Tuesday, February 17, 2015

**Review** Mocha, Moonlight and Murder ~ Under the Moonlight #1 ~ MaryAnn Kempher ~ Donna's Review ~

Title: Mocha, Moonlight and Murder
Series: Under the Moonlight #1
Author: MaryAnn Kempher
Genre: Adult, Mystery/Romance
Release Date: December 3, 2014
A midnight food run nearly gets 28-year-old Katherine O’Brian killed. She’s the only person to see the man who brutally murdered a local woman and the killer is hell-bent on making sure she doesn't talk.

Enrolled at the local community college, she meets Scott Mitchell; literally, tall, dark, and handsome. Scott left a broken engagement behind when he moved to Reno and the last thing he needs is more drama. But when he and Katherine are paired for a project, that’s what he gets. It can be very distracting when someone is out to kill your lab partner. There’s definite chemistry, but with a growing friendship and Katherine’s life in danger, romance will have to wait. Together, they’ll try to figure out what the police haven’t been able to—the identity of the killer, before Katherine is his next victim.

Scott and Katherine will face jealousy, misunderstandings, lust, and rivals, not to

mention attempted murder—and all before their first real date.
Katherine O'Brian is divorced, working to complete her college degree, and estranged from her sister. Scott Mitchell is single after breaking his engagement, working to complete his college degree, and on good terms with his family. They meet in a class and are assigned to be partners on a class project.

Late one night, Katherine decides she needs to walk to a nearby convenience store for junk food. On the way, she witnesses a man putting a dead woman in his trunk. The killer sees her but she is able to get away.

Katherine's sister Amy comes back to Reno and moves in with Katherine. They work to repair their relationship and correct misunderstandings.

As Katherine and Scott work on their project, a real friendship develops. They both want to take the next step but are afraid of losing their friendship if it doesn't work out. So, they both date others but their hearts aren't in those relationships.

As the story unfolds, Katherine has several 'accidents'--falling down waxed stairs, being attacked and more. She begins to realize these are not random events. Katherine and Scott try to find clues to the murder in order to identify the killer and keep Katherine safe.

I enjoyed the book. It had some twists and turns that were unexpected which kept it interesting. They were unexpected but certainly reasonable. The story moved along at a good pace and never dragged. The characters were likeable and interesting. The friendship that developed between Katherine and Scott was refreshing. They could be friends and care about each other without sex being involved.

I've got a few...not problems but peeves about the book. The timeline is not realistic. It takes too many months between the murder and...well, I won't add a spoiler. Plus, they present their class project to the class between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Schools are not in session at that time. Katherine was a bit bitchy to Scott on several ocassions when it was uncalled for.

I do recommend reading this book. It was was time well spent. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

4.5 Stars
MaryAnn Kempher writes mystery with a dash of humor. These books will test your crime solving skills and keep you guessing, and smiling until the very end.

Her books can be read out of order, but she recommends you start with her first, Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder which is a romantic mystery set in Reno NV, then Forever Doomed, which is a murder mystery set on a cruise ship.

Sweet Mystery is her most recent release and another “I did not see that coming.” murder mystery.

MaryAnn lives in Florida with her husband and two children. Her influencers include Janet Evanovich and Agatha Christie.

She is currently working on book number four.
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