Cross Her Heart

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Mar 2020

Member Reviews

One of my favorite female mystery writers is Melinda Leigh, so when I saw her latest for review on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. The only thing I have to say which was a personal thing was I didn't like the surname Taggart as after watching a few TV shows including Eureka - Taggart seems like an old person name, though as she is a Detective it does work as more often than not cops are called by their surname alone - so in that aspect it did work. Cross Her Heart is the first book in a new series by Melinda Leigh which introduces us to Bree Taggart and her siblings. The story starts when they are young children and tragedy happens to their parents, it then jumps about twenty years and Bree is now a Homicide Detective and is semi-estranged from her brother Adam and her sister Erin who still live in their hometown. The book moves from the past into the present when Bree gets a missed call and voicemail from Erin - it sounds like she's in trouble. She tries calling but no answer, eventually she feels the need to visit her hometown. She arrives sadly in time to learn her sister has been killed and that they are looking at her current husband Justin. Justin's best friend Matt doesn't believe he would harm Erin and as the new Police Department is a little short-staffed and not exploring all options we read as Bree and Matt pair up to solve the crime of who killed Erin and where Justin is. I did like the support that Bree had with her friend and police partner Dana and did wonder if there was some underlying possible romance as they give off this lesbian vibe but then we see her chemistry with Matt which chucks that theory out the window. Anywho, looking for a new female mystery writer to sink your teeth into? Then check out Melinda Leigh and her array of series as you will not be disappointed.
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The synopsis is gold. When Bree was a little girl, her father killed her mother and then committed suicide. She and her two siblings have been separated,but that fact never stopped their bond. And now,in seems that the history is repeating itself because Bree's sister Erin was found dead in her husband's home. The only difference is that the husband is missing. Bree starts investigating her sister's murder with the help of Justin's (Erin's husband) friend,Matt.
I loved Bree immediately. Not everyone would just drop everything and move to a place that reminds them of the most tragic moment of their life to raise someone's children. And the same goes to Dana. She was such a great support system for Bree and the kids, we all need a Dana in our lives. Matt was alright. He annoyed me when he was trying to keep Bree away from danger. That girl is a great cop and can definitely take care of herself, she doesn't need that condescending stupidity. 
The plot got a bit rushed at the end and everything resolved too quickly. That being said, I think the next book in the series is going to be awesome and I can't wait to read it. Also,if you don't like romance, don't worry, this book has barely any hints of it,a definite case of a slow burn.
Thank you to Netgalley and Montlake Romance for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved it!!! Definitely reminds me of the Morgan Dane series. Bree, Matt and Dana are going to make a great team. Everyone needs a Dana in their life. She is a great friend to Bree, wonderful with the kids, makes amazing food and was willing to drive with a howling cat for five hours. Lance Kruger even makes a very brief appearance. Many twists and turns. I wasn't sure who killed Erin. Erin didn't have the best judgement with men, so her exes were on the top of my suspect list. Loved Vader, Ladybug and Brody. When the truth comes out about Erin's killer and the reasons behind everything, it felt a little rushed with everything coming out at once. It was not what I was expecting. I like not being able to guess the entire plot from the very beginning!!! So excited for the next book in the series.

Definitely recommend the book. This was a great mystery/thriller. Loved the story, characters and writing style. I can't wait to find out what is next in store for Bree Taggert. Look forward to reading more books by the author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Montlake Romance through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Cross her heart by
Melinda Leigh

Bree Taggert and her fellow Philadelphia homicide detective Dana Romano are out rounding up a suspect when Bree gets a voicemail from her sister Erin telling her that she was in trouble and needing help.  After not getting a response during call backs Bree decides to head back home to Erin’s 300 miles away. 
Meanwhile, Matt Flynn is going by his friend Justina house to take him to Narcotics Anonymous. After no answer for a bit and his K-9’s agitation he enters the house and finds Justin’s estranged wife Erin dead from a gun shot.  The question that lingers is “Who killed Erin. And where is Justin?”
  The story goes from there will various subplots including Bree taking care of the two kids who have no one to care of them Erin dead and Justin missing or on the run. 
  A very engaging story that had me captivated until the end. Highly recommend. 
  I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy for review purposes.
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Bree is a homicide detective and has had tragedy in her life. When she was young, her father killed her mother and then killed himself. Bree's little sister and brother are taken in by their grandparents but Bree  went to a counsin. She gets a call from her sister, Erin, saying she's in trouble and needs help. Bree rushes down there only to find out her sister had been shot and killed. Matt is a former deputy and is best friends with Justin, Erin's husband. Matt goes looking for Justin because he's not answering his phone but Matt finds Erin's body. Bree takes her sister's kids back to their house and teams up with Matt to find the killer. Matt is wanting to prove Justin's innocence and Bree just wants justice for her sister.
Very intense and suspenseful story. Will keep you guessing to very end. I'm not sure if I understand the reason for Erin's murder but others might. Be warned... it is a year jerker.
* Voluntarily read and reviewed this for Netgalley *
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Cross Her Heart is a really great start to a new series. Bree Taggart makes a fantastic heroine. There were other great characters in the book, and it had a storyline that kept my attention and left me impatient for more once I was finished.
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This is the 1st book in the Bree Taggart series …….. I love how the Author manages to bring characters from previous books into her various series , and whilst the main character in this book is new to us we see the introduction of those we already know which enriches the story lines .

