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Thirty-Six and a Half Motives PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Thirty-Six and a Half Motives
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Publisher: Published May 17th 2016 by DGS
ISBN: null
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Book Nine in the New York Times best selling Rose Gardner Mystery series by Denise Grover Swank. Rose Gardner should be celebrating the arrest of her fiercest enemy, J.R. Simmons. But problems are like weeds—pluck one and five more spring up. Rose’s boyfriend is on the verge of leaving her for good, her best friend, Neely Kate, is grappling with marriage problems, and her s Book Nine in the New York Times best selling Rose Gardner Mystery series by Denise Grover Swank. Rose Gardner should be celebrating the arrest of her fiercest enemy, J.R. Simmons. But problems are like weeds—pluck one and five more spring up. Rose’s boyfriend is on the verge of leaving her for good, her best friend, Neely Kate, is grappling with marriage problems, and her sister has a devastating secret. To make matters worse, she discovers J.R. Simmons has not been neutralized. His network of allies and henchman extends further than she suspected, and J.R.’s so intent on revenge, his lackeys might just destroy Fenton County to get it for him. But the girl who once spent her days alone and afraid is now a strong, independent woman with a network of her own, including Neely Kate, Skeeter Malcolm—the reigning king of the Fenton County underworld—and other loyal friends on both sides of the law. Racing against time, they must dig up J.R.'s empire by the roots, unmasking his allies and unearthing his secrets, both the behind-the-scenes manipulation he’s been orchestrating in Fenton County for decades and the dark stains of his personal life. If Rose succeeds, she tells herself the quiet and peaceful life she once dreamed of will be at the end of the tunnel. But her quest to destroy J.R. will require her to explore the person she has become.

30 review for Thirty-Six and a Half Motives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol [Goodreads Addict]

    Thirty-Six and a Half Motives is book nine in the Rose Gardner Mystery series by Denise Grover Swank. In every book of this series, Rose’s life has been full of love, loss, chaos, danger, friendship and laughter. In every book the situation becomes more intense, dangerous and the evil, sinister J.R. Simmons finds new ways to shock us with his black heart. This book is the finale to the series and is chock full from the start to the finish. Surprisingly, the biggest part of it takes part over one Thirty-Six and a Half Motives is book nine in the Rose Gardner Mystery series by Denise Grover Swank. In every book of this series, Rose’s life has been full of love, loss, chaos, danger, friendship and laughter. In every book the situation becomes more intense, dangerous and the evil, sinister J.R. Simmons finds new ways to shock us with his black heart. This book is the finale to the series and is chock full from the start to the finish. Surprisingly, the biggest part of it takes part over one day but what a day it is. “Rose, I suspect chaos will find you wherever you go-and unfortunately for you, that chaos tends to be criminal in nature.” J.R. is in jail but does Rose get a break? No, she does not. The chaos of her life continues as J.R. finds a way to threaten her even from behind bars. But he isn’t the only threat. There are so many unanswered questions that have stacked up throughout this series and I assure you, every single one of them will be explained. Neely Kate’s life is in turmoil as well and she is currently staying at the farm with Rose. She is separated from her husband and doesn’t even know where he is. In my opinion, she is better off. We know that the attorney, Carter Hale, is interested in Neely Kate and I also thought I detected a little spark between she and Jed. Could this be a future romantic interest for her? We’ll see I suppose. Of course there is Hilary. Is her baby really Joe’s? Is it even possible that maybe Hilary has turned over a new leaf? There is also Kate, Joe’s sister. More and more evidence piles up against her. Has she teamed up with their father? What is she really after? Then there is the man who I think has become my favorite male character of the book, James (Skeeter) Malcolm. It’s been obvious for awhile that he harbors feelings for Rose and she definitely has a good influence on him. And above all of them, Joe and Mason, Skeeter is the one who really seems to respect Rose for the strong woman she has grown in to. And he is also the one that does the best job of protecting her when the going gets rough. He never holds her back but encourages her. I just love that guy. Then there is Mason and Joe. These have been the two loves of Rose’s life throughout this series. What role will they play in the final showdown with J.R. and let me warn you, it is a showdown worth waiting for. It is epic. And what role will these two play in Rose’s future? Now I have to voice my personal feelings. I have loved this series from the start as I also have anything Denise Grover Swank has written. And this book is no exception. It is well written and kept me on the edge of my seat. I have loved Rose, cried with her and for her over the course of this series. She probably took up way too much space in my heart and brain. But these are all symptoms of a well written series, to become emotionally attached to the characters. Rose’s two love interests, Mason and Joe, have been a huge part of the story line in each and every book. The fans of this series are strongly opinionated, team Joe or team Mason. SPOILER ALERT (view spoiler)[I accidentally found out prior to reading this book via a review that the author did not give Rose her HEA. She ended up with neither of these two men. It has taken me two and a half months to get up the courage to read the book knowing this. I feel so let down. When asked, the author said she had to “let the characters make the decisions that were best for them.” I truly feel that the author could have found a way to give this new and stronger Rose Gardner a happy ending as well. So, that is the reason for the one star deduction. I kind of feel like I was strung along. Did the author feel like she might perhaps lose readers if she let Rose choose one man over the other? I just don’t know. This has truly been one of the hardest reviews I have ever written. None-the-less, I feel like the author has really let us down. (hide spoiler)] There is going to be a final novella to this series, Sins of the Father. And a new series, a spin off called Rose Gardner Investigations, the first book being Family Jewels. Will I read these? I don’t think I could resist anything that has Rose involved. I know I’m not the only fan of this series who feels the way I do and I hope the author understands where we are coming from. If she didn’t write the character of Rose Gardner so well, we wouldn’t care, would we?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Davis

