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Close to the Bone

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FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island. Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island. Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on the case—and by nagging memories that draw her twenty years into the past. The remains suggest eerie similarities between this victim, and Cate and Tessa’s friend Samantha, who disappeared when she was fourteen. Cate finds herself up against closemouthed locals, buried town secrets, and even her own heart. As the case unravels, will she be able to cut through the fog and find justice for the missing and the dead


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FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island. Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island. Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on the case—and by nagging memories that draw her twenty years into the past. The remains suggest eerie similarities between this victim, and Cate and Tessa’s friend Samantha, who disappeared when she was fourteen. Cate finds herself up against closemouthed locals, buried town secrets, and even her own heart. As the case unravels, will she be able to cut through the fog and find justice for the missing and the dead

30 review for Close to the Bone

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is summoned back home to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest (Widow's Island) because a teenager's skeletal remains have been found on an island nearby (Ruby's Island). Also on the case is Cate's old friend, county deputy Tessa Black. While they try to solve the case they are reminded of their good friend (Samantha) who vanished twenty years ago and who was never found, and the similarities in this case to that case. This was a very captivating story/novella. It FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is summoned back home to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest (Widow's Island) because a teenager's skeletal remains have been found on an island nearby (Ruby's Island). Also on the case is Cate's old friend, county deputy Tessa Black. While they try to solve the case they are reminded of their good friend (Samantha) who vanished twenty years ago and who was never found, and the similarities in this case to that case. This was a very captivating story/novella. It was the first in the "Widow's Island" series. I liked the atmospheric setting of the island and I found the people who lived there interesting. Some islanders even believed Ruby's Island had a ghost. I also liked the friendship between Cate and Tessa. There was a slight romance between Cate and the local doctor Henry, who I liked, but the main focus was on the mystery. This was my first read by Kendra Elliot and I really enjoyed it. I liked the brief paranormal elements concerning the ghost Ruby and the backstory to how the islands got their names. I look forward to reading the next "Widow's Island" novella.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot is the first book in the new romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This series is all at novella length and penned by Kendra Elliot along with Melinda Leigh by alternating the books. This pair of authors have teamed up in the past for the romantic suspense Rogue River series of which a couple of the characters have moved over to this series but the books can be read and enjoyed separate from the Rogue River series. This first book introduces FBI Special Agent Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot is the first book in the new romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This series is all at novella length and penned by Kendra Elliot along with Melinda Leigh by alternating the books. This pair of authors have teamed up in the past for the romantic suspense Rogue River series of which a couple of the characters have moved over to this series but the books can be read and enjoyed separate from the Rogue River series. This first book introduces FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde who has returned to the island after an injury to rest and recuperate. However Cate gets a call when a skeleton is found nearby and she is the only FBI close enough to cover the case quickly. Cate teams up with her old friend now turned local deputy, Tessa Black. Cate and Tessa know that a local girl went missing recently and the remains could belong to her but they also know that twenty years ago a friend of theirs had also gone missing that was never found and this new case may be the break to knowing what happened all those years ago. Close to the Bone was a great start to this romantic suspense series that even at the shorter length still contains all the elements of a good mystery to be solved. The characters and plot are fleshed out enough that one doesn’t feel the shorter length as you may with some novellas and gives just enough to get a reader hooked and ready to read the next in the series. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This is sitting somewhere between a three or four stars for me. I was pleasantly surprised. Cate has returned to the island she calls home following medical leave from her job as an FBI agent. However, the discovery of human bones in her hometown brings her back into the fray, as well as dredging up childhood memories from the past she’d rather forget. I’m not the biggest fan of thrillers or mysteries. I find the protagonist normally has some kind of ‘deep, dark secret’ that becomes imbedded in This is sitting somewhere between a three or four stars for me. I was pleasantly surprised. Cate has returned to the island she calls home following medical leave from her job as an FBI agent. However, the discovery of human bones in her hometown brings her back into the fray, as well as dredging up childhood memories from the past she’d rather forget. I’m not the biggest fan of thrillers or mysteries. I find the protagonist normally has some kind of ‘deep, dark secret’ that becomes imbedded in the ongoing investigations, and