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Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel

Title:  Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel (A Dear Daphne Novel)
Author:  Melody Carlson         
Pages:  320
Year:  2013
Publisher:  B & H Publishing
                After writing so many reviews and reading many books, both great as well as not so great, sometimes it is hard to write another review or read another fiction.  Sometimes it seems as if I might be saying the same thing, but publications aren’t all the same neither are those who write them.  I guess that is why I continue to read and write; the joy is in discovering another story between the pages.  There are authors who write a standalone novel, others write series and some who entertain by doing both.  I have read works that are complete when the last page is turned and others that leave the ending up in the air, whether there is a sequel planned or not.
                Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel turns out to be a first in Dear Daphne Series, and what a great way to begin the journey!  When you read this, you will discover it is more than it appears to be, that of a romantic work.  However, the more the plot develops as well as the characters, the farther the reader is sucked into the pages, wondering what the ending will look like.  Daphne is writing wedding announcements for the New York Times when she receives a call to return home due to a death in the family.  What looks like a possible sad story actually ends up opening up a Pandora’s Box for Daphne.  She flies back for the funeral of her dear Aunt Dee only to find out the little town she once called home holds more changes and challenges for her than the last twelve years of working and living in New York.
                Daphne’s Aunt Dee writes a will that is going to change more than just Daphne’s life; those close to her are going find out there was more to this spinster aunt than anyone ever knew.  What Aunt Dee does will bring a host of emotions and shock to the family, town and neighbors even though Daphne can never reveal everything to anyone.  Ryan was Daphne’s past love interest that has unexpectedly shown up after ten years and has proposed!  The tumult within Daphne only heightens as her friends from childhood offer their advice and her Dad is making lifestyle changes that cause Daphne to wonder what else may occur once she remains in town.
                I really became a captive audience of one as pages were turning and twists in the plot kept coming up.  I wondered how it was going to end.  However, just like real life where some situations aren’t wrapped up in a certain amount of time, Daphne’s story continues on without a neat ending.  I am glad the author chose to do that as her fictional work would have been ruined if she had.  Melody has crafted a heart stirring novel that I look forward to continuing in the next installment.  Great job Melody!  I can’t wait to see what occurs next in Daphne’s fictional world!
                My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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