I believed Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh to be a mystery novel. While I was sure there would be an element of romance, I didn’t realize there would be more of an emphasis on emotional elements than solve-the-crime elements. The emotional elements involve not only the reluctantly developing romance between attorney Morgan Dane and private investigator Lance Kruger, there is also the love single parent Morgan has for her three children, her grandfather, and a recovering drug addict who acts as a nanny for Morgan’s three children.
It seems that the author included social issue elements so that the novel should appeal to everybody. Morgan has lost the one true love of her life, John, due to the war in Iraq. Left with three children, she took two years off from a legal career to care for her children while thinking about what would be next. This element appeals to military people, veterans, and single parents.
After deciding to return to work, she has a chance to join the Prosecutor’s office as an assistant district attorney (ADA). She decides to take it but then turns it down when she decides instead to act as a pro bono defense attorney for a neighbor unjustly accused of murder. This will appeal to those feeling money is not important when answering the call of a higher moral purpose.
Morgan’s grandfather lives with her in Scarlet Falls. He is not a burden and helps with the children, but Morgan feels he is sometimes overly protective. Lance lives in Scarlet Falls because he needs to be next to his mother, a former computer engineer professor who sank into deep depression after her husband, Lance’s father, abandoned her. Lance has been taking care of her since he was sixteen. Currently a retired cop on disability, he must stay in the area to take care of his mom. This will appeal to those who love the idea of children taking care of their parents.
There are several young adult characters in the novel and all seem to have serious problems. The only normal children are Morgan’s and that is because they are not yet teenagers. All the teenagers are seriously flawed. Tessa is at the center of the mystery as she has been killed. But we find out many secrets about Tessa. In addition to finding her killer, the main plot of the book, the reader wants to know the identity of the father of her unborn baby. Jessie is a street child after running away from mom and mom’s fiancée. When mom announced she was going to marry Keith, Jessie left. We immediately suspect that Keith was interested in Jessie more than Mom. Felicity not only harbors many secrets but also conceals photographic proof of what she claims. Jacob is a star in the photos Felicity is concealing but since he is the son of a talented and aggressive lawyer nothing negative should happen to Jacob. Robby may have seen something related to Tessa’s murder but his father, Dwayne, is a leader of an ultra-militant white supremacist group and doesn’t want his son to attract public scrutiny to the group by giving evidence in any trial. This element will appeal to those interested in tensions between adults and teenagers and how they are resolved.
I tag this novel as a “comfort read” and give it three plus Amazon stars. It has an interesting story, a distracting mystery and a small surprise at the end. I was distracted by the number of stories attempted as I became overwhelmed by the number of characters. The conclusion to the romance element reminded me of why I avoid the genre “romance.” It reminded me of molasses syrup coming out of the bottle both in its slowness and cloying sweetness. In its lack of connection to the real world, I could have tagged the novel as “fantasy.”
This novel is Book One in a Morgan Dane series. It sells for USD 4.99 but is free on Kindle Unlimited (KU). I chose the “free” option because I also was able to listen to the book on Audible.com. I wanted to finish the novel in one rather busy workday. With a synchronized combination of listening and reading, I was able to do this.