Trouble in Store is the story of Melanie who is an Ohio governess with a very tricky child under her care. After an accident which she is blamed for, she is fired from her job with seemingly no where to go. She then remembers a letter from her deceased cousin which compels her to move to Arizona with the intent of claiming her cousin's belongings and hopefully being invited to live and work at the store he co-owned. Once she arrives there she finds her cousin's partner's nephew is actually in charge of the store now and he's not very willing to share the store with her, nor is he very inviting of her presence at all- but thankfully he tolerates her. During her time at the store she and the nephew, Caleb, get involved in a murder mystery which separates them from the rest of the town and brings them both closer together.
I didn't really know what I would think of this story. Before reading it, I didn't even realize that it was part mystery. I love mysteries, even though the mystery in this book was more of a side-story at first, by the end it does become the main focus of the storyline. I found the mystery intriguing enough and I suspected almost everyone in the small town of Cedar Ridge at one point or the other. The book also proved to have some tense action-packed moments as well.
The romance flowed nicely. I made a comment on my Goodreads profile that I wasn't sure how the author would steer the reader into Caleb's favor as the romantic interest. He was not very likable for the first half of the book. The romance flowed so slowly that it made it more believable when they did eventually fall in love. It never felt cheesy or forced. Don't be afraid that the book might be boring because I said the romance flows slowly- because it's not boring. There's another very likable love interest, Will. At times, I really thought the author might go with Will as Melanie's main man even though it would go against tradition. What I mean by that is, Caleb was a main character and in romances the two main characters always overcome their differences and come together. Will was just a side character. He was so likable though, I almost wish Melanie would have chosen him. I also liked how even though there were two good possibilities for Melanie's romantic interest it never came to a love triangle or anything like that. Love triangles are so cliche and I'm glad the author was unique enough not to let it come to that.
I also enjoyed the humor in this book. The story could have gotten quite tense and stressful but humor really kept this story in a lighter ambiance. I also really enjoyed the setting of Arizona and sort of getting a sneak peek into its history. I haven't done very much traveling, but I have been to Arizona a few times and it's a state I absolutely adore. I've traveled to nearly all ends of the state and northern Arizona is a setting I haven't found in many books.
All in all, I am giving Trouble in Store 4 out of 5 stars and I can say I am very glad that I read it. I enjoyed how it encompassed a few different genres without getting confusing or messy. I would describe this book as a historical fiction set in the wild west with a dash of romance and mystery and a morsel of action.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.