it irritates me. I don’t mind the usual tropes in YA or fantasy, but I want something more from a thriller. As a novella, this doesn’t really have time to dwell on a dark backstory for the characters (although the character development is good), preferring to get straight to the point with a few key flashbacks or comments about past events. This certainly works in its favour. It’s direct, moving rapidly through the story with enough mystery to keep me intrigued without getting bogged down in side stories. And as a bonus, I didn’t guess the ending. The atmosphere is good too. Four islands, named after the original founder, his wife and his lover (and one called Widow), the scene is set from the get go. It’s full of shady, xenophobic Islanders, ghosts, gossip and everything you could want from a good story. I think the only thing that let it down was the romantic aspects. It felt unnecessary to the story, and a little rushed. I would have preferred more time between Tessa and Cate and their friendship, as well as the investigation into their missing childhood friend. Good solid murder mystery with a good dose of atmosphere and enjoyable characters. I’m excited to see where this goes with future novellas.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    I've been enjoying Elliot's FBI series, Mercy Kilpatrick and was curious about her Rogue River series of novellas written with author Melinda Leigh. So when I got the chance to review this new series by them I jumped in. I am so thrilled that I did. Right now there are four books slated; Close to the Bone, A Bone to Pick, Whisper of Bones, and Bred in the Bone. They are all available in KU, Kindle, and it looks like Audible. In Close to the Bone, FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde has returned to her c I've been enjoying Elliot's FBI series, Mercy Kilpatrick and was curious about her Rogue River series of novellas written with author Melinda Leigh. So when I got the chance to review this new series by them I jumped in. I am so thrilled that I did. Right now there are four books slated; Close to the Bone, A Bone to Pick, Whisper of Bones, and Bred in the Bone. They are all available in KU, Kindle, and it looks like Audible. In Close to the Bone, FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde has returned to her childhood home to heal from a gunshot wound. With the ferry put of commission, they call Cate in to be the FBI liaison on a case. The locals have found the skeletal remains of a teenager on a nearby island. The FBI believes it might be the bones of a young girl who went missing two years ago. Cate cannot help but wonder if it might be the bones of her childhood friend who went missing. On the island she meets up with a childhood friend, Tessa Black. Tessa is now a local deputy. I love small-town island settings. At the crime scene we meet the local doctor, Dr. Henry Powers. Powers is new to the island and imagine his surprise when he learns he is also the county coroner. I quickly slipped into the story. While this is a novella, it didn’t feel rushed because there are overall series arcs and we get to know key town players. We even get hints at a romance. What I appreciated was that they solved the current case. It wrapped up quickly but felt realistic. I loved the stories surrounding the island’s name and the surrounding islands. Cate herself, or her family is part of that history. I loved the setting, but I don’t think I will take my husband there to live anytime soon. You will understand when you read the book. A great start to a promising new series, Close to the Bone is the perfect romantic suspense, mystery-thriller to dive into this fall. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Close to the Bone was a fun, quick read with an interesting mystery plotline and I enjoyed it quite a bit. FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on remote Widow’s Island while she recovers from an injury sustained on the job. In the middle of the night she gets a call that bones have been found on a nearby island and with the ferry from the mainland down, Cate is the only agent close enough to work the case. Cate quickly begins to see similarities between this victim and her best friend who h Close to the Bone was a fun, quick read with an interesting mystery plotline and I enjoyed it quite a bit. FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on remote Widow’s Island while she recovers from an injury sustained on the job. In the middle of the night she gets a call that bones have been found on a nearby island and with the ferry from the mainland down, Cate is the only agent close enough to work the case. Cate quickly begins to see similarities between this victim and her best friend who has been missing for nearly twenty years. As Cate begins working the case, it becomes clear someone will do anything to keep this secret buried. Cate was injured three weeks prior to the start of the book and is still recovering when the story starts. Cate does experience some physical difficulties because of her injury and I liked that she wasn’t superwoman who didn’t feel any pain. In addition to Cate working the case there is also Tessa Black, Cate’s childhood friend who became a local deputy. Cate and Tessa are both forced to relive what happened to Samantha due to the similarities to the case they’re working. There’s also the hint of a romance for Cate with the local doctor/coroner, Henry Powers, and I’m excited to see where that goes. The investigation into the bones found on Ruby’s Island was an interesting one and I was curious who the culprit behind the death would be. I have to say I was quite surprised by who it was as I had a different suspect in mind. I like that there will be a common thread running through these novellas as Cate and Tessa look into the disappearance of their friend Samantha. I’m quite interested to find out what happened to her as they didn’t go too much into detail in this first novella. Close to the Bone was a great introduction to the Widow’s Island series and I’m excited to see where future books take the story. **I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