Bree Taggart early life has been defined by their father's brutality to his family resulting in both his and his wife's deaths . Her siblings lives deeply affected by the past , results in a fractured family group .

In the present day Bree is on Police stake-out with her partner Dana   …. when she finds out that something has happened to sister, Erin , who is separated from her husband . Erin's husband's is the prime suspect and has disappeared , but his best friend Matt is convinced that the evidence against him is wrong .
Bree's expertise at her job allows her to see beyond the initial evidence and with Matt's help they race against time to find the real killer .
It was nice to see that the romance between Bree and Matt is not the usual instant attraction but a slow burner that can develop more fully in future books . This book was a relatively slow start to the series but allows the reader to invest more fully with the main characters .
 I look forward to the development of the other characters , especially those in the Sherriff's Department - which adds greatly to the readers enjoyment of the book.

 I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Bree may have been separated from her younger siblings after their parents death, and she may not agree with all their choices, but never mistake that for not caring.  She loves them deeply and drops everything when her sister leaves her a mysterious message and disappears.  Dealing with a less that capable and perhaps corrupt police department would be a challenge for anyone, but for a competent detective it is torture.  Matt Flynn is ready to assist in anyway possible, but he is the missing estranged husband's friend, and just too complicated for Bree's peace of mind.  

The two will journey down a path harrowing in the best of times.  I am a huge Melinda Leigh fan and found this book captivating and entertaining.
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I really enjoyed this book which is my first by this author.  Primarily a mystery/suspense novel (there was only a whisper of a romantic connection between the main characters) , it focused on Bree and Matt who are drawn into investigating the murder of Bree’s sister, Erin, with the primary suspect being Erin’s husband who was also Matt’s best friend.  Bree is a strong female protagonist and is well matched with Matt.  Even the secondary characters are well integrated and I am definitely interested in reading more about the citizens of Gray’s Hallow.
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So I really liked this first book though I think that things got a bit too convoluted towards the end. I will definitely read the next book though because I like how Melinda Leigh set this up and I adored the characters of Bree and her partner from the Philadelphia police, Dana. I was okay about Mike (the other lead I guess you could say) but not that focused on him while reading this. 

"Cross Her Heart" starts with a bang. Bree Taggert grabs and hides her little sister Erin and and her baby brother Adam when their father starts hitting their mother. In one dark moment though both parents are lost to Bree. We fast forward decades later with Bree dealing with a stake-out with her partner Dana. We know that Bree lost her parents and due to that it has left her feeling shy about romantic relationships. She also doesn't have the closest relationship with her siblings either. When Bree gets a call that something has happened to her sister, she's thrown about the fallout and wants to do what's necessary to figure out who is behind it.

Leigh also shows us the third person POV of Matt Flynn. Matt is best friend's with Erin's husband, who has gone missing after Erin's murder. Matt previously worked as a K-9 unit with the sheriff's department before something happened that had him leaving. 

I really liked Bree. She is very good at her job and it shows in this when she starts investigating her sister's death. I also was relieved there wasn't any big romantic things with Matt in this first book. Obviously Leigh is setting it up this way, but to me this book read more thriller/suspense. Some authors I have found have a hard time balancing romantic suspense in their books. 

