Black Jack: Willow Rose

Jack Ryder #4
(Can be read alone, but I’d recommend starting at Book 1)

True to her style, Willow Rose blends multiple storylines to achieve one, big ending.
When we last left Jack & Shannon, they were planning a wedding. Now, they are just a few days away from the big day. After taking the entire family to Savannah, Georgia, they take up temporary resident in a beautiful, historic home. Taking a break from all the chaos, Jack & Shannon spend some time alone. It doesn’t last long. All alone on the docks, a very pale, little girl is sitting all alone. As a policeman, Jack finds it disturbing and checks on her. No shoes, no coat, and no idea where she came from all lead the couple to take her home with them. But, as her story unravels, Jack and Shannon realize that this is no ordinary child and their wedding plans are about to become last on their list.

Meanwhile, in an every other chapter format, we have the story of Kimberly. Kimberly & her family receive word that an unknown aunt has left Kimberly a house. Having lived in a small apartment, the family jumps at the chance. Leaving their old lives behind, they head to Savannah to start a new life as homeowners. What no one mentions is the house’s sinister history. Unusual events begin to occur and Kimberly begins to wonder how much of a blessing her inheritance really is for her family.

Four books into the series and I am still having a difficult time with our main characters. Jack & Shannon just aren’t clicking with me. As a father, Jack is oblivious and only seems to care about Shannon. They seem to rely solely on their assistant to care for their family. Shannon is just not coming across as a likable character. With her prior characters, Willow Rose made them personable and basically heroines/heroes that you wanted to succeed. These two don’t make me want to like them that much.

That said, this plot was just further proof of the aforementioned point. While the duo is running all over Savannah, their family is left with the assistant and mentioned here & there as afterthoughts until the end. For the last 2 books, Jack’s oldest has had an obvious eating disorder and is basically emaciated. Jack eats dinner next to her and never notices?

I was pleased that, while the plot has paranormal overtones, they all have plausible and realistic explanations. The mysteries are well-thought out, but just didn’t fit for Jack. The plot would have been better featuring one of her two prior heroines. The book just didn’t have the wow factor that usually accompanies a Willow Rose novel. I gave it 3 stars.

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