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Frail Blood [Kindle Edition]

Jo Robertson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.59
Kindle Price: $3.99
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  • Length: 366 pages
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Book Description

4 1/2 star Romantic Times Review Rating

"Robertson delivers a suspenseful tale of murder, sex, and deception."

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ABNA Publishers Weekly Reviewer

This outstanding manuscript begins in 1909 northern California, where Alma Bentley has murdered her boss and lover, Joe Machado. Enter the famed attorney, Malachi Rivers, who must defend this uneducated, naïve and clearly guilty woman. The trial is watched carefully by Emma Knight, an heiress who is determined to make her own way as a newspaperwoman and to whom Alma has confided the truth behind the murder. As love grows between Emma and Malachi, the two become partners in their efforts to save Alma from herself and from the biased hand of the law. The trial unfolds while the truth behind Malachi's family is unveiled, offering up two parallel and engaging mysteries. The characters and setting come to life through effective and creative dialogue, while the trial provides a unrelenting narrative tension. Don't be surprised if you finish it in one sitting.

Book Description:

"Frail Blood" is an historical romantic thriller.

California, 1909. A woman straps a pistol to her ankle, walks to her lover’s home, and shoots him. Her motive? After an affair of four months, he jilted her for another woman.

How would an attorney defend the woman in light of her outright confession? Would an all-male jury view her actions with repulsion or pity?

The climate of California in the early twentieth century when women couldn’t vote and men held the real power, where immense wealth rested alongside poverty, held a paradox of contradictions.

The bare bones of this true California court case sparked the idea for the fictional story of Alma Bentley, attorney Malachi Rivers, and Emma Knight, the woman who helps him investigate the case.

When jaded lawyer Malachi Rivers engages newspaper editor Emma Knight to aid him in the case of Alma Bentley, he has no idea they'll eventually unmask a vile web of family deceit, wickedness, and treachery. Constantly putting herself in harm's way, the feckless Emma uncovers dark secrets that lie behind the wealthy facade of the Joseph Machado clan.

With her strong opinions, Emma tests Malachi's patience even while he's strongly attracted to her. She disagrees with every aspect of his trial strategy, but he defends his client the only way he can – by insisting that a woman, a naturally frail creature, is incapable of committing such a heinous crime.

Emma wants to experience true passion and detests the false notion that women are inferior to men in any way. Even while she confronts Malachi at every turn, she falls ridiculously in love with him.

Readers of historical fiction and mystery/suspense, as well as historical romance, will enjoy the elements at play in this slice of life, fictionalized story of California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 674 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: McKay Lewis Publishers (March 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007GT1LBU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,306 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars history is sexy! March 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I have loved Jo Robertson's previous books because she really gets to the heart of the thriller genre, which is what I am drawn to. I wasn't sure how I would feel about historical romance, even if it DID have a mystery intertwined. But because I was already a fan of Robertson's books I thought I would try out this genre for the first time. This book really surprised me. I am always impressed by Robertson's talent for dialogue and she does NOT disappoint in this novel at all. It is even more impressive that she can capture the language of this particular era so authentically. There is wonderful chemistry between the two main characters. I LOVE the heroine, Emma. She is sassy and tenacious, yet a bit naive and vulnerable which makes her very relatable. And Malichi is just plain hot! I love the balance between the mystery unfolding with Alma (accused of murder) and the romance between Emma and Malichi. And the twist at the end was awesome! This is another great novel by Jo Robertson.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAB U Lous! March 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I already love Jo Robertson's books, including the Watcher, The Traitor and the Avenger, but THIS is even better. This story is gripping and reminds me strongly of To Kill A Mockingbird. Wonderful characterization and dialogue, pacing is fast and the read is fab. Two Thumbs UP!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Left me wanting more May 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I picked this up when it was offered free on my Kindle and I'm really glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, and the sub-plot (although both were neck-in-neck on importance), and the characters were well written and engaging. I liked how the author danced between the strength potential of women and the natural softness of femininity. It was a nice balance, and rather refreshing. I was truly sad when it ended because I wanted to follow Malachi and Emma further on their journey into a deeper relationship. I won't hesitate to pick up another novel by Robertson.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough research July 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked this book. I do have a problem with it being called Historical Fiction. The author uses words and phrases that just would not have been in use at the time. I don't think she does enough research as to use references to things in any of her historical novels. Am on the 2nd and at the start of chapter 2 there was already a major error as to the time frame. That being said, again, I liked the book just had to make myself think of it more in terms of a different time frame. Will definitely have to do it with the 2nd Historical Fiction book.
Please do more research about the time frame of your novels. Other than that, enjoyable read and I have read other novels of hers and they are good.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Thriller from the Late Victorian Era April 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to admit I had great difficulty putting down Jo Robertson's "Frail Blood". So much so, I found myself at 4 AM trying desperately to stay awake so I could finish the darn book, to no avail. I LOVED this book! Set in northern California in the early 20th Century, this fast moving, never dull thriller kept me guessing until the very last chapter. The beautiful, strong willed heroine, Emma Knight, is a woman ahead of her time. While those around her cling to the stifling and restrictive customs of the Victorian era, Emma is a champion of the growing women's rights and women's suffrage movements, in spite of very loud objections from her parents and gossip and criticism from those around her. Armed with a degree from Wellesley, and with the assistance of her uncle and partner, Stephen Knight, she is publisher of the local newspaper and its only reporter. In this capacity, while covering a sensational murder trial, she meets the handsome and provocative defense attorney, Malachi Rivers. Of course they detest one another on sight. And - of course - this strong dislike quickly evolves into mutual attraction and then a passionate, rather complicated relationship. And - of course - they work together to solve what evolves into a very complicated murder. What impressed me most about this book is that it was so true to its time. The language, customs and the interaction between the different classes seemed so genuine, and class was of utmost importance in this era. I sincerely hope the author is planning a sequel!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frail Blood December 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Frail Blood is loosely based on the murder trial of a young woman in Southern California, although the author states the characters and locales are solely products of her imagination.