  6. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    I love craft beer and real ale. If is often a real delight to sample a drink that comes about through the combined efforts of two separate breweries. Switching to my joy of reading. When I learned that two established and talented writers were working together on a new novella series I wanted to read them early and was grateful to receive advanced reader’s copies of the first two books. This is number one, with the additional need to set up the series and establish a sense of place and its inhabit I love craft beer and real ale. If is often a real delight to sample a drink that comes about through the combined efforts of two separate breweries. Switching to my joy of reading. When I learned that two established and talented writers were working together on a new novella series I wanted to read them early and was grateful to receive advanced reader’s copies of the first two books. This is number one, with the additional need to set up the series and establish a sense of place and its inhabitants. I found the location extremely interesting and fun. The closed community especially outside of the tourist season was penned with detail and a little mischief. The concept of widows and the spirit of feeling you belong was a good aspect of laying down the magic and the mystery of the place. The story was carefully revealed with a number of issues unresolved going forward. Already the sense of a closed and potentially isolated community stuck on a Island has been added to the mix. I liked the idea of things from the past changing you as a person both for the worse, as much as placing new determination in your attitudes and desires. The seeds of romance have been sown; future investigations opened up and unused characters introduced. In book 2 the other partner in this project takes up the story. I can’t wait to read on and contrast their writing style. For now I am hooked and have a greater appreciation for a new author to me. Not sure if I am sold on the use of italics to reveal what some characters are thinking in addition to their spoken words. Short enough to finish in one session and a story in its own right. Satisfying read and of a high standard that you want to pick up the lives of Widow’s Island again. Will be devoured by fans of these fine authors but should also introduce their talents to a new group of readers as well. I for one have been won over.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    This was a good start to the series! Interesting characters and good suspense! I would have loved for it to be longer!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    Initial Thoughts This was a nice short listen. I found that I liked the characters from the very start and the mystery kept me guessing. This was my first time listening to Christine Williams narration and I thought that she did a good job with the story. Book Source: Kindle Unlimited Full review to be posted soon.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dilushani Jayalath

    Considering it was novella the story pretty much managed to wrap itself up pretty nicely. Although it had a romance tag in Netgalley the story itself had no romance. Only a hint of it here and there and considering the series has 6 books I'm really looking forward for the rest of it. I managed to get my hands on book number 3 and 4 thus I can see the rest of the story too. Considering it was novella the story pretty much managed to wrap itself up pretty nicely. Although it had a romance tag in Netgalley the story itself had no romance. Only a hint of it here and there and considering the series has 6 books I'm really looking forward for the rest of it. I managed to get my hands on book number 3 and 4 thus I can see the rest of the story too.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Debbie "Buried in Her TBR Pile"

