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Gray Matters

by Dolores Arden

Remy Devereux is an ace homicide detective with the SFPD. At work, she’s embroiled in a months-long murder investigation that has yet to show any signs of breaking. At home, she’s on the skids with her soon-to-be ex-girlfriend, while nightmares of the gruesome murder scene keep her up at night.

On the other side of the country, Giana Falco has just made the biggest change in her life. She’s ended her engagement and now she’s moving to the west coast to take a job as a forensic scientist in a town where she knows practically no one. It’s either the bravest or the stupidest thing she’s ever done.

Sparks begin to fly the moment Remy and Giana meet. Remy has never seen a woman more intelligent or more beautiful than her new colleague, but she knows that allowing herself to fall for a straight woman would be a uniquely masochistic kind of folly. For her part, Giana is intrigued by the tall and reticent detective. She sees no reason why the two of them shouldn’t become the best of friends.

The stakes couldn’t be higher as the two women put their heads together to work the case, drawing ever closer to finding the killer—and ever closer to finding each other. Try as they might to ignore it, the attraction they feel becomes something neither one of them can deny.

Paperback

$18.95

eBook

$9.99

Clear
Genre Romance, Thriller
Length 316 pages
Publication Date October 15, 2020
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642471960
Editor Medora MacDougall
Cover Designer Audrey Gilles

Extras

FROM THE AUTHOR

"I am proud to present Gray Matters as my debut novel. The work was born of a simple desire to write; I wanted to be a writer. Not an author, necessarily—I didn’t feel the need to get published or to have a lot of people read what I wrote. Initially, I didn’t think I wanted anyone to read my stuff at all. I just wanted to write.

In deciding what to write, I gave myself an uncomplicated task, and that was to build a plot—any plot—and develop some characters to act it out, and then to flesh out those characters until they began to feel real. Until they began to breathe. I wanted the challenge of creating something that resembled a good story, but without the added pressure of trying to turn it into an actual novel—one that was profound and deeply emotional and revealing somehow. In short, I wanted this “exercise” to feel like fun instead of work. I wonder how many other writers have played this little Jedi mind trick on themselves, just to get started?

When I was a kid, my favorite books by far were Harlequin Romance novels. They cost something like three bucks a pop, and there was always a tall revolving rack of them at the checkout stand in our local grocery store. I got to the point where I’d have to spin the rack and scan up and down to find one that I hadn’t read yet. I mean, I read them all; I was voracious. A few years later, some of my favorite television shows became the cop dramas—specifically the ones with dynamic female duos in the leading roles, like Cagney & Lacey, and Rizzoli & Isles. But I always felt it was such a waste—that all that crackling sexual chemistry between the woman leads was never more than hinted at, if not ignored entirely. How much more interesting would it be to cultivate that dynamic—to tease it out and celebrate it instead!

Fast forward to many years later. After an entire career spent having nothing to do with writing; after retirement and then several fits and starts, punctuated by multiple crises of confidence—Gray Matters was born. Remy and Giana, my two main characters, are the product of an old obsession with romance novels and crime dramas with hot female leads, told in a way that I hope feels fresh and entertaining and ultimately satisfying. It is my fervent desire that my readers will find as much enjoyment in reading this tale as I have found in writing it."

—Dolores Arden

  • A Bella Debut Novel.

Reviews

The Lesbian Review
This was a murder mystery that was a little different. Arden puts a lot of emphasis on the developing relationship than the actual case itself, and honestly I didn’t mind it. Arden chose to focus on that point where law enforcement isn’t entirely sure if one or two murders are actually the start of a serial killer. By taking this approach, it allows her to highlight Remy and Giana, their evolving relationship, and what they’re dealing with personally. And there is a lot to unpack between these two women.

This is Arden’s debut book, and if this is what she gives us right out of the gate, I can’t wait to see what else she delivers. Her characters are intriguing, strong, and sensual. And the mystery surrounding the case has some good twists and turns. I truly felt I was reading a veteran writer by the time I turned the last page. Definitely looking forward to future works from her.

NetGalley
Orlando J - A top class debut!

