Southwest of Love and Murder by Brenda Whiteside

Southwest of Love and Murder by Brenda Whiteside
The Love and Murder Series Book 2
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (303 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Writing murder mysteries is all in a day’s work until an obsessed fan brings Phoebe’s stories to life.

Mystery writer, Phoebe Anderson, owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now, someone has actually done it. When she decides to take a few days away on the ranch of her best friend’s brother-in-law, she doesn’t expect romance to find her…or murder to follow her.

Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years ago. When Phoebe shows up, he fights to control his emotions, but soon wonders if she just might be worth the risk of opening his heart again.

With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on his list is Mason.

Phoebe had her life all plotted out until a night with Mason changed everything.

Phoebe had a completely disastrous marriage years ago. Since then, romantic commitments aren’t high on her list of priorities. Instead, she prefers to keep her relationships short and fun. However, a one night stand with Mason at her best friend’s wedding leaves an impression on her that she just can’t shake. Even though Phoebe and Mason have explosive chemistry, I have to admit I found it a little strange for Phoebe to ask to stay at Mason’s ranch for a while. While he is the brother of her best friend’s husband, they really don’t know much about each other. Furthermore, Phoebe and Mason spend most of their time tangled up in bed. Despite this issue, I really enjoyed their flirtatious banter as I hoped they would find a way to a deeper connection.

While this story is a romantic suspense, most of the drama comes from Phoebe and Mason trying to figure out their feelings for each other and what they wanted for their future. They both have been badly hurt in the past and have let their pain rule their lives ever since. While Phoebe and Mason’s situations are very different, they have chosen to cope in very similar ways. When they finally start to open up to each other and have more meaningful conversation, I could tell they were going to be very good for each other.

I must admit that I found it very easy to figure out who was behind the murders. After that, it was just a matter of waiting for the killer to make a move that would expose his identity to Phoebe. The killer is extremely deluded, disturbed, and very frightening. The sections of the story written from his point of view definitely gave me the shivers.

Southwest of Love and Murder is a very enjoyable book. Although it is book two in a series, it can definitely stand on its own. I recommend it to anyone looking for a romantic suspense with a sexy hero and a sassy heroine.


  1. Thank you for your in depth and honest review. I appreciate your time.

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