Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Book Review: Audacity on the Water

By Sara Steven

**May contain spoilers for Adirondack Audacity. See Sara's review.**

The adventures begun in Adirondack Audacity continue...

Ellen McCauley Rienz yawns, stretching in the early morning light that spills through the open French doors of her Adirondack Camp. She snuggles deeper into her husband's embrace, secure in the knowledge that Vic, her first love, her lost love is safe in her bed..and here to stay. Happily ever after, at last…

Until an incessant pounding on the front door jerks her back to reality, and promises made and commitments unfulfilled.

In a rash moment of enthusiasm, Ellen entered the Adirondack Canoe Classic, neglecting to tell her husband they would be paddling a 90 mile canoe race through the lakes and rivers of the Adirondack Mountains...while on their honeymoon. What was she thinking?

Paddling 90 miles in three days coached by a bombastic East German, stalked by a local thug whistling Moon River and a Harley-Davidson riding housekeeper named Adele are just a few of the complications Ellen faces on this hilarious journey..with a startling conclusion that only Klutz-Ellen can pull off.

Murder, mystery, and mayhem on the "90". The Adirondack for Ladies Series...titillating novels set in the great outdoors filled with humor, drama and a little bit of sizzle.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I really enjoy Ellen as the primary character in the Adirondack series. She’s fun and silly, and finds herself in all sorts of crazy situations, even when she tries hard to stick to the straight and narrow. It’s as though trouble finds her, and while there are plenty of cringe-worthy moments that come from it, mixed right along with those moments is a high caliber of hilarity that can only come from “Klutz-Ellen”. Like finding herself in a situation where she’s being hunted down by creepy stalkers and drunk race competitors, or random strangers who she’s never seen before. Even though the situations can seem far-fetched, it doesn’t feel that way, and it was totally believable for the type of person that Ellen is.

Where I feel this series began with the romance between Ellen and Vic, it’s still there, in full force, but with a more matured, subdued quality to it. Well, other than the risque moments that are sprinkled in, showcasing that they still have a fire burning for one another, but now, they’re able to be finally be together and just, be. It was nice to see the evolution in their relationship.

The conclusion that is briefly mentioned in the synopsis… wow. Fingers are pointed in various directions, a classic “who done it” scenario, that even I had become unsure of who was who, because if I’ve learned anything, characters aren’t always who they seem to be in an Adirondack adventure. And, you’re not entirely sure who the bad guy is, or who has been put in that position unfairly. It kept me guessing.

While I’ve never been to the Adirondacks, or spent time paddling in a canoe, I felt like I was right there with Ellen while she’s on her own canoe adventures. L.R. Smolarek has done a great job of painting a backdrop that I really want to visit someday in “real life”, much like with book one in the Adirondack series. You can’t help but feel endeared to not only the characters who bring the scenes to life, but to the backdrop itself, a beauty that really draws you in and makes you never want to leave.

Thanks to L.R. Smolarek for the book in exchange for an honest review. Audacity on the Water can be purchased here.

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