Genre: cozy mystery
For a while it seemed landscaper Nina Quinn's life was one big bed of roses. Her garden makeover business, Taken by Surprise, was blooming. Her pesky ex was finally out of the picture, and a hunky new beau, Bobby MacKenna, was in it. But then the weeds started taking over when Bobby accepted a job in another state, nipping their blossoming relationship in the bud. However, he's back in town to appear with Nina on Hitched or Ditched, TV's sleaziest reality romance show, since they promised Bobby's lawyer cousin they'd help him dig up some dirt on the show's producer. Then an uncomfortable situation grows far worse when there's death behind the scenes . . . and it turns out the only reality is murder.
Nina would much rather be installing an indoor garden at the dysfunctional local nursing home than getting her hands dirty in this dangerous business. But if she doesn't uproot a cold-blooded off-camera killer, those invasive weeds may push her six feet under.
Nina has been getting over her heart break of Bobby MacKenna leaving for a new job in another state, and trying to rediscover herself, find out what she wants and needs in life. And now he is back in town to help his grandfather find a new place to stay. Bobby has also promised to help his lawyer cousin with a case, and so Bobby and Nina are a pretend couple in the tv show: hitched or ditched. The camera will follow both of them for a week in their usual life, and they have daily shoots at the studio, with some intimate questions. The audience will then vote at the end of the week, are they a couple truly in love, or should they ditch the other. There is also a great gay couple in the show, and I really enjoy how Perry gives Nina a make over, and how she likes the new her.
It is very hard for Nina to keep refusing Bobby, as she still has feelings for him, and he is very persistent in wanting back in her bed. But what future do they have if he is living so far away? And she also still has feelings for her ex-husband Kevin, who cheated on her with his partner. Her house is still a huge mess, thanks to her mother and her remodelling ideas, so Nina has been sleeping on the sofa for months now.
The hostess of the show is getting death threats, but is this real, or is she faking it to get higher ratings? After all, there is also a journalist from another tv station on scene, taping segments for his own show. Nina being her nosy self, soon finds out that all is not cozy with the people from the tv show. They all seem to be cheating on each other, so when the hostess is found dead in the hot tub, there are suspects everywhere. Nina wouldn’t be Nina if she would not try to solve the case herself. Especially after the second body pops up ...
I really enjoy this gardening series by Heather Webber. This time it is a bit light on the gardening, only one small project in a very high end nursing home. But there is some intrigue with her employee Kit, whose relationship is going down the drain. And Kit ending up at Nina’s house is the best thing that ever happened to Nina, as he sets her house to rights in no time.
As usual, Nina’s gorgeous cousin Ana goes after the most handsome man on the set, seeing Hollywood in her future already. I really love the little interaction between Nina and her neighbours and I admit, I am so happy her mother and sister are not my relatives. Those two are really ditzy, although Maria has a very important clue for them in the end.
The discovery of the murderer did surprise me; I honestly did not know who to vote for. But the book ended with a major cliffhanger concerning Nina and her relationship, and I have no idea what will happen next, or what/who I want for her. I will have to read the next one soon to find out.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian