Pamela Fagan Hutchins is one of my favorite authors and I am amazed – and thrilled – at how each one of her numerous books is fantastic. Earth to Emily Volume 2 is no exception. She’s the kind of author who makes you wait for her to announce her next book launch so you can grab it and lose yourself reading. Her first book, at least the one I read first, is Puppalicious and it was absolutely delightful. I’ve read every book she’s written since (and before) and she’s on my “all time favorite” book shelf.
Today, I am privileged to be a beta-reader of “Earth to Emily – Volume 2”. I just finished the book and couldn’t wait to post the book review here. Only, Pamela doesn’t know it yet – about the review I mean.
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Earth to Emily – Volume 2
by Pamela Fagan Hutchins
A pulse-pounding mystery—the second in the Emily series—from the best-selling and award-winning author of the Katie & Annalise novels.
Paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily only wants two little things. The first is to adopt Betsy—the girl who has stolen her heart but could be deported to Mexico at any time. The other is a second chance with her boss, Jack, a smolderingly hot and mysterious criminal defense attorney in Amarillo who runs his family’s horse ranch in New Mexico on the side.
But before Emily can dare to hope for either (or both), the obstacles between them and her mount: two runaway teenagers, an aging exotic dancer, and a dead trucker torpedo a dinner with Jack. She and Jack catch their client—who’s charged with assaulting an officer—selling stolen goods. And to top it all off, Betsy’s zealously religious and overly protective foster parents sic some questionable cops on Emily to destroy her reputation.
Emily just wants to silence all the noise and focus on her priorities: Betsy and Jack. But then the phone rings. It’s the two runaways, with an enormous secret and a desperate plea for help. They convince Emily that she’s the only one they can trust, forcing her into a horrible choice: risking the lives of these two teens, or jeopardizing her own chance at a life with the two people she cares about most.
Earth to Emily Volume 2 is as engaging as I anticipated. Pamela skilfully weaves a detailed plot without ever overdoing it, using the right amount of narrative and dialog, and keeps you at the edge of the seat.
The story opens with the feisty Emily and rather sexy Jack, the lead characters grabbing a bite, and before the second page, you’re already in love with them and ready to take sides. From that point on, it is a whirlwind of events that includes chasing a couple of runaway teenagers, Emily yearning to adopt a child she rescues, a wrongful arrest, sleazy cops, multiple investigations, dancers getting murdered, a visiting friend, and a Christmas celebration, all of which is intertwined with some emotional scenes, relationship sorting out, punchy dialogs, loads of humor – all set in Jack’s office, Emily’s home and Jack’s ranch and the spaces in between. Pamela’s non-human characters – the animals comprising of dogs and horses – are just as endearing as her humans and I love how they play crucial roles in the story that unfolds. Only someone who truly knows, loves and understands animals can do that.
Without sharing spoiler alerts, let me just say that you should read the book to see how it all turns out.
One thing I’ve learned about Pamela’s writing is this: I’d better clear my desk, my schedule and forget just about anything that needs my focus for several hours before I pick up one of her books. Because, folks, I cannot put it down once I’ve started reading. As I said before, Earth to Emily was no different.
As always, the storyline was gripping and swept me away. I love how Pamela manages to package emotion, humor, romance, mystery and that special thrill in her writing. The rather lavish icing on this particularly delicious cake is the reference to, and inclusion of, characters who I already consider my friends from her earlier books in the Kate and Annalise series, and so it is like an unexpected get-together. No, actually, I gleefully know I can expect it before I settle down to read.
And oh, Pamela’s books are also a fun way to expand my vocabulary.
H-E-double hockey sticks yeah!
What I didn’t like about the book:
Have you ever felt miserable watching the page numbers and feeling the dread that comes with the approaching last page? Yes, me too! I didn’t like that. I didn’t want the book to end. Fine, so it left me in tears. Tears of happiness, fortunately, because knowing Pamela, she’s busy working on the next in the series. There’s a reason why it is called Volume 2. Right, Pamela? Hmm.
About the author
Pamela writes bestselling mysteries (USA Best Book Award Winner, Fiction: Cross Genre, Finalist) and hilarious nonfiction (USA Best book Award Winner, Parenting: Divorce). The Houston Press named her as one of Houston’s Top 10 Authors (2014). She is a recovering attorney and investigator who resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas with her two household hunks—husband Eric and one-eyed Boston terrier Petey. All three are still reeling from raising a blended household of five, plus pets innumerable. Pamela has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long walks, her Keurig, and traveling in the Bookmobile.
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