In Extracting Honey, Joni and Adam have finally settled into what they believe is a peaceful life on the At Last Ranch. Along with ranch hand Nick, they live in isolated but contented splendor at the foot of the mountains in Montana.
Their peace is shattered when, first, a guest at their B&B runs off leaving them with two children to care for. That surprise is soon followed by the discovery of a wounded FBI agent on the property. Disturbances come to a head when Joni and the FBI agent are kidnapped.
Adam, a former CIA agent, is caught between his love for Joni and secrets from his past.
Theme of the Book
Extracting Honey combines action, romance, friendship, and faith. It is a story in which deep love and courage combine to a satisfying conclusion.
What I Liked About the Story
The novel begins with the death of Joni’s beloved dog. Anyone who has ever lost a pet will be moved to tears by the author’s rendition of Joni’s grief over the loss of her dog. While not an integral part of the plot, this section introduces Joni’s emotional fragility and Adam’s constant support. It also introduces Nick, the ranch hand, and his admiration and respect for both Joni and Adam.
The plot moves very quickly from rural idyll to suspenseful action. There is hardly time for readers to take a breath between kidnappings, references to the Mafia, to drug and arms dealing, and to child trafficking. The action scenes, especially those of the initial kidnapping, are very well written and keep the reader in suspense. The several hints as to the mastermind of the kidnapping appear and disappear quickly enough that readers must be alert to catch them.
The appearance in the story of the two children, Callie and Colton, brings with it a bit of humor and liveliness. These are two well-developed characters, especially Callie with her endless questions. The children are a link to the main plot but also an entertaining aside and a further glimpse into the loving relationship between the main characters.
What I Didn’t Like About the Story
Joni and Adam are almost too good to be true. They never seem to squabble or disagree. Their declarations of love are nearly constant. This may be the ideal in a romantic novel, but it bears little resemblance to real life. It would have been much easier to identify with the characters had there been even a hint of disagreement.
Joni is a puzzling character. At the beginning of the book she seems emotionally fragile, constantly dependent on Adam’s support and declarations of love. Later, when she is kidnapped, she becomes superwoman, cool and calm in the most stressful situation imaginable. It’s hard to tell who the real Joni is.
For readers who have not read the first two books in the series, the variations in names (cover names, real names) could be confusing. Characters can be difficult to tell apart aside from Joni, Adam, and Nick. The author did try to give enough background but with the complexity of the plot, the background it may not be enough.
Extracting Honey is a well-written novel. The author is able to keep the suspense going until the end. Readers who enjoy romance will find the love story enthralling. Readers who appreciate thrillers will find the book equally enjoyable.