Sweet Delight: Bitter Truth by C.J. Carmichael

Posted March 3, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews, Sweet Delight / 22 Comments

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Sweet Delight: Bitter Truth by C.J. Carmichael
Bitter Truth

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Series: Bitter Root Mysteries #2
Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Tule Publishing
Released on February 16. 2018
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Giveaway
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The Delight

After meeting the main characters and the Bitter Root community along with a twisting murder mystery, I was primed and ready to keep going with the series and enjoy further developments in the lives, loves, secrets, and yes, another murder in small town Montana.

Review

Bitter Truth is book two of the Bitter Root series.  A reader could pick it up out of order, but it reads best after the first book because of the ongoing personal and romantic story lines introduced in Bitter Roots.

The story begins with the death of Lacy Stillman, a large ranch owner in the community.  The Stillmans are shook by Lacy’s surprising will and how it complicates matters.  Their lawyer, Justin Pittman, is undergoing his own crisis after his wife deserted him and his newly adopted daughter right when he learns his cancer is back.  Tiff is still feeling unsettled about coming home and where things stand with her new love interest when her aunt starts acting strange and her mother’s mental health deteriorates.  Meanwhile, Zach is not convinced Lacy’s death was an accident.  Little things don’t add up and the sheriff isn’t planning to pursue them so he is forced to play amateur detective once again while also trying to figure out what happened to cause Nadine to back away when he thought they were finally getting a chance.

So, the author has written a full plot with three different narrators and their separate storylines that cross paths and occasionally come together.  Because of this, like the first book, it can take a while for the plot to move forward at times.  I was ready for the strong character driven gentle pacing and enjoy how it is a bit of everything as a result- fiction, romance, and suspense.

This is the story of a town because of all the storylines and characters and I enjoy that.  It is also the story of the three people around the same age dealing with personal issues, family, and love.  Tiff has to figure out where she belongs and if she is ready to try out a relationship again after the last disaster.  Zach needs to work through letting his past dictate his future which means not hiding behind the dispatcher desk and maybe try for a deputy job that suits him better and also work harder at what he has with Nadine.  Justin’s story breaks my heart a little.  He just wanted a family of his own and a child.  His wife loves someone else and wants to jetset around the world with the guy so came back to marry then leave him, but at least he has a child.  He fought cancer alone the first time to protect his dad from worry, but now it came back and worse so he has to tell his dad and his daughter while worrying what will happen if a stem cell donor can’t be found.  He’s also found a nice woman and her daughter who he enjoys being around, but he’s still married and has no guarantees beyond a year left.

Now, the mystery turns out to be not so straight forward because it turns out there are three mysteries.  Tiff is confused by what is going on with her aunt and what she is hiding while Zach is working at a death that he feels was a murder, but has no actual proof yet.  And, then a woman goes missing.  The twists and suspense were great when they built to the surprise ending.  Well, I worked out the big shockers based on a few curious points earlier in the book, but I still had a great time seeing that I was right and how that all fell out.

So, this second book in the series was fabulous if a bit slow to get rolling at first.  Those who want a cozy mystery paired with a romantic suspense should definitely check out this series.

Challenges

Mt. TBR #14
Literary Pickers #24 China Cabinet
COYER #54

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Melliane
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Oh it’s great to see you had a great time with this sequel!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, it definitely kept up the good vibes and pace from the first one. 🙂

Carole Rae
Guest

I need a good mystery! I haven’t read one in a while

Sophia Rose
Guest

I think she has the first in a couple of her mystery series as permanent freebies if you want to sample. 😉

Anne - Books of My Heart
Guest

It doesn’t sound slow or cozy. I like a more complex story with the mysteries and the relationships / personal growth. Excellent review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Well, probably just me. I think I describe it that way because it doesn’t feel like thrillers either. I think its a bit of lots of things. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

There sounds like a lot going on here with 3 separate POVs here. I think I’d have to start at the beginning. I’m very interested, though! 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, definitely not one to jump in mid-stream. I think the first one is free if you want to give it a try to see if you’d like it, Rachel. 🙂

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
Guest

I like that the Bitter Root series seems to be as much about the townsfolks lives as about the mystery itself. Crime books without sufficient character depth tend to leave me cold.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, just a brutal body count build up doesn’t do much for me, either. I want to get to know the people and feel like I’m right there solving the case, too. 🙂

Melanie Simmons
Guest

Sounds like a really interesting story. I do love romantic suspense. Thanks for sharing and great review.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Sure thing, Melanie. Love the genre, too. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Oh man, Justin’s story does sound heartbreaking.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It really does, Mary. I’ve been holding off reading book three so I can buck up about his part of the story. 🙂

Lola
Guest

I can see how the pacing is a bit slower with multiple characters and plot lines that sometimes cross, but it does sound like it’s very character driven with how everyone has their own struggles and it sounds interesting to read. The mystery and suspense sounds pretty well done too.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, that is exactly it. It pulls together three stories and must keep all three moving forward. The mysteries are definitely good, Lola. 🙂

Lorna
Guest

This one sounds like a good story and I like that it’s a combination of cozy and suspense. Justin’s wife just needs to get a divorce and leave the marriage already! I don’t mind books with several points of view so that isn’t a bad thing. Glad you liked the sequel so much.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I agree. She literally married him so she could leave him with legal custody of her child before running back to the guy she really loves (this guy was abusing his own kid so this was her solution).

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

This sounds good, but . I would want to read in order. I like when there are several threads in a series like this, and agree sometimes it takes a little while to settle in. Great review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, definitely read in order. The threads work as long as you got in on it from the beginning. I agree that the slow movement not being an issue because it is moving. Hope you get to read them. 🙂

herding cats
Guest

That is a lot packed into one book but awesome they did a good job of it. I remember you talking about book one and adding it to my list. Gotta get on that.

Awesome cover, too.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, its filled to the brim, but never gets confusing the way she smooths the transitions and brings it all back together. I need to get on the final book.