#review Dangerous Changes by @joycetstrand
#mystery #giveaway #bvbtours
A series of events rattle Emily Lazzaro: a near-death encounter with a pickup on a narrow mountain road, the murder of a would-be client, and an ex-fiancé who won’t let go. Can she survive a police investigation, pressure from her ex’s company, and the suspicions of a possible new love-interest—so that she can make the changes to create a meaningful new life in a special town in southern California?
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About Emily Lazzaro
Emily Lazzaro is the daughter of Wayne Lazzaro, the winemaker for the Hilltop Sunset winery in the previously published three Brynn Bancroft mysteries. She moved with her fiancé to Ramona, Calif., a rural community near San Diego, following graduation from college with a degree in hospitality. Her fiancé was eager to purchase a vineyard and develop a winery in the up and coming Ramona wine region, which suited Emily’s goals.
However, after moving to Ramona, it becomes apparent to Emily that she is not a good match for her fiancé. She discovers that he does not respect her opinions and insists on making decisions without her input. So she breaks off the engagement.
She decides to remain in Ramona despite her fiancé living there with his new vineyard. She appreciates the unique rocky terrain and proximity to the ocean and San Diego, along with the mixture of fine wineries, artists, and equestrian activities. She makes her living doing people’s taxes, and when Dangerous Changes opens, we discover she is looking to make a career change.
Her most recent novels, Hilltop Sunset and Landscape for Murder, feature protagonist Brynn Bancroft, a financial guru in transition to winemaker from corporate executive. Brynn Bancroft is a minor character in Strand’s first three novels On Message, Open Meetings, and Fair Disclosure—three mysteries solved by Jillian Hillcrest, a publicist in Silicon Valley whose boss was Chief Financial Officer Brynn Bancroft.
Her first historical mystery, The Judge’s Story, tells the story of a Superior Court Judge with a passion for social justice as well as the law who strives to discover the truth behind the mystery of a robbery-murder in a small California town in 1939.
All of her novels are inspired by actual events and/or real people, although they are definitely fictionalized.
Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California’s Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products.
She lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and enjoys exploring and writing about the growing wine region in the Ramona Valley near San Diego.
She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
Follow the Book Tour
Dangerous Changes is my first book by Joyce, and our main character Emily Lazzaro is the daughter of Wayne Lazzaro, the winemaker who features in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries. I have not read those books yet though I plan to now and you do not need to in order to read this one as it is totally a stand alone.
It all starts with a scary encounter for Emily as she is driving home when a car suddenly starts following her and she fears she is going to be run off the road! This is how she meets Jackson, it turns out the driver was his brother and he begs her not to press charges due to him having an brain injury.
From that moment this becomes a story that is full of twists and turns for our main character Emily who ens up getting tangled into a web of lies deceit involving her ex-fiance Ed, yet for me the plot was obvious and it was extremely frustrating that Emily couldn’t see it or ask questions until near the end when all hell broke loose! I did not take to Emily in the beginning as with all the stuff going on between her ex-fiance and the company he works for – People’s Company, I just cant believe she wasn’t more suspicious, I felt that dumbed down her character a great deal.
That being said Strand executed the story brilliantly and I loved how it all revealed itself in the end to Emily and the rest of the characters, I loved how the characters and their respective story lines came together and merged into the bigger picture, despite me banging my head about Emily’s total obliviousness!!
With a job offer that sounded too good to be true to the possible new relationships blossoming I cant wait to read what the Ramona community has in store next for Emily.
I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
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