    Jaw-Dropping, Heart-Pounding, Tear-Jerking, Heart-Warming and Just EVERYTHING! How do you walk away from an intense series wrap-up and put your reactions into coherent thoughts--A without adding spoilers and B: still sounding semi-intelligent? I sat down at 6:30 one evening and didn’t stop reading until the wee hours of the morning because I could.not.put.it.down. Then I sat on it for a couple of days and read it again. I could say it was epic--it would be true. I could say it was amazing, wonder Jaw-Dropping, Heart-Pounding, Tear-Jerking, Heart-Warming and Just EVERYTHING! How do you walk away from an intense series wrap-up and put your reactions into coherent thoughts--A without adding spoilers and B: still sounding semi-intelligent? I sat down at 6:30 one evening and didn’t stop reading until the wee hours of the morning because I could.not.put.it.down. Then I sat on it for a couple of days and read it again. I could say it was epic--it would be true. I could say it was amazing, wonderful, exciting, and fantastic--also true. But even those words seem to pale in comparison to the actual emotions I felt while reading it. Rose’s journey from the beginning of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes takes off with the line, “It all started when I saw myself dead.” And this timid, beaten-down young woman spends the entire series turning into the woman ready to declare, “I got tired of not living my life, so now I’m gonna take on anyone who gets in my way.” Rose not only grew, but truly and earnestly, blossomed over each and every book to become the strong, capable woman that shows the world in Thirty-Six and a Half Motives she not only intends to live, but to live by her own rules. J.R. Simmons is hell-bent on not only taking back what he believes Rose stole from him, but to make her pay tenfold for daring to defy him. She will need all of her friends, all of those people--who may not be blood, but they are family--to rally with her to survive the Simmons wrath. Enemies are lurking everywhere, and while she’s working so hard to protect those she loves, she’ll also need them to protect her in return. With dangers lurking in every shadow and waiting to explode, NO ONE is safe from the fallout. Don’t make assumptions when you open this book. You have no idea where it’s going. As usual, Denise Grover Swank is going to take everything you know about this series and remind you why she is a master storyteller. Are there shocks? You better believe it. Are secrets revealed? Better hang onto your hats. Will she wreak havoc on your emotions? Stock up on tissues, my friend. This book may be long, but I assure you it flies by at lightning speed. One of my favorite characters summed up what this series means to me when they said, “She’s taught me that life is meaningless without people to share it with.” Not only is this true in all of our lives, but it also sums up a world of readers who have come together for a common love of a young girl with visions and her cohorts. Rose reminds me to face what I fear, and go boldly into it, rather than back down and have regrets. THANK YOU DENISE, for sharing your characters and their stories with us, for taking us on a journey with you and them, and for taking a leap of faith all those years ago and bringing Rose to life. I’m so incredibly excited to see what trouble Rose and Neely Kate fall into in the new Rose Gardner Investigations series. We have so many adventures ahead, and I can’t wait to see where Denise takes us next!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Oh My Stars and Garters!!!!! What a Finale!!!!! If you have been a fan of the Rose Gardner Series, or a DGS fanatic like me, you are not going to want to miss this 9th book in the series. Everything is wrapped up for us in this instalment. We get so many answers, it's like a cheats book. So much happens with twists and turns, I could not put it down for the life of me. This book starts only five days after the last one finished. And poor Rose is still reeling from Mason needing to take some time t Oh My Stars and Garters!!!!! What a Finale!!!!! If you have been a fan of the Rose Gardner Series, or a DGS fanatic like me, you are not going to want to miss this 9th book in the series. Everything is wrapped up for us in this instalment. We get so many answers, it's like a cheats book. So much happens with twists and turns, I could not put it down for the life of me. This book starts only five days after the last one finished. And poor Rose is still reeling from Mason needing to take some time to process all that he learnt in Thirty-Five. But unfortunately she hasn't the luxury of curling up in bed and giving herself a huge pity party, there are deadlines to meet. The other characters all have major parts in this conclusion, some I predicted, but honestly, most will give you a gasp reaction. We finally get the insight of Violet's secret, Neely Kate has some sole searching to do, Skeeter, or as I will now be calling him, James takes on a new partner. Joe learns some amazing family secrets and Mason will stop at nothing to protect Rose. There is not too much more that I can add, without giving away any spoilers. Did Denise do a good job on this completion, of course! Are you going to be happy with the outcomes, most certainly. Am I going to read the new series, The Rose Gardner Investigations, hell yes! Thank you Denise for creating a character that has developed so well over the last nine books (plus novellas), thank you for not completely closing off Rose to us, and producing a new and fun series for her and Neely Kate. And thank you for allowing us the chance to dream with Rose. One of my favourite all time series that I am going to read again and again and again. <3