I thought the other characters like Dana were great and I look forward to reading more about the sheriff department characters and the town.
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I've probably read every book by Melinda Leigh and this newest addition doesn't disappoint. A very well written story with interesting and engaging characters. Plenty of suspense, twists and turns to the story and the beginnings of a romance that fits naturally into the overall story rather than being a distraction as it can be with some authors. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next book in the series.
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I was super excited to see a new series with a new lead character from Melinda Leigh----especially after suffering the loss of the Morgan Dane series. I found this book to be excellent---fast paced and kept me engaged until the very last page. In fact, after I finished, I immediately went to Amazon to check when the next book is coming out. Bree Taggert is a formidable female character, something I appreciate. Whiny and helpless female leads are so annoying. Melinda Leigh has topped herself—and goes to the top of my must-read author list. CROSS HER HEART is everything I love in a thriller, and Bree Taggert is everything I love in a heroine. READ THIS BOOK. You won’t be able to put it down
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Bree and her siblings have survived the worse trauma when they were just kids, it has propelled Bree into a career of law enforcement 
Matt is ex law enforcement  in Brees childhood town of Greys Hallow.  
After her sister is brutally murdered Bree returns home to catch her killer and raise her niece and nephew, she teams up with Matt and begins to unravel the clues that will lead her to her sisters killer. 
I loved the character of Bree, strong, resilient, human.  
I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to many more adventures with Bree.  
While this has been my first book by this author ( I have no clue what took me so long to find her ) it will definitely not be my last as Melinda Leigh will always be in my TBR list
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Great start to a new series!  In Cross Her Heart Bree Taggert heads home when her sister calls asking for help and sadly ends up investigating her murder.  Fast paced mystery with a touch of romance.  Looking forward to more by Melinda Leigh.  Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy
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It was a very insightful novel, with a strong cast of characters. I enjoyed the story line very much and would definitely recommend this book.
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This is a very interesting story with twists and turns. I enjoyed reading this.
Bree has been through more than most, beginning with keeping her sister and brother safe from their father at the young age of 8. Following the death of their mother and suicide of their father, Bree is separated from her sister and brother to be raised by an Aunt. Fast forward  a few decades and Bree is a Police detective, her sister Erin  is hair dresser with 2 children, and Adam is an artist. 
Bree gets an unexpected call from Erin, concerned she returns to her hometown to find out Erin has been murdered. Will Bree be able to find out who killed her sister? What will happen to Erin’s children? 
Thank you to Netgalley for complimentary copy. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Tear-jerking. Heart-wrenching. Marvellously written. 

I absolutely loved Cross Her Heart. Emotions run high and the suspense is sure to keep one hooked on to the story until the end. Bree and Matt form quite a detective pair (and much more hopefully in the next book)

I highly recommend this book.
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4* A solid read until it got a few 'too many red herrings' and one person began to stand out...

... a little too much.

I've only really discovered this author this year, and boy can she write. I particularly liked that this book was not a romance but a police/mystery first and foremost. Strangely, though, I didn't think the emotional-loss aspect was strong enough, especially where two children who'd lost their mother was concerned, and two siblings who'd lost their sister. With the latter three's family history and especially since Bree was old enough to recall most of what had happened to her aged 8, I had expected more trauma, more delving into the past, more bonding with her remaining family. 

I'm not going to rehash the tale and it was well done for the most, though when Craig and Justin and Zack started to appear too much in person/on-page (because one of the characters is off-page until the very end) it got a little tiring. I think I started to suss out who the killer was because of a couple of mentions about Erin's (the deceased's) stance on domestic violence, and how she herself put up with a lot of abuse, though not when it turned violent. Did I believe the killer? Kind of, because what happened to him a lot of guys might take as a blow to the old ego and doubts and insecurities might well start to appear. For him to go so pyscho so quickly, and for Bree not to have bigger alarms bells going, didn't quite ring true. But, it all came out in the wash, which unfortunately involved innocent bystanders who got injured or killed.

Would I read more of this series? Yes, and not specifically for the romantic aspect, as that barely, barely, barely featured - in fact, I don't think the guys even managed a kiss, though the odd date in the future was mentioned. And, I liked that the tale, that the people affected by Erin's death took precedence in the tale, and that there were not TSTL moments like getting it on in the middle of stuff going down, just because the tale has a female lead and a male lead and it's kind of expected. That added intelligence to the tale. 

ARC courtesy of Montlake Romance and NetGalley, for my reading pleasure.
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Cross her Heart by Melinda Leigh is book one in her Bree Taggert series.
Cross her Heart is one of these books you don't want to end, hurrying home to read the next few chapters, a must read.
Bree is a homicide detective with a rough childhood. Her only relatives are her siblings, nephew and niece.
In the blink of an eye everything chnges for their family dynamic and together with the heroine I got thrown into the story.
I started reading and was hooked from chapter one. This book is unputdownable. I read it, cover to cover in one sitting, I couldn't put it down.
And now I'm sitting here and really, really can't wait to get my hands on the next book. I want to know what happens next, really bad, like now, bad.
I highly recommend Cross her Heart, 5+ Stars.
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Bree remembers the night her father killed her mother, now she has to go back to where it all happened to find the person who murdered her sister. Trying to keep it altogether for her niece and nephew and having to possibly fight their father who they don’t remember for custody. Who hated her sister to the point of murder her fun loving animal rescuing little sister.
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