The Girl in the Woods (Misted Pines 2) by Kristen Ashley
Male POV Thriller with some romance.
Early copy provided in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate Links included.
“This town is f*cking crazy. Dead girls in the lake. Dead girls in the motel. Wives texting videos to everyone in town of their cheating husbands doing kinky shit. Naked guys on the lawn of the high school with sex toys shoved up their ass. What the fuck?”
The first book in The Misted Pine Series, The Girl in the Mist, was billed as a thriller, but I found it to be more of a romantic suspense, similar to The ‘Burg series. The second book in the series, The Girl In The Woods, met that thriller designation, but it still included a romance that was enough to keep this romance reader happy. It also stood alone pretty well, it referred to the first and brought you up to speed pretty well, but I am still glad I listened to the first before reading this because there are a LOT of characters.
I think this is Kristen’s first all male POV (3rd person) book (please correct me if I’m wrong). Honestly I don’t think I even noticed that until I was almost done with the book and I think that’s what contributed to this book feeling more like a thriller than a romance. Rus has been the lead on an FBI hunt for a serial killer dubbed “The Crystal Killer” for years and he’s been brought to Misted Pines because there has been another killing.
In investigating the young lady’s violent death (explained on page, not for the squeamish, but it wasn’t overly detailed) Rus meets her boss, Lucinda, a single mom who owns a mountain with a high-class burlesque club that has been passed down to her. I loved her. She was mature, loving and smart, especially because she knew a good thing when she saw it, and that was Rus.
But the main story was Rus’s investigation. With a copycat killer and the real killer on the loose, he has his hands full, so the romance is very much put on the side burner. But that’s ok, because I was totally enthralled with the killer storyline and I didn’t want the distractions either!
I really loved the way Cade (from the first book) stepped in with his profiling abilities and Harry the sheriff was a great cop as well. But that crazy town could always use another, and as soon as Rus catches the Crystal Killer, he’d like to retire in a place like Misted Pines, which he compares to Hawkins in Stranger Things.
“He needed Hawkins. He was Hopper, knowing no matter what he did, life was going to suck, but doing what he could to fix it anyway.”
I didn’t see the end coming! Kristen took me on a ride and I really enjoyed visiting the town of Misted Pines again.
- Kristen Ashley’s writing style.
- I really liked all the characters.
- The mystery sucked me in and I loved all the profiling.
- Visiting the crazy town of Misted Pines again and catching up with the couple from the first book.
- Rus and Cade’s budding friendship.
- Kristen’s books with older characters are my favorite.
- I love when she has teens in a story.
- As with almost all of Kristen Ashley’s books lately, I have trouble keeping track of and remembering all of the characters. I found myself doing a search for a character’s name to remember who they are a number of times.
- University of Florida is one of the hardest schools in the country and it was portrayed as a party school (personal beef).
- While it didn’t bother me personally, there is a part that people in law enforcement may take serious offense to.
- The whole Lady coven. It was weird in the first book and it still is.
- I didn’t mind that it didn’t have the detailed sex that most of Kristen’s books (especially in the last 5-6 years) have, but it was still very sexy. But there was one single line (and chapter name) that just completely threw me off: “She got an orgasm from her new daddy.” No shame on daddy kink, but there didn’t seem to be any other indication or mention that this was their kink, and it just didn’t seem to fit the characters or the story.
The Down & Dirty:
The town of Misted Pines is a bit crazy, but let me tell you, if there is another dead resident, I’ll be gobbling up that story as well. I don’t wish anyone dead but….
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 3 Heat
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