Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU
Free On KU

The Ashford Place By Jean Copeland

A romance overlaid by a little sleuthing, this book is an epic fail for us.

Isabelle (Belle) Ashford, a teacher at a university, has inherited a house in Danville which she plans to renovate and sell. She meets the deputy sheriff Ally Yates and is immediately drawn to her. There is mutual lust which leads to them getting involved even as Belle stumbles upon clues that indicate that young Judy, who once lived in that house was sexually abused and possibly committed suicide. Belle pesters Ally to chase the clues and find out what happened with Judy.

Belle is spontaneous, funny, wears her heart on her sleeve, genuine though a little ditzy. She is also supposed to have a history of rushing into relationships headlong and the regretting it. On the whole, she is rather likeable.

Our problem is Ally. There is nothing that warms us to that character. Between the two, she doesn’t really seem into Belle or into the relationship. She kind of superior and supercilious.  

Belle does all the legwork to chase down possible leads and she has to constantly practically beg Ally to act. Even in their ‘romance’ Belle is the one giving herself and making changes in her life.

When Belle discovers (spoiler alert) that Ally’s mentor is a serial paedophile who has even tried his tricks on Ally’s niece; first Ally freezes Belle out then she actually storms to rage at her for having spoken to her niece! This is unforgivable on many counts: first, Ally is not there for the person she claims to love; second, she is a failure as a policewoman; third, she is supposed to be a ‘mother’ to her niece, and instead of having any feeling about what happened with her niece, she actually fights with Belle for having given the child an ear!

And after all that, Belle misses Ally and gladly gets back to her when Ally makes the first overture. That seems to be extremely dysfunctional even though it is keeping in line with the description that Belle has a penchant for bad relationships and choosing wrong partners.

On the whole, this book actually left us angry.  

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