    3 stars This one is ok. I didn't connect with it maybe because previous books have had more action, etc. The investigation was nil and the culprit gave himself away in a very obvious way. This book felt more like a facilitation of a relationship between Cate and Henry than a mystery, crime, procedural, etc. I may read the next one and see if the investigation of the Cate's missing childhood friend is ever solved. 3 stars This one is ok. I didn't connect with it maybe because previous books have had more action, etc. The investigation was nil and the culprit gave himself away in a very obvious way. This book felt more like a facilitation of a relationship between Cate and Henry than a mystery, crime, procedural, etc. I may read the next one and see if the investigation of the Cate's missing childhood friend is ever solved.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh are regular collaborators. There must be a dozen books in the Rogue ... series. Most of them are around 100 pages so they're a long way from weighty tomes. They've put that series to bed and have returned with the Widow's Island series. Set on an island loosely based on San Juan and the surrounding islands in Washington State it follows an FBI agent on the island to recover from a gun shot wound and a police officer. While the authors do share characters, Kendra E Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh are regular collaborators. There must be a dozen books in the Rogue ... series. Most of them are around 100 pages so they're a long way from weighty tomes. They've put that series to bed and have returned with the Widow's Island series. Set on an island loosely based on San Juan and the surrounding islands in Washington State it follows an FBI agent on the island to recover from a gun shot wound and a police officer. While the authors do share characters, Kendra Elliot's central character is Cate Wilde, the FBI Agent while Melinda Leigh is writing the story of Sheriffs Deputy Tessa Black. It's pretty good. Obviously with novellas you're not going to get a lot of plot development. You could read any of these comfortably in a few hours. But the characters and the writing is good and I love the idea. I rarely rate novellas higher than 3 Stars but I really enjoy Kendra Elliot's writing and this is no exception so 4 Stars. Many thanks to Montlake Romance and Netgalley for providing me with this review copy

  12. 5 out of 5

    mina

    ↠3+ This was pretty enjoyable, too bad it’s so short. Since it’s a novella there was no time or space to get to know the characters or the main mystery, but if I decide to continue it I assume those “problems” will be solved.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    This story fails in its various genre attempts, but it's paced well-enough and the characters are interesting enough that it's enjoyable. Enough. I can't say it's a success as a mystery because the main characters solves literally nothing. I can't say it's a success as a romance because it ends before anything interesting has time to start. What it delivers is an interesting locale populated by characters that were fun to get to know and just a little bit of the mystical for spice. Fortunately, i This story fails in its various genre attempts, but it's paced well-enough and the characters are interesting enough that it's enjoyable. Enough. I can't say it's a success as a mystery because the main characters solves literally nothing. I can't say it's a success as a romance because it ends before anything interesting has time to start. What it delivers is an interesting locale populated by characters that were fun to get to know and just a little bit of the mystical for spice. Fortunately, it's also short so I didn't have time to wear myself out on the small-town/island thing. So I'm going to tag it with three stars and call it good, but not one I'll be eager to follow-up on. A note about my romance tags: There's no romance, really, so no chaste or steam.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)

    Not the best of the co-author novella series, but it’s the starter. There is world building to add in a short book. The wrap up of the mystery happened too fast, and I didn’t feel the explanation was enough though it was. I don’t know. Hard to explain. It felt as though it came out of left field. I didn’t really feel the romance connection. Like there wasn’t that spark for the slow burn to come. We were told, but I didn’t feel it. I think it was because the author wasn’t given enough word count Not the best of the co-author novella series, but it’s the starter. There is world building to add in a short book. The wrap up of the mystery happened too fast, and I didn’t feel the explanation was enough though it was. I don’t know. Hard to explain. It felt as though it came out of left field. I didn’t really feel the romance connection. Like there wasn’t that spark for the slow burn to come. We were told, but I didn’t feel it. I think it was because the author wasn’t given enough word count to accomplish this. Another chapter or two and maybe this could have been really good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aristotle

    A teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island. FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde and childhood best friend Deputy Tessa Black wait for forensics to identify the bones. Is it Samantha a childhood friend of the two who disappeared when they were teenagers or are the remains of the teenage daughter of a local resident who disappeared two years ago? A 94 page novella. I enjoyed the journey.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    Okay this was wayyyy too short for me, I would’ve loved loved loved this book if it wasn’t a novella I loved the characters and the atmosphere of being on an island with creepy places and trying to solve a mystery (I’m a sucker for any mystery novels) but it was just too short and I just needed more for it to be fully drawn out 😭

