Down South meets Japanese meets…STALKERS?

30 Jan

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Last night I finished reading “Til Grits Do Us Part” – a book I picked up for the title just because I have a fondness for grits even if I was raised above the Mason-Dixon line.

This is the third book in a series wonderfully titled as “Southern Fried Sushi” where apparently the main character, Shiloh, meets with more than her fair share of creeps of the criminal variety. I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book, but before I jump into that, let’s see what the publisher has to say:

Shiloh Jacobs is planning her wedding without family, without money, and without a clue—and trying to make a go of small-town Southern life. Until she stumbles on an unsolved case about a missing woman that makes her run in the opposite direction—right into the would-be killer’s web of plans. In the midst of sorting through her tragic past and strained relationships, Shiloh finds herself on the run from a madman—and hoping she can make it to her wedding alive.

I had to really think about what I wanted to rate this one, and much as I wanted to give higher than three stars, I just can’t.

I love the character of Shiloh. This is the third book and we’re following her as she’s stalked by someone who is sending her creepy messages and a whole lot of roses.

Shiloh is still very much a fish out of water as she’s gone from Japan to the deep south. At times the supporting cast (all very quirky and very distinct) come off a little TOO stereotypical. I like the addition of Shakespeare to redneck, but seriously, all of it got a bit…much…at times. If the author hadn’t grown up in the south, I would have thought that she’d gone a little over the top out of ignorance. Instead she brings out the marvelous quality of being able to laugh at herself. Besides, let’s face it – stereotypes tend to form because there’s a lot of truth buried in them.

The problem, much as I DO love the characters, comes in the pacing. More than once there seems to be a whole lot of things that happened between scenes that we find out in phone calls to Kyoko. And I’m not sure that everything quite clicked – she’s more irritated and annoyed by the stalking but there isn’t a whole lot of fear – and she seems more worried about her wedding than in what’s going on around her. Sadly all of this leads to choppy pacing and inconstant characterization that left me dissatisfied for the most part.

The situations she finds herself in are at times crazy and terrifying. But the true gold of this book are in the discussions where she talks about her fear of death and her friends and fiance provide something to think about. When the crises comes I’m thrilled by how she handles it and comes to trust the Lord in new and exciting ways.

OK, let’s bump this story up to 3.5 stars just for that.

I wish I could give better than this, but it’s a good read all the same. If you’re in the mood for a little deep south romantic suspense, give this a try.

[I got this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

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