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Book Review: Mistaken by Karen Barnett

Posted by Julie on October 3, 2013 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

From Amazon:

Since booze and prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world,
Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Convinced
that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother’s rum-running
gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. Daniel has mixed feelings
about returning to the dirty mill town of his youth, but grudgingly agrees to manage
his grandfather’s drug store until a replacement can be found. The moment he meets
Laurie on the windswept bluff overlooking the beach, he knows that if he can earn
her love, he might have a reason to stay. But when Laurie pushes him away–for none
other than Federal Agent Samuel Brown–Daniel wonders if Laurie really is the
upstanding woman he thought her to be. The Strait of Juan de Fuca, just off the
beaches of Port Angeles, Washington, was treacherous water for reckless
rum-runners—and the agents who tried to catch them. So when she realizes her brother
is in danger, romance is the last thing on Laurie’s mind. Yet the people she
believes she can trust, may not be so honorable after all.


From everything I’ve read, Mistaken: First Impressions Are Never What They Seem is Karen Barnett’s first novel. If so, readers are in for a treat as this is a gripping look at the prohibition era and a desperate family trapped by liquor in more ways than one.

Laurie is loyal and no matter how many times her father and brother mess up, she’s there to pick up the pieces. Every chapter, every scene, escalates her conflict into doing what’s right and being there for her family.

Her situation is complicated by Daniel and Samuel. As handsome and kind as Daniel is, he appears to be in the same trouble as her brother. Samuel is charismatic and driven to rid Port Angeles of alcohol, something that would make Laurie’s life easier if her family wasn’t so involved with it.

This was full of emotion and action, and the heartbreak that comes from addiction is very well done here. Mistaken made me think of things about prohibition I wouldn’t have thought of—the dilemmas drugstores had back then filling prescriptions. I really liked the interaction between Daniel and his grandfather. And Daniel and Samuel? Those scenes were intense in the best way.

Mistaken is thought-provoking, full of conflict and action, and of course, romance. I recommend you put  Mistaken on your autumn to-do list. Karen Barnett’s first impression is an excellent one.

To purchase Mistaken, click here.

I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

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