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Cross Her Heart

Bree Taggert, Book 1
Narrated by: Christina Traister
Series: Bree Taggert Series, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A homicide detective’s violent family history repeats itself in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, secrets, and retribution.

For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide.... Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.

Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.

©2020 by Melinda Leigh. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly
  • 24-03-2020

Had potential, but...

Narration was bad for Matt. "He" sounded severely depressed no matter what was taking place. I couldn't respect him. Also, there wasn't any chemistry between Bree and Matt. Disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Momreadstoomuch
  • 31-03-2020

Cookie cutter stories

This series is too close to her others for me to give it more than 3 stars. It was a good story though. The narrator was great!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Blondie
  • 31-03-2020

So great!!!!

Just love Melinda Leigh’s books!! Keeps the reader mesmerized all the time!!! Can’t wait for the next book in this series!!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Yara N.
  • Yara N.
  • 30-03-2020

A good procedural drama with a hint of romance

Cross Her Heart by Malinda Leigh is the first book in the Bree Taggart Series, and it's the first book I've read by this author. I listened to the audiobook.

The book is a cop/procedural drama with romantic undertones. The story follows Bree Taggart, a Philadelphia detective who returns to her hometown in New York after the death of her sister. Her sister's husband goes missing, and he becomes a suspect in her murder. Bree joins forces with her sister's husband's best friend Matt to investigate what happened to them.

The Highlights

The story is well written; Ms. Leigh has a way of writing that makes it easy to follow the story. She adds enough description without being too flowery with the language. Straight forward without being scarce. The story has good pacing throughout the first half of the book, although it loses a little steam in the second half; it does pick up towards the end.

The characterization was alright; this is a story-driven book rather than a character-driven book. We do get moments of vulnerability from Bree, and we delve a little into her background. I should mention that the prologue of the story takes place when Bree is a child. She has a very traumatizing childhood, and we get plenty of information about that period, but everything that happened after the traumatic event that gets the story rolling is very light on the details. We don't need that information anyway, but had this been a character-driven story, we would have gotten that information.

I liked the characterization of Bree's nephew Luke and her best friend Dana; they were both very likable and believable.

As for the mystery, trying to figure out who was the killer, I didn't figure it out until close to the end, which I'm happy about because once we figure it out, it makes a lot of sense, given other parts of the story. It's a nice tie-in with the themes of the book.

The Lowlight

My biggest gripe was the narrator, but I'll deal with that in the narrator section.

Aside from that, the two things I wish had been better done or developed were the characterizations for Matt and Bree's nieve Keila. Matt was not very well developed, we get very little from home, and his even tho part of the story is told from his PoV. His character development just wasn't there, which is too bad as he's the romantic pairing for the protagonist. I did not like the characterization of the niece, Keila. Even though she's supposed to be 8-year's old, she acts like a 5-year old, at one point asking what souls were? Really, in the age of the internet even if you're parents aren't religious, you would know that.

Also, there were a few instances were Bree just annoyed me. For example, there's a scene between her and Luke, where they are discussing the possibility that his biological father might take custody of him and his sister. The poor boy is freaking out, and she's like, oh, you don't want that. Even though we know from her internal monologue that she doesn't want it either, it was just really weird. This happened a couple of times, where she acts robotic.

Narrator

The narrator was very perplexing to me. She had a lovely voice, easy to listen to, and a good cadence to her voice. I have no complaints with most of the voices she did; however, I do take issue with the voices she decided to do for both main characters Bree and Matt. For some unknown reason, she chose to voice them as monotone and unfeeling as possible. There was barely any inflection, and it got worse, and the story continues. The voice for Bree had been okay at the beginning, but Matt was always monotone, and Bree became more monotoned as the story continues. It was a bad choice because choosing to voice them that way created an emotional distance between the listener/reader and the character. SMH

Overall

It's was a good procedural drama with the right amount of romantic tension. The romance did not take away from the story, which I appreciate. Finding the right balance between the two is really key if you choose to incorporate these two genres into one story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nichole
  • 29-03-2020

Suspense and mystery

I went into this thinking it was romantic suspense but there was no real romance only mystery. The end leads us to believe that Matt and Bree are starting something. I still really enjoyed it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brenda Throckmorton
  • 27-03-2020

Good

I really enjoy Melinda Leigh’s books.This was just as good as the rest.Can’t wait to read the rest

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Clark
  • 25-03-2020

Promising

If this book is an indication of the series, it is going to be one of Ms Leigh’s best. I appreciated the relationships of the main characters. The children behaved age appropriate, Bree and Matt are good together. Then there is Brody, what’s not to like.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Reggie
  • 24-03-2020

Worth the listen

This is a new series so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Set in upstate NY and hours away from Philadelphia, PA, where Detective Bree Taggert lives and works. She gets a frantic vm from her sister and, after not being able to reach her...heads to her hometown of Grey’s Hollow. Bree arrives at her sister’s house only to learn that she’s been murdered...and her husband is a person of interest...and he’s missing. Bree teams up with her brother-in-law’s best friend, a former sheriff’s deputy, to get to the truth. Throw in some kids, an eccentric artist brother, and a preacher and you have quite the drama. Not to mention the traumatic events from Bree’s childhood.
Good start to this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AK Raven
  • 24-03-2020

Awesome! Thanks for a ⭐️GREAT NARRATOR⭐️!!

I enjoy Melinda Leigh’s books. She is a fanatic author that creates wonderful characters and plots that are hard to put down. I listened to this book in less than 24 hours and loved every second of it! I’m thankful for Christina Traister’s outstanding narration. Unfortunately for me, there has been several of Leigh’s books I’ve had been forced to bypass due to the choice of narrator, specifically Cris Dukehart. I know many people may disagree but Dukehart’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard to my ears, so if you’re like me do not fear Christina Traister has a great voice and a talent for both female and male characters. She uses inflection, emotion, and cadence to bring the the majority of the pcharacters to life. However, Matt’s character was very monotone and needed some personality. Matt is a former police officer that had his career ended in the line of duty and still is dealing with the shooting and trying to figure out what’s next for himself. I think his character was interpreted as being depressed and I’m hopeful in the next book the narrator reads his character with more personality. I still rate the narration with 5 stars as I think there was a reason Matt was monotone and once the book got going I did not find his character detracting. I can not wait for the next book in this new series and my fingers are crossed for Christina Traister to narrate! The book is worth a credit. Plus if you have Kindle Unlimited it is free to borrow so stop reading review and get this book today!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Artkeep
  • 23-03-2020

WONDERFUL BEGINNING OF A NEW SERIES!!!!

This was an excellent story! I couldn't stop listening. As usual, Christina Traister seems to start very slow and it makes me wish that someone else was the narrator. HOWEVER, with that being said, "as usual" as the story progresses, Ms.Traister gets better and better. I don't know if she relaxes as she gets into book and settles down but I find that I really enjoy her performance more and more. But going back to the story, I think it's one of Melinda Leigh's best. I'm not a fan of her 1-3 hour Novella series at all. I don't think they are worth the credit. But this is a perfect length and the pace is magnificent...it never drags.

I see that the second book in this series isn't available but I sincerely hope it is added very soon. I especially hope that Melinda will continue adding future releases to this wonderful story. I highly recommend this one!