What It’s About:
Both Witness Protection and her position as a hotel conference services manager require Rebel Roberts to maintain a low profile. But when she finds herself at the center of high crime and high romance at the high-rise Point Resort in Long Beach, even the best-laid plans are subject to change.
Former college baseball pitcher Ryan McHenry plans on becoming a deputy sheriff like his late uncle. But when Rebel literally stumbles on a dead body by her hotel, helping her change the narrative may throw a curve in his career plans.
Can Rebel and Ryan find true love and happiness with so many lies between them?
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In The Changeup, Mary Billiter gives her readers a sweet romance and a cozy mystery.
The office staff in the Point Resort refers to the delivery guy as McCutie. The hunk’s real name is Ryan McHenry., a one-time baseball player and police academy applicant. I really liked Ryan and his dad as well. Both are down-to-earth, kind and generous. They are stand-up, ethical guys. There was just enough backstory on Ryan; much of his character was conveyed through his actions. The title seems to be a nod to Ryan’s college baseball career.
Rebel Roberts is obviously intelligent (she could be a forensic accountant!), and as a whistle-blower, she has put herself in danger for a greater good. However, her current behavior made it difficult to like her. She puts herself in dangerous situations by drinking to inebriation every time she goes out, and her resultant behavior is rather crass. She is a bit of a chameleon as she changes her behavior to fit the people she is with; that is probably a characteristic that comes in handy when you’re in the witness protection program.
The secondary characters are comprised mainly of Rebel’s staff and Ryan’s family and friends. Rebel’s staff is a crazy group of friendly coworkers who contribute greatly to Rebel’s debauchery, but they also have her back at work.
The story is told from the dual points of view of Ryan and Rebel. The plot is well paced with the exception of the accounting and police procedure descriptions that are provided as part of Ryan and Rebel’s sleuthing through the multiple mysteries in the story thread. I found the mysteries engaging, and I really enjoyed the addition of Ryan’s father; he is the sort of father that everyone wants. The story vibe is more cozy mystery than police procedural. The book can be read as a standalone even though it is part of a series. Overall, I enjoyed The Changeup as a light easy escape, and I think cozy mystery enthusiasts will as well.
About the author: Mary Billiter is a weekly newspaper columnist and fiction author. She also has novels published under the pen name, “Pumpkin Spice.”
Mary resides in the Cowboy State with her unabashedly bald husband, her four amazing children, two fantastic step-kids, and their runaway dog. She does her best writing (in her head) on her daily runs in wild, romantic, beautiful Wyoming.
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