Donnell Ann Bell grew up in the Southwest and today calls Colorado home. Leaving the international thrillers to the world travelers, she concentrates on suspense that might happen in your neck of the woods - writing SUSPENSE TOO CLOSE TO HOME.
In nonfiction, Donnell is a former business newspaper and a parenting magazine editor. In fiction, she is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist for both her 2011 debut novel The Past Came Hunting and her January 2013 release, Deadly Recall. Both have been e-book bestsellers, Deadly Recall reaching #1 on Amazon's top 100 list (Kindle), The Past Came Hunting climbing to #6 on Kindle's top 100. She's also pleased to announce Deadly Recall is a 2014 EPIC finalist in the suspense/thriller category. Betrayed is her third release from Bell Bridge Books.
Keep up with her on www.donnellannbell.com, sign up for her newsletter, like her on Facebook, Author Donnell Ann Bell or follow her on Twitter @donnellannbell.com.
I was fortunate to receive an advanced reading copy in return for an impartial review. That said, Donnell Ann Bell's fully-drawn characters and tense conflicts made me appreciate this action-packed suspense. There's enough facts and police procedure to please CSI-type fans, but it's the characters that drive this story, not the plot. Melanie has spent her whole adult life trying to make amends for one ill-judged mistake of her youth. Joe, a career cop, knows that an attraction to the widow next door is completely off-limits because of her prior conviction. Despite that, these two people have nowhere else to turn when Melanie's past comes hunting her. This isn't a simple romance--it's two people trying to rewrite their personal history and discovering a bond despite their differences. It was hard to believe this was Bell's first book, and I can't wait to see future titles from her.
I was lucky enough to get an advanced reading copy of THE PAST CAME HUNTING. I started reading on a Sunday morning and didn't stop until I'd finished it. Obviously, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Ms. Bell has delivered a tightly plotted, woman-in-jeopardy story, with a thread of romance. It's also well written, with interestng, multi-layered characters. It was a great way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. I highly recommend it.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Past Came Hunting. Never wanting to put the book (Kindle) down, as I hoped Joe and Melanie would beat the odds of their pasts and get together. The Past Came Hunting is a prime example that not everyone or everything is as it seems.
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... but not perfect. I probably won't get any "helpful" votes for my comments, because I really just want to reiterate my agreement with the other 3 star ratings, as they summed up my own thoughts better than I could. I'd actually give it 3.5 stars but since I agree with the 3 star comments, I went with that, too.
Having had some disappointing experiences with free and reduced price Amazon Kindle books, I had come to expect the worst rather than the best, so this book has restored my faith in the reduced cost offerings. There were a few minor editing issues but definitely not of the quantity to detract from the reading experience. That is something important to me as a reader though, so I do notice and take it into account. That said, the author has definitely shown skill in this craft, and I'm so happy to find a new author in this format who knows how to actually write! As for the book's setting, I have spent some time in Colorado, so I'm always happy when a book takes me back there.
This book was worth more than the $1.99 price I paid, for sure, and I'll be anxious to see what Mrs. Bell comes up for us next!
THE PAST CAME HUNTING was the best debut book I've read in quite a while. I'm a die-hard suspense reader all the way and I tend to find myself in a reading rut with the authors I love, which is why I'm always excited to find great books by new authors - they expand my reading horizons. For sure, Ms. Bell's book went to the top of my recommendation list, and she has taken her place with my favorite authors. Great characters, gripping story, awesome pace. Can't wait to read her next book!
This was a good story, with a nice plot. The writing was smooth, and although I did notice several missing pieces of punctuation (mostly lost quotation marks around dialogue)it was an enjoyable read.
There were a few problems for me, though. First, there were a great number of secondary, even stock characters who would appear just in time to give one of the main characters information.
For example, the district attorney's wife appears once in the book, simply to give Joe information that really had no true baring on the story. This was ok, but after a while it seemed as if nearly all the small conflicts the characters faced was resolved this way (ex-wife showing up to cause jealousy for the heroine then the two women meet and the problem resolves itself in a simple paragraph, a recent divorcee caused jealousy for the heroine, the heroine's boss caused jealousy for the hero, as did the basketball coach, and another character, etc.)
Secondly, Toward the end of the book, it seemed as if the conflicts and situations they faced were repetitive. Most toward the end could have been combined into larger conflicts, or even eliminated all together for better pacing.
All in all, I give this book a solid 3. The plot was great and the characters were very likable. The premise of an ex-con and the cop who arrested her was very intriguing. However, the author needs to work a bit on pacing and strong conflict in her next books.
I'm intrigued to see what she comes out with next, and will definitely buy!
A wonderfully written who-dun-it coupled with the perfect amount of romantic suspense. The romance is heart-warming and believable. Settle back with a cup of cocoa and a warm fire because you'll want to read from beginning to end in one sitting.