ethan was a likable character, for the most part. He was secretive and it wasn’t hard to figure out he was hiding something. I liked his brothers Brandon and Hawk, who were pulled into the story through their job working the crimes. And as much as I liked the Walker Brothers, they could also be overwhelming and gave the impression of Larry, Curly and Moe at times and not in a flattering way. There were scenes that just seemed weird to me, even after I finished reading. Like the three brothers joining together to tickle Emmie after knowing her one day. Um, who does that? Awkward much? But, otherwise, they improved the storyline and helped make me like Emmie a little.

A lot of the story is spent on the relationship/non-relationship of Emmie and Ethan which I think distracted from the mystery portion of the story. I went into this expecting a cozy mystery so the relationship storyline wasn’t needed, in my opinion. Or a lot less of it was needed. If you’re going into this book for a relationship, this does not end with a HEA or a HFN. This seems to be a series and it looks like the relationship between Emmie and Ethan will be explored more in the next book.

As for the mystery/murder portion of the book, there was a lot going on and a lot of different prongs. I would have loved to have focused more on this portion. I guessed some portions of the “who done it” but not all of them. Once everything was revealed, it really highlighted the blindness and gullibility of Emmie.

This book was enjoyable, for the most part, and I’ll check out the next book in the series. If you enjoy mystery novels, then you’ll definitely want to check out this book. If you like cozy mysteries, and are looking for something that goes along with the description in the very first paragraph above, this is not going to be the book for you.

Rating: 4 stars

L. M. Schukraft is a long time writer, a quirky novelist, and a semi-passive blogger. 

With the release of her third novel, Locked Out, Ms. Schukraft is excited to share with you a cast of new characters in a mystery that keeps you guessing. She is currently writing her next adventure - a YA fairy tale retelling - that she anticipates releasing in 2018. 

Ms. Schukraft graduated with a degree in English Creative Writing which she's finally putting to good use. She loves reading but being a picky reader limited her choices. She found herself going long periods of time waiting for her favorite authors to release their next books. Using her inclination towards creativity, Ms. Schukraft started writing a few novels years ago. Life and circumstances, along with some writer's block and doubt, delayed her finishing the first two books she started to write. Hop forward to a competition along with a butt-load of determination and Ms. Schukraft finished Even Halos Can Be Crooked. Her next release followed shortly after that, Castles in the Skies, a collection of poetry and short stories. 

Ms. Schukraft has several ideas waiting to be written and looks forward to sharing each and every single one with you. Keep an eye out for her YA fairy tale retelling, a children's picture book, the second book in both her series, and a stand-alone romantic suspense thriller. 

Ms. Schukraft actively updates her blogs and Facebook pages with information on current releases, giveaways, promotions as well as what she's writing at the time. Please follow, like, and share her blogs and Facebook pages to stay up-to-date and not miss any new releases!

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