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot is the first book in the new romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This is a series written by Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, with them alternating books. They are all novellas, yet read like a full length story. This book introduces the reader to FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde. She was suffering from a gun shot injury and came home to Widow Island to recuperate. Her recuperation is cut short when a skeleton is found on a nearby island and she is the only ag Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot is the first book in the new romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This is a series written by Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, with them alternating books. They are all novellas, yet read like a full length story. This book introduces the reader to FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde. She was suffering from a gun shot injury and came home to Widow Island to recuperate. Her recuperation is cut short when a skeleton is found on a nearby island and she is the only agent close enough to respond. Cate teams up with her old friend Tessa Black, who is a deputy. When Cate and Tessa were 15, a friend disappeared, so they are wondering if this skeleton could be her, or is the local girl who went missing two years earlier. We also meet Henry, the new doctor to the island, who did not know that meant he was also the coroner. There are some sparks between Henry and Cate that I hope will come to fruition in future books. Close to the Bone was a great start to this series. It is surprising that even with the short novella length story, the plot is well done with all the elements of a good mystery. The characters were fleshed out enough that I got to know them well enough to be looking forward to what will come next in their lives. Well done Kendra Elliot. I listened to this book from Kindle Unlimited and enjoy the narration for this quick read and I hope to continue listening to this series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. Book #1 in the Widow's Island Novella Series is a wonderful look at the life of an island off to the Washington State coast. It is also a great little cozy mystery that, while short, packs a lot into its' pages. I loved the previous collaborations of these two authors, Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, and all their standalone, individual books. This short novella has a mystery, Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. Book #1 in the Widow's Island Novella Series is a wonderful look at the life of an island off to the Washington State coast. It is also a great little cozy mystery that, while short, packs a lot into its' pages. I loved the previous collaborations of these two authors, Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, and all their standalone, individual books. This short novella has a mystery, a budding romance and suspense. A lot to pack into a novella. FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde has returned home to Widows Island in the Pacific Northwest to recover from a gunshot wound and the PTSD that accompanied the shooting. She has been laying low at her grandmother's home when she is called to investigate human remains found on a nearby private island. Nearly twenty years ago Cate's friend, fourteen year-old Samantha Bishop went missing. Two years ago another fourteen year-old, Becca Conan, disappeared without a trace. Could the remains be one of these missing girls? Cate and her best friend, Deputy Tessa Black, must uncover who the remains belong to and, possibly, solve a twenty year old murder. With the help of the new, hot doctor/coroner, Henry Powers, Cate must battle, remote location, weather and her own demons to being justice to one of these girls.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This wasn't Kendra Elliot's best novella, but it wasn't bad either. There was decent character and setting development and I'm interested in reading more about this place. The romance was barely there, and that's ok, too, since I know there are future installments to enjoy. Overall, a decent beginning to a novella series. This wasn't Kendra Elliot's best novella, but it wasn't bad either. There was decent character and setting development and I'm interested in reading more about this place. The romance was barely there, and that's ok, too, since I know there are future installments to enjoy. Overall, a decent beginning to a novella series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Belles

    I liked the ending.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    I really liked (and appreciated) how packed full this little, quick read was. It was full of everything I like in mysteries and the added paranormal element was a bonus. Will definitely be checking out the next book! These are perfect for sitting in the sun and reading for an hour or two.

  22. 5 out of 5

    julia ☆ [owls reads]

    I've come to love when Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh collab in a new series, so I was pretty excited to start this. I'm happy to say that Close to the Bone was a quick and intriguing read! Kendra Elliot did a fantastic job with describing and establishing the Widow's Island setting and its history. I loved just how complex and interesting it was, as well as a bit ~paranormal, and how the island embraced its past. It was such a unique take on it and I really loved the way it related to the main I've come to love when Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh collab in a new series, so I was pretty excited to start this. I'm happy to say that Close to the Bone was a quick and intriguing read! Kendra Elliot did a fantastic job with describing and establishing the Widow's Island setting and its history. I loved just how complex and interesting it was, as well as a bit ~paranormal, and how the island embraced its past. It was such a unique take on it and I really loved the way it related to the main mystery. The plot was well executed and resolved, if a tiny bit rushed at the end. I always enjoy when a case has a personal connection to one of the main characters, so I very much liked the suspense surrounding Samantha's disappearance. I have hopes that's going to be addressed throughout the rest of the series and I can't wait to read about it! The little spark of romance was also pretty nice. I liked how it wasn't the focus of the story, especially since this was a novella. Even so, the way in which Elliot developed both Cate and Henry, as well as their relationship, was very well done. I look forward to seeing more of them in the next installments.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ann Lou

