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guitars and gardenias book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Matson Daley is a country music superstar who has the world at his feet. In spite of all of his fame, money, good looks and hits, Matson is missing true love and suddenly realizes he needs to find the woman of his dreams. He has no shortage of women available to him, but with new musical material running low and his time on the road and on stage wearing on him, Matson realizes the time to find love is now. Leah Hayes is a gorgeous, ex music executive that crosses paths with Matson in an attempt to help recharge his career. The connection between the two is immediate and obvious, but first they must overcome the obstacles lurking in the shadows beyond.

Guitars and Gardenias is labeled as a “country western love story thriller” and at first I was taken aback by that description. As the novel continues, a group of female super fans of Matson, who have been obsessed since high school, take their level of interest and love for him to creepy new levels. The three women, led by the relentless and obsessed Jossyln, follow Matson, target his lovers, dig into his personal records and more. The women determine that if they can’t have him, no one can. While this dark side to the story is unfolding and intensifying, Leah has her own darkness that she must reveal to Matson. Suffering from early onset Parkinson’s disease, Leah has groundbreaking brain surgery that requires medication and special devices to keep her brain waves flowing. Terrified to reveal her illness to Matson out of fear of losing him, Leah is rewarded only with love and understanding when Matson does not let her disease influence how he feels about her. When the two step out as a couple, they are blissfully unaware of the dangers, more than just Leah’s Parkinson’s, that await them.

Sierra Ann Hill writes a descriptive and interesting, yet at times cheesy, story. She does manage to craft together romance, suspense, murder and even health awareness neatly together throughout the book, something that upon first glance seems like it would be impossible. Her writing is clear and the characters are well developed and very real. There are parts of the story that seem more than implausible, but that is part of what helps to make the novel fun. Guitars and Gardenias is a quick, amusing read that will allow the reader a bit of escape and mystery.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Susan Harris. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.