Christian fiction, inspirational fiction

Book and Cover Review of "When the Smoke Clears" by Lynette Eason

Book Review

Author Lynette Eason takes her main character, Alexia Allen, on quite a wild ride in book one of her deadly reunions series. I lost track of how many times attempts were made to either frame her for arson, murder, or to actually murder her to keep her silent. I don’t mind a book that is fast-paced, and Lynette displays some wonderful writing skills, yet I had a hard time finding this one believable. (Sorry!) The only way Alexia stays out of jail is that not one but two members of the local law happen to be falling in love with her. And she’s only been back in town a couple of days …

I was also frustrated by the fact that by the end of book one you still don’t know the answers to several big questions that are driving the larger series plot. I realize this is a series so ‘all’ answers should not be revealed, but I felt like a little more needed to be revealed in book one to help it feel more complete.

Overall, I felt like this book had promise but had a few plot issues that frustrated me as a reader and kept me from being swept into the story as much as I should have been. 

Book Cover Review

The photo chosen for the cover is perfect. It’s obviously a modern novel about a female fire fighter. I also love that the woman appears to be caught in the midst of a fire – a very apt description of her predicament! I will say that the title text and series title text handling bothers me a little. It feels like the letters lose a little of their clarity because they are parked directly on top of a line of the same color. If the line had been a different color I think it would have made the title stand out more clearly. But the series title is more difficult to read than the book’s title because the two words share one line and have a larger amount of kerning (aka more space between the letters). I also wonder if instead of a straight line it might not have been fun and more powerful to mimic the more organic, curving lines of the flames?

The spine looks great, and the back cover does match in color but just isn’t as striking as the front cover. It seems like something more could have been done with the text than stretch it between the margins across a colored background? Perhaps a can of paint thinner overturned … a burnt room or building, or even a singed fire helmet or boots? Just needs a little something to keep the momentum of the front cover going, and to increase the impact of the text to further attract the reader.

* This book was provided by the publisher for review. Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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