Alma, a servant in the Machado household, is seduced by the youngest son, Joseph. A simple girl, Alma believes Joe loves her and will marry her after they become intimately involved. After she discovers Joe has discarded her for another woman, Alma is determined to make sure what Joseph did to her doesn't happen to another.

She straps on a pistol and confronts Joseph at the Machado house on an evening when she knows the family is out. She's not even sure why she brought the pistol, other than to maybe ensure Joseph listens to what she has to say.

As it turns out, she doesn't say anything but, rather, fires a single shot at Joseph. The last sight she sees is Joseph clutching his shoulder and falling. Overcome with fright and horror, she flees into the woods where she is later captured.

Malachi Rivers is Alma's defense attorney. A man with notorious past swirling around his relationship with his ex-wife and his abusive father, he resides in Placer Hills in the hopes of leading a quiet anonymous life.

Prosecution Attorney Charles Fulton, together with his band of protégés, is full of confidence his case against Alma is solid and she will hang for her crime.

Rivers and Fulton share a mutual dislike and actively antagonize each other at every opportunity.

Emma Knight is the new owner of the town's newspaper in partnership with her uncle. Emma scores a coup when Alma tells her she shot Joseph. Emma prints a damning article outlining Alma's confession. An article that makes Malachi's defence all the more difficult.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed reader
I did not enjoy this book at all--there were excessive renderings of sexual behavior--some minimal plot line but not enough to sustain this reader's interest--I will not be reading... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Pat Holloway
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
The story was very well written and really held my interest. I do not like "sappy love stories" but this story is different. I would read other stories by Jo Robertson.
Published 29 days ago by RCLPSH81
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read, nothing monumental
Easy read. Difficult to keep remember the time period, the author seems to play it up at sometimes, but disregard it at others.
Published 2 months ago by Michelle
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story. You think you know what is going ...
Good story. You think you know what is going to happen next, but that isn't always the case.
Published 2 months ago by Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, absorbing, suspenseful...
What an intriguing story. I've never read this author before and I was pleasantly surprised with her talented pen. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tbascobuzz
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Did not order this and did not receive it.
Published 3 months ago by Jonesy
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting page turner
Definitely adult reading with hideous crimes involved, but also a beautiful love story.
I would have appreciated a more definitive ending about all of the main characters, but... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dc
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
What a strange turn of events. Interesting to read about rural Sacramento and Bakersfield - places I have been to myself.
Published 4 months ago by DMarie
4.0 out of 5 stars F rail Blood
I enjoy historical novels. I have studied the plight of lower class. BEFORE and during the fight for suffrage. I likened the way the author
Described her characters. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nevams
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Can't remember readingit
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
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More About the Author

Jo Robertson, a former high school English teacher, lives in northern California, near the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills. She enjoys reading, scrap booking, and discussing the latest in books, movies, and television shows. Any "spare" time she has is spent enjoying her seven children and grandchildren.

When her Advanced Placement English students challenged her to quit talking about writing and "just do it," she wrote her first completed manuscript, "The Watcher," which won Romance Writers of American's Golden Heart Award for romantic suspense in 2006. The second book in the loosely-connected trilogy is "The Avenger," which won the 2007 Daphne du Maurier Overall Award for Excellence. "The Traitor" is the third book in the series.

Jo's books are romantic thrillers, which means they straddle the line between mainstream thriller-suspense and romance. She feels that a strong relationship in a book makes the danger more intense. Readers have commented that they especially enjoy her complex, three-dimensional villains.

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