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I am a huge fan of Kate Collins and her Flower Shop Mystery books.  I love her characters, especially the heroine Abby Knight.  Abby owns a flower shop after leaving her law degree and like all the best characters she is full of light and shade.  She often finds herself in sticky situations because she wants to do the right thing – defend the defenceless and right wrongs – a true knight.  If you were ever in trouble, you’d want Abby fighting in your corner!

Of course things don’t often turn out how they should and she needs to have someone to rescue her.  This rescuer comes in the form of her hunky boyfriend, Marco.  A former Army Ranger who now owns the bar down from her flower shop, he loves the way that she always wants to do the right thing – even if it causes more than one headache for him!

The book starts out with Abby on one of her crusades, protesting against the cruel farming practices of Uniworld Food and managing to tick off big wigs at every turn.  She is exhibiting at a home and garden show where she is also collecting signatures for her petition.  The only problem is that Uniworld is sponsoring the event and soon security is called to escort her out.  unfortunately she has other problems in the form of her mother’s sweets that she was giving out as a promotion (her Mum has great ideas, but often ends up with not such a great product) which lead to a dramatic and hilarious show down that had me laughing out loud.

When she returns to the shop, a burning brick is thrown through the window and it turns out that it wasn’t just the security at the garden show that were ticked off with her.  Things escalated when her truly irritating cousin Jillian and her teenage niece were kidnapped.   This final kidnapping and the body linked to it was the final straw and Marco takes it upon himself to be a permanent body guard.  Unfortunately such close quarters makes her question whether or not they should marry.  Poor guy, he is really put through the ringer keeping an eye on Abby.  She is obviously feeling suffocated and it is her nature to rail against unnecessary rules, so she decides that the only way she can get back her freedom is to sort everything out and get to the bottom of the kidnapping, which means finding ways to escape Marco.

In true Kate Collins style, there are several intertwining plot lines.  One minute you think that you have an idea of what is going on, only for it to be turned on its head.  In the end, you never see the whole picture until Abby does – which also means you go along the same dead ends too.

As well as the scene in the home and garden show, my favourite part of the book (which also had me in floods of tears) was the final scene with Abby and her Dad.  You can see where she gets her strength from and it was a beautiful moment between father and daughter.  Throughout the series, you get the feeling that Abby’s tendency to search for the truth is as a result of her Dad’s accident (a former policeman, shot in the line of duty and  now in a wheelchair) and that she often mourns that with the accident he also lost the part of him that was the policeman.  This is proved wrong with the final showdown.  Even though he is in a wheelchair, her Dad still has a heart and head of a policeman, because of this I think that she has a growing realisation of who her Dad is.

I wish this book lasted a little longer, even though I tried to eek it out I still finished it within a day, but I am so excited about the next one.  There was  comment in passing about her Dad using crutches to get to Marco’s apartment which makes me wonder if he is getting ready to walk Abby down the aisle!  Of course the final page with the checklist was a brilliant way to end the book, with just enough romance to warm your heart.

Visit http://www.katecollinsbooks.com/ to see a plan of the flower shop and other snippets of information that aren’t in the book. Abby also has her own Facebook page too – I love these extras, with the internet it seems a fairly simple way of giving fans of the books a little added extra.

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