    This is a very quick read but still good. A start to a series. FBI Agent Cate Wilde has been called home because skeletal remains have been found on the island. But whose remains is it? A teenage girl who disappeared two years ago or her friend who has been missing for decades? Not really that edge in your seat suspense but it was fast and I still appreciated it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karsyn

    Received from NetGalley Completed 1/7/19 83 page ebook & 101 page ebook I enjoy all of Kendra Elliot's books so I was looking forward to this new series from her. I haven't been a fan of Melinda Leigh's books in the same series, but this book I liked much better. Their new series takes them to a new area in the Pacific Northwest and the first book follows an FBI agent (Kendra's books) and a police officer (Melinda's books) as they try to figure out whose bones are found. Not just one girl has gone Received from NetGalley Completed 1/7/19 83 page ebook & 101 page ebook I enjoy all of Kendra Elliot's books so I was looking forward to this new series from her. I haven't been a fan of Melinda Leigh's books in the same series, but this book I liked much better. Their new series takes them to a new area in the Pacific Northwest and the first book follows an FBI agent (Kendra's books) and a police officer (Melinda's books) as they try to figure out whose bones are found. Not just one girl has gone missing from the area, so they are looking into who the bones are, and who killed them. In the 2nd book, they are on the trail of a killer who left a body harpooned to a sign. They find out that the killed man may not be who everyone thinks that he is. Both books were enjoyable and typical for these series. They move quickly but are so enjoyable and it doesn't feel like you are missing out when you are getting a novella rather than a full length book. I think I'll enjoy this series more than the Rogue River series as I enjoyed both the characters of these, while I dislike one of the characters of Rogue River. Recommended to fans of romantic suspense. These books by Kendra Elliot are always enjoyable, and while I personally don't enjoy Melinda's books as much, they are worth it to get the full story from Kendra's books. And the covers are awesome! Setting = A Plot = A Conflict = A Characters = A Theme = A

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dee Cherry

    Good beginning to series as FBI agent Cate Wilde returns home to Ruby's Island on a case. Characters seem to have quite a few secrets as background information revealed. Looking forward to reading next part. Good beginning to series as FBI agent Cate Wilde returns home to Ruby's Island on a case. Characters seem to have quite a few secrets as background information revealed. Looking forward to reading next part.

  26. 5 out of 5

    CD {Boulder Blvd}

    Nice setting and premise but the mystery was wrapped up quickly with no real investigation. An OK read but not the best.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Asheley

    FBI agent Cate, deputy Tess, and local physician and coroner Henry are called in to investigate a set of teenage bones that are found on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. There are currently two teenage girls missing from the area: one young girl lived right there on that same island and the other girl just happened to be the best friend of Cate and Tess years ago when they were young. This story is told from Cate's point of view. Cate normally works back on the mainland but she is on med FBI agent Cate, deputy Tess, and local physician and coroner Henry are called in to investigate a set of teenage bones that are found on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. There are currently two teenage girls missing from the area: one young girl lived right there on that same island and the other girl just happened to be the best friend of Cate and Tess years ago when they were young. This story is told from Cate's point of view. Cate normally works back on the mainland but she is on medical leave after an accident has forced her to take some time off. Since everything is slower on the island and there are no agents present to begin this investigation, her boss asks her to come off of medical leave and get started trying to figure out who this teenager could be. I love that there is a connection between Cate and Tess. They do a great job of staying professional during what has the potential to be a very personal case, but it is obvious throughout the story that they have a deep underlying friendship. I also love Cate's relationship with her grandmother Jane and the budding relationship with Henry, who is new to town and trying to establish his medical practice. This is a nice, atmospheric and well-paced suspense story. The small-town setting is great and there are quite a few suspicious characters among the townspeople. Actually, I think this story can also be technically categorized as a romantic suspense, but I would say the romance is more of a budding romance. It never gets in the way of the investigation and I'm curious about how this will play out in the next novella since the two involved do not appear to be the focal point of the next story. Audiobook Notes: Currently the Close to the Bone audiobook is offered in Kindle Unlimited as both an ebook and audiobook option, meaning you can "read and listen for free." So that's what I did and I liked doing this. The audio is short - less than three hours - so I listened when I got up extra early and was doing morning work around the house. I'll read and listen again with the next novella and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this audiobook to those interested. Title: Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot Series: Widow's Island #1 Narrated by: Christine Williams Publisher: Brilliance Audio Length: 2 hours, 46 minutes, Unabridged

