Book review: Not This Time by Vicki Hinze

Blurb:

Small town scandal. International terrorist attack. Who among them is the traitor?
Sara and Beth have built a multi-million dollar business together, but their once solid friendship is now strained. Beth is leery of Sara’s husband, and when he is kidnapped, authorities consider Beth their prime suspect.

Then, their small town of Seagrove Village is rocked by an act of terrorism, and Beth doesn’t know who to trust. Someone she knows is linked to the attack, but who? Is there a connection to Crossroads Crisis Center? In the midst of the confusion and fear, Beth finds herself attracted to a man from her past. She knows she shouldn’t fall in love with him, but she can’t resist or even explain their bond. As her world unravels around her, she wonders, is it possible to be beyond redemption?

My review:

It always amazes me that no matter how long I do this, I still sometimes forget to check that books I choose for review are in a series. So Not This Time took me a little while to get to because I had to get Forget Me Not and Deadly Ties from the library before I could read the third book. This is definitely a series that you need to read in order or you’ll be completely lost. It’s worth the time, though because all three are great stories.

Not This Time brings us the story of Sara and Beth, best friends and business partners. Despite being extremely smart and excelling in business, both women believe that they are not worth loving. Sara’s response to that is to jump into an abusive marriage. Beth’s answer is to avoid relationships completely. We get to see Sara grow and blossom, but we don’t see much change in Beth, even with a good man pursuing a relationship with her.

I enjoyed seeing the Seagrove Village townspeople again and following their stories. I always love a series (as long as it isn’t too long) because I like to see characters I’ve already gotten to know. Unless you’re reading Outlander, one book isn’t long enough to get to know several characters well. In this third book, the locals have to face the fact that one of their own is responsible for the recent terrorist attack. While everyone scrambles to stay alive while figuring out who the culprit is, Sara and Beth are also navigating budding romances with the men who want to be in their lives.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was Beth’s persistent self-disparagement. No matter how many ways or times Joe or anyone else told her that he cared, she was still sure that he didn’t. Gah. There comes a point when that goes from sweet and humble to just plain annoying. There was also one exchange between Mark and Beth in which he asks her if Joe calls her “sha”, which apparently means “sweetheart”. He tells her that Joe has never called anyone else that. How does he know what it means if Joe has never used it? How does he know that Joe has never called anyone else that? They’re not attached at the hip. They also spend months at a time apart since they got out of the Army. How does he even know to ask if Joe calls Beth “sha”? That’s not something that Joe would have told Mark. Not phrased that way. That’s pretty much my only complaint about the whole series. Check it out.

About the book:
Title: Not This Time: A Novel (Crossroads Crisis Center)
Author: Vicki Hinze
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Release date: Feb 21, 2012
Pages: 336
Where I got the book: Free from the Blogging for Books review program

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