This book is a combination of an intrigue and thriller tale with a very exciting and angsty romance. Both parts of the story are very well-written, though I have to admit the romance in the story seems to overshadow the intrigue sometimes, in a good way. The two main characters, Remy Devereux and Giana Falco are electric together. Every time they meet there is enough chemistry and sparks in the tale to light up all of San Francisco. The push/pull between these characters creates many steamy scenes, but there is also a lot of angst in this love story. Remy and Giana do not have an easy romance, but it is definitely rewarding.

While the mystery and intrigue is sometimes treated as secondary to the romance in the plot, it is also well-written. It works well with the rest of the story, and the “who-dun-it” part of the mystery is very well done.

I had a great time reading this book, both for the love story as well as the mystery portion of the tale. I will be eagerly looking forward to more from this author.

NetGalley
Michele R. -I was immediately engaged with this story and both characters. The chemistry between the two was sizzling, however, both kept trying to deny it. Overall I would recommend this debut novel from Dolores Arden to other readers. I look forward to reading future offerings from this up and coming author.

NetGalley
Melina B. - This is one of the best books I've read all year. Remy and Giana were both very well developed characters and the chemistry jumped off the pages. The tension between them built slowly and deliciously, and the dialogue was beautifully written. This was a fantastic debut and I really look forward to the author's next book.

NetGalley
nutmeg - Trailing tight on the heels of a series of unsolved murders is a romance that has readers riled up and begging for release. With the start-stop, push-pull attraction between the pair and the clock counting down to bring the killer to justice, this book had me at every turn and corner. Giana, even if she started clueless, would certainly rock your boat and make you bow at her persistence. The way the book closed left me with a sneaky feeling that there could be a sequel.

NetGalley
Sarah H. - The plot focuses on two women who circle around each other romantically while they try to solve a crime. This is not a wildly uncommon story line, however the author puts a spin on it that definitely makes it feel unique. Man! This book was hard to read in the best way possible. I think I literally screamed at my e-reader at least twice. In short, it was a really good read that has you on the edge of your seat from the very start.

goodreads
Lex Kent's Reviews - I really enjoyed this one. This is actually a debut by Arden so that makes this book even more impressive. If Arden’s first book is this good, I can’t wait to see what other stories she’ll come out with.

I found myself completely smitten with the character of Giana Falco. She was perfect.

These two women had great chemistry together. As soon as the flirting started, I was instantly all for them becoming a couple.

I would recommend this to romance fans that like a good amount of angst and push-pull in their romances. As a character-driven reader it was such a treat to meet Giana and I would love to read about her again. Arden impressed with this debut and I’m really excited to see what she has in store for us next.

NetGalley
Betty H. - I’m always excited to find a new author who writes stories and characters I can fall in love with. That is exactly what I found when I read Dolores Arden’s debut novel, Gray Matters.

This book is a combination of an intrigue and thriller tale with a very exciting and angsty romance. Both parts of the story are very well-written, though I have to admit the romance in the story seems to overshadow the intrigue sometimes, in a good way. The two main characters, Remy Devereux and Giana Falco, are electric together. Every time they meet there is enough chemistry in the tale to light up all of San Francisco. The push/pull between these characters creates many steamy scenes, but there is also a lot of angst in this love story. Remy and Giana do not have an easy romance, but it is definitely rewarding.

While the mystery and intrigue is sometimes treated as secondary to the romance in the plot, it is also well-written. It works well with the rest of the story, and the “who-dun-it” part of the mystery is very well done.

NetGalley
Bonnie S. - It’s hard to believe this is Ms. Arden’s first book. Great story, great characters. Simply put, one of the best I’ve had the pleasure to read.

Customer Reviews

1 review for Gray Matters – Paperback

  1. jordanas

    OMG, this is a debut novel? No way! Instantly engaging, the dialogue between the main characters is well played and the dry humour when describing specific circumstances suggests a hint of UK flavour in this writing style. Remy is hot & frustrating and Giana is hot & hot; the supporting characters are very likable—with the exception of the mandatory villain, of course. I am definitely a fan of this author and can’t wait for her next work.

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