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anna's Herding Cats

    Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup. Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QB0dZm Close to the Bone was my first time with Elliot. And, oh, yall, I enjoyed it! I picked it up because I have been loving Melinda Leigh. They co-write this series and Leigh writes book 2. So a new author to try. And she was fun! The Gist: Cate's been sent home to the island she grew up on to recuperate after being shot on the job. But during her down time...bones are found and with no one able to travel to the island she's call Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup. Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QB0dZm Close to the Bone was my first time with Elliot. And, oh, yall, I enjoyed it! I picked it up because I have been loving Melinda Leigh. They co-write this series and Leigh writes book 2. So a new author to try. And she was fun! The Gist: Cate's been sent home to the island she grew up on to recuperate after being shot on the job. But during her down time...bones are found and with no one able to travel to the island she's called up to work the case. One that might be quite personal depending on who's bones they turn out to be. I enjoyed Cate. She's steady and intelligent. A touch stubborn but not in a bad way. And Henry--the new doctor in town-- is a nice guy, too. He's definitely the newbie to the island and they're giving him a bit of a hard time but he's toughing it out and is quite likable. Things are kept PG and just a taste of their relationship starting up. They were nice together. The mystery was good, too, and caught me by surprise. There's a lot of island history, a lot of possible outcomes to the case-- two girls disappearing 20 years apart and neither having been found. The town is quirky and provides a nice mix of intrigue to go with the action. Overall, Close to the Bone was a great introduction to both the author and a new series. I'm curious to see what other secrets this island holds.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    Originally read - October 2018 Re-Read November 2020 October 2018 review I should have disliked this novella due to the length but KE has the ability to write a story that captivates me no matter how long it is. It looks like this series is going to follow the same format as the previous Rogue books that she wrote with Melinda Leigh - I was captivated by those and it looks like I am going to be captivated again! The romance wasn't great as it was mainly focused on the suspense but there was that i Originally read - October 2018 Re-Read November 2020 October 2018 review I should have disliked this novella due to the length but KE has the ability to write a story that captivates me no matter how long it is. It looks like this series is going to follow the same format as the previous Rogue books that she wrote with Melinda Leigh - I was captivated by those and it looks like I am going to be captivated again! The romance wasn't great as it was mainly focused on the suspense but there was that initiating spark between Cate & Henry, and like the Rogue series I think each of these stories will continue to focus around the lives of Cate and her friend Tessa. Both KA & ML are auto authors and over the last few months I have been collecting and reading their back catalogues as they have both become auto authors for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    RachelW (BamaGal)

    Interesting read, if short. Very short, maybe 90 pages. I've read another novella series written by Elliot and Leigh, so I pretty much knew what to expect. The investigation-lite in this one was wrapped up; but there is an overarching plotline concerning a longtime disappearance and probable murder that will wind through the series, however long it might be. I liked FBI Agent Cate and Sheriff's deputy Tessa; but found Henry as the town doctor to be a bit in the Beta side. Enjoyed it well enough t Interesting read, if short. Very short, maybe 90 pages. I've read another novella series written by Elliot and Leigh, so I pretty much knew what to expect. The investigation-lite in this one was wrapped up; but there is an overarching plotline concerning a longtime disappearance and probable murder that will wind through the series, however long it might be. I liked FBI Agent Cate and Sheriff's deputy Tessa; but found Henry as the town doctor to be a bit in the Beta side. Enjoyed it well enough to keep reading the series. I do like both of the author's work, both separate and together; and they can be counted on for an above average, intriguing small town RS mystery.

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