To blazing hell with what ladies did and did not do. With Axel Belmont, at least, Abby need not be a lady. She need only, finally, be herself.
This was a babbling brook read, the term I use to describe a slower moving or paced story with trying to leave out any negative connotations associated with "slow". Since I more often than not like to write up little reviews for books I read, I find it better to read one book at a time so I don't mix up characters or plots. I think this book would work better in a stop and revisit capacity, instead of the storm through method I have. Burrowes excels in emotions, subtle, blatant, fast, and slow, her words and phrases are able to reach my feels in ways other authors often try and fail at. The emotion between our hero Axel and heroine Abigail, feels so incredibly real; I was swept away into their lives and relationship. One way Burrowes accomplishes this is her talent for writing the minutiae of everyday life, it brings a legitimacy and palpable feel to her characters and stories but it also creates that slow or babbling brook feel. It was hard for me to stay with the pace if I read too many chapters in a row but taking longer breaks or reading a different story in-between I think would have helped with this.
I would almost call this a mixture of a cozy mystery and romance, Axel and Abigail are investigating characters and her late husband's life in hopes of discovering who killed him. The villain was not blatantly clear and Abigail's husband's life became quite the onion for them to peel. It was just a good solid story, characters and plot points made sense and were believable.
Burrowes books can get very over populated for me, but here, the focus is firmly on Axel and Abigail. Secondary characters from the previous book in the series and other series by Burrowes make appearances but they knew their role and only improved the story instead of overwhelming it; Burrowes amazing emotional writing was able to take center stage. Not to pigeon hole ages but I can see older, more mature readers really liking this, as it deals with two widowers and trials of life that only comes with experience. I can see the scenes and dialogue about when, how, and trying to move on in life after losing a significant other, really reaching some.
If you're looking for a story to really sink into with cozy mystery elements and deep emotions, then this would be a great pick. Axel and Abigail's relationship from budding to longing to inseparable will warm the coldest hearts.