Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Dutton
Released on August 20, 2013
After devouring the Rockton series up to its latest release, I was hooked on the darker, gritter settings, the character development, and how the author brought along an exciting suspense plot. The older Cainsville series caught my eye on the library shelf and, with excitement, I began with Omens.
Omens opens with a short prologue that grabs the reader and then jumps many years ahead to when a woman gets a shocking revelation and her world falls apart. Olivia Taylor-Jones knows she lives a life of privilege as the only child of wealthy parents though her father has recently passed and affianced to a likeable handsome man of her own social set with ambitions for politics. Olivia has plans to occupy herself with her own career and has no intentions of being a trophy wife. Then, she gets hit with the news that not only is she adopted, but her birth parents are notorious serial killers and in prison. The news media is having a field day, her mother distances herself, and James seems intent on staying clear. Olivia learns in this moment that she is on her own and takes a stranger’s help to get away from all the accusing eyes and the frenzy. She lands in Cainsville- a town she little understands has a connection to her family history and has deep secrets that she is part of especially now that she sees ominous signs and omens everywhere. If this weren’t enough, her birth mom wishes to see her and begs of her to believe in her innocence and to look closely at the last murdered victims. Olivia is determined to get to the truth even while suspecting Pam Arden is a master manipulator. Her mom’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh an opportunist wants to be her partner.
Omens sets up a cast of characters, a suspense line with the murder investigation, but also a paranormal intrigue that builds behind all that. Some parts of the book were slow build while others were action-packed. It was obvious this book was laying the groundwork for the long-haul when it came to revealing the secrets of Cainsville and how Oliva’s parents and herself fit into that. I thought this all paced out well and had a delicious atmosphere. The unique supernatural elements in some of the revealed psychic gifts and fae magic are understated in Omens, but that is because they are slowly part of the reveal process. Can’t wait to see what comes of it all.
Olivia’s life goes through an upheaval and she is the central figure. She works hard to get a grasp on her emotions, deal with a shattered reputation at no cause of her own, transition from former life to something new, wrestle with the supernatural elements going on, and deal with the danger that comes with opening her parents’ cases again. She has some sharp, rough edges, which got on my nerves at times but on the whole, she was an amazing and strong, smart woman. I like her as a heroine.
Now, Gabriel is a fascinating sidekick for her. He has a tough past that he overcame by protecting himself behind a wall of money and power that have pretty much been his end goals. He’s ruthless and he definitely buys into the ends justify the means. Olivia is a troubling new aspect in his life and she forces him to look after more than himself.
The side characters introduced from Gabriel’s psychic-reader aunt, to Oliva’s landlady, the scary ravens, the gargoyles, the regular patron at the diner who inspires caution and of course the old residents whispering about the newcomer. Olivia broke things off with her fiance, James, and walked away from her old life and her adopted mom when they let the side down, but I have a feeling they are going to be a large part of the story still. The villains were ruthless, but I loved discovering there are a shadowy group of villains behind them that are even scarier still.
All in all, the opening salvo of Omens was great and I can’t wait to keep going with the series. Suspense, romance, and the paranormal all woven together so well. Definitely a recommend!
Library Love #14
About the Book
Olivia Taylor-Jones is shattered to learn that she’s adopted. Her biological parents? Notorious serial killers. On a quest to learn more about her past, Olivia lands in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois. As she draws on long-hidden abilities, Olivia begins to realize that there are dark secrets in Cainsville—and powers lurking in the shadows.
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