Riverstar (River Valley #3)


Makeup artist Bella Webber dons her inner gumshoe detective, and follows the leads to find the killer of a young star who’s murdered during a movie shoot in a sleepy Oregon town. Joining forces with a Seattle cop named Peter; they try to clear her newfound love, Benjamin Fleck, who’s been framed for the foul deed.  Hollywood goes to Oregon, while an investigation doubles back to Hollywood!

With a tragic past hinting at PTSD, Bella is recovering from a three-year relationship with a married man. Regardless of reason, a heroine’s morals will be questioned when written as the “other woman”. Benjamin and Bella have little time to make the reader believe in their love, and most of the story puts Bella with the sexy, smart Peter who conveniently comes with a secondary character to replace the dead girl in the movie. There are several characters swirling about this story, and conversations involving all of them tend to get messy. Grandstanding inner dialogue flows from the heroine and other characters, and needs to be subtler in order to hit the emotional button. The ending is predictable and the dialogue “Let me out of here or she gets it,” does not bode well for originality.   However, Bella’s brother and Peter are Alpha males a reader will want to see more of, and the companionship of a group of friends coming together is enjoyable. Overall, Ms. Thompson wraps up all the loose ends in this Hollywood meets small town U.S.A for a happily ever after.

Natasza Waters