3 Star rating
Cainsville, Book #1
By Kelley Armstrong
ISBN# 9780525953043
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of possible Spoilers*

omens-cainsville-kelley-armstrongOlivia has lived a charmed life, born into a wealthy family she never has to work, but chooses to do volunteer work, she’s engaged to the good looking and rich James Morgan.  But all of that comes to a crashing halt when she and the rest of the world learn that she’s adopted and her biological parents are two of Illinois’s most notorious serial killers, Pam and Todd Larsen.  She wants to stand her ground, but is forced to leave town by the viciousness of the media.

Olivia finds herself in the middle of small town living when she arrives in Cainsville, IL.  A little sleepy town where everybody respects their elders and nobody locks their doors.  Olivia does whatever it takes to get by without going to her adoptive family for help; living in a rundown apartment and working a waitressing job.

But slowly Olivia starts having memories of parents she doesn’t know and she can’t recall if they are real or imagined.  She enlists the help of self-serving lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, to get her into prison to see her birth mother.  When she realizes there is a chance her parents may be innocent of the crimes they were convicted of, it sends her and Gabriel on a hunt for the truth.  But it quickly becomes apparent that somebody doesn’t like them digging into the past.  Olivia must rely on her newly discovered ability to see omens, her gut instincts, and the untrustworthy Gabriel.

This is the first installment of a brand spanking new series by Women of the Otherworld author, Kelley Armstrong!  I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but I was immediately drawn in by the synopsis and, I can tell you that I wasn’t disappointed!  Omens is something new and interesting and is definitely worth the read!

First off, I really did enjoy Olivia.  She is a strong character that was dealt a devastating blow.  And, to have the ones she expected to give her support turn on her was horrifying.  Leaving her no choice, but to forge her own way.

Initially, I was hoping that James would redeem himself by the end of the novel.  But then I got to know Gabriel,  I quit hoping for that and, instead was waiting for Olivia to crack Gabriel’s thick cold impenetrable shell.  I really enjoyed both men in question, but obviously started leaning toward the guy that was actually there for Olivia when it mattered.  But I wouldn’t count James out just yet as I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him!

Cainsville was full of other interesting characters as well.  My favorite by far was the paranormal romance novelist, Patrick.  There is definitely more to him than meets the eye and I’m curious to find out exactly what that is, and what he is!

I also found Ricky entertaining … or at least Gabriel’s reaction to him…

“A word of advice about Ricky …” Gabriel said as he swung his car from the end of the drive.

“Is it going to cost me?” I waved off his answer. “Whatever you’re going to say, save your breath.”

“I overheard him offering you a ride on his motorcycle. I don’t believe you understand what that entails.”

“Grass, gas, or ass. No one rides for free.” I looked over at him. “I’ve seen the T-shirt.”

“I don’t think you’re taking this seriously, Olivia. Do you know what a one-percenter is?”

I sighed. “Yes, Gabriel. It refers to the portion of bikers who belong to a professional motorcycle club. A gang. Ricky is one. As such, I’m going to guess that the only women who get to ride his bike are also riding him. Am I right?”

His mouth tightened as if he didn’t appreciate the crass phrasing. “I’m afraid you’re under some illusions about Ricky because he does not fit the stereotype.”

“Oh, I’m not fooled. He may appear to be the heir to a criminal empire, but he’s really an undercover cop, working tirelessly to overthrow his father’s evil empire and restore justice and goodness to the land.” I glanced over. “Am I close?”

Not even a hint of a smile.”

This book held my interest from beginning to end!  My only complaint was that the last scene was pretty anticlimactic and seemed like it didn’t really have a purpose, other than of course to prepare us for what is to come in the future!

I thought this was a great introductory novel to the series and it’s nice to see Armstrong go in a totally different direction, then she did with the Women of the Otherworld series.  Cainsville (If we’re judging by this first book, which for the sake of this review I am) is much darker and maybe a little more grown up than Otherworld and I greatly enjoyed it!  I’m anxiously waiting to see what Olivia will face in the next book!

A huge shout out and thank you to those at Dutton that made it possible for me to review this one a little early!  Which of course means it will be that much longer until I can read book 2, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!