Denise Grover Swank – Twenty Nine and a Half Reasons

Twenty Nine and a Half ReasonsI absolutely adored the first book in this series, and now that I’ve finished all the Charlaine Harris books, I think good old Rose Gardner may be my next obsession.

We left the last book with Rose starting a relationship with Joe, and finally getting to know him for real, rather than the undercover persona he’d been portraying. As this book starts, we learn that Rose is blissfully happy when she is with her first love, but he lives miles away in Little Rock, so she only gets to see him on weekends and misses him terribly when he’s gone.

We also learn that Rose’s sister Violet does not approve of Joe, which causes a rift between the usually close sisters. Especially when Violet insists on setting Rose up on a date with a more ‘appropriate’ choice of man. Things come to a head when Violet confronts Joe about why he is so secretive when asked about his family. But can the truth change Violet’s mind, and how will the truth affect Joe’s relationship with Rose? And is Violet now just taking after her mother, whose controlling grasp Rose has just managed to escape?

And we’ve not even touched on the actual plot yet. After all of the drama of the last book, Rose is looking forward to getting back to normal with her job at the DMV and getting to know Joe better, that is until Joe finds a jury duty summons for the same day. Rose’s morning doesn’t get much better after that, one calamity after the other making her very late for her first day, and not in many people’s good books.

You would think that since Rose is on jury duty, the book may have been about the trial, but Rose has a vision that the defendant is innocent and since his attorney doesn’t seem to be bothered about helping him, she decides to take it on herself. Which leads to her getting unceremoniously kicked off the jury and heading for a stint in lockup. But it seems like she might have help from an unexpected source, the prosecution attorney, Mason Deveraux. But why is he so helpful, and does he have a ulterior motive?

I couldn’t stop turning page after page to find out what was going to happen next, and what did happen was pretty surprising. I think we see Rose come into her own in this book, she’s finally starting to figure out her own personality and stick up for herself in ways she never would have though possible. It’s nice to see, and I can only look forward to how she progresses throughout the rest of the series.


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