Shakespeare's Champion

(Lily Bard, #2)

There's something rotten in Shakespeare... — Lily Bard was running from shattering memories when she moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas. Now cleaning houses pays her bills. Working out helps her heal. Still protecting her scars, she hides a hard body and impressive skill at martial arts under baggy sweats. And nobody knows how strong she is until racial violence has her looking behind closed doors for a killer -- doors to which a housecleaner might have the key.

When Lily uses her training in goju to help a black man jumped by white teens, she does it for justice...only to hear he's been abducted and beaten to death a few weeks later. Then a bodybuilder is killed at her gym. Both incidents jar Lily's need for security and refuge. Looking into closets, sweeping under rugs, she soon uncovers enough dirt to confirm that something sinister is growing in her adopted town. Getting involved could endanger her life. But Lily is seeing a new man and dreaming new dreams. And no one can make this strong woman run again.

Kind of annoying when, as you're reading the first part of a book, you are thinking it's a four-star read, but in the second half it bumps itself down to three stars.

First - it's a small thing, but I was surprised and a bit bummed everyone in town found out her secret since the last book. I'm guessing it was from wagging tongues at the police department. The tension of everyone not knowing added an interesting twist.

Lily is awesome in ways, annoying in others. Unlike Sookie, she is without much emotion. Considering her past and stuff, this makes a good deal of sense. BUT I do think some of this is due to author weakness and not just character portrayal. I think when she does have emotion, it's coming across a wee bit too distant because of Harris' writing technique. She didn't have that issue with Sookie, so not sure what that issue is.

This book took a strange turn in the romance department. Book one set up a potential, subtle love triangle. Book two buried both. Unsure how I feel about that, especially with one I was rooting for. And then enters a third guy who Lily is actually interested in, while I myself am sitting there thinking, what the bloody hell? Where did THIS guy come from? Who IS he? Why does she have this huge connection with him but didn't with others she knew already that had actual development? (cough *Micah in Anita series, anyone?* /cough)Dislike.

The mystery wasn't strong force because it involves a large group of evil-doers, and they're pretty obvious about it. I don't think the pull of this one was a genuine mystery, but instead...well, not sure, I guess just a good story. Racism is prelevant in this one and works well with small southern town un-charm. The race issues were some of the more interesting areas of the story.

Overall a good book but nothing special. I'm already forgetting it. Have the next few to read so I hope they're better.