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sinead

    It's hard to put into words how much I love this book, this series, this author. I stayed up waiting until midnight for its release. Knowing full well that sleep wasn't a possibility when this beauty was in my kindle waiting for me! I am an avid reader and I have NEVER done that for another authors book. If you have read this far into Rose Gardner you will relate to how I'm feeling right now! This book was phenomenal. I won't give away any spoilers, I know I would have been pretty devastated if It's hard to put into words how much I love this book, this series, this author. I stayed up waiting until midnight for its release. Knowing full well that sleep wasn't a possibility when this beauty was in my kindle waiting for me! I am an avid reader and I have NEVER done that for another authors book. If you have read this far into Rose Gardner you will relate to how I'm feeling right now! This book was phenomenal. I won't give away any spoilers, I know I would have been pretty devastated if I had seen spoilers before the big release. It has been one of the best Rose Gardner books I have read yet, and that was a tough act to follow. I am so so glad we get more in the new separate series! And the teaser was juicy! Thank you so much Denise! Rose's first book, Twenty-Eight and a half wishes, was the book that brought me back reading again, something I had lost after a too long time spent in academics. I will forever be in your debt. I hope this series receives the recognition it truly deserves. Five sparkling stars for this absolute beauty.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    So disappointing .. No HEA. Nine books and I can't believe it ended this way. I really wish I wouldn't have read the series

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wade

    Oh what to say, what to say. I've been looking forward to this book for awhile. I pre-ordered it after I finished the last one (something I NEVER do). In fact, I even held off reading it for a few days so I could give it my full attention. I had so many questions and couldn't wait to dive in. It did not disappoint. There is so much going on, I had to read it all slowly just to make sure I got everything right. I really liked it and for the most part it ended how I thought it should. (Seriously- Oh what to say, what to say. I've been looking forward to this book for awhile. I pre-ordered it after I finished the last one (something I NEVER do). In fact, I even held off reading it for a few days so I could give it my full attention. I had so many questions and couldn't wait to dive in. It did not disappoint. There is so much going on, I had to read it all slowly just to make sure I got everything right. I really liked it and for the most part it ended how I thought it should. (Seriously- where is a real life Neely Kate?? LOVE that girl!!) ......HOWEVER...... ............ ........... .......... .......... ***************spoiler alert- don't read if you hate spoilers************* I can see where other reviewers are upset at the no happily ever after ending. (HEA- in case you didn't know what that acronym means. I had to look it up myself). While this series is obviously about Rose and her maturity ... a LOT of the plot is also based on her relationships with Joe and Mason. So much of each of the books are weaved around those guys and their relationships with Rose. Us readers are brought into their lives, we cry when they cry, we smile when they smile. I've been team Joe from day one. But I also really like Mason, so I could have gone with him too. I just wanted the decision to be made. So to go through ALL of these books (12 now, including the novellas) and still no answer- in some ways I feel cheated by the author. Like she was afraid to make a decision so she just made no decision. Up until now I felt my heart strings tug like crazy for each guy but now, to be left with nothing, I feel let down... almost cheated. I get why- I know this series will continue and I'm sure we'll see the characters jump in there too. But after 12 books, I think the author owed to the dedicated readers (seriously- 12 books! and a lot of sleepless nights!) to give us something. Even if it doesn't last or someone changes their mind or whatever, Joe or Mason should have had more of a romantic role in the finale of this book. Granted that may just be me and my love of happily Ever After's. There is another novella coming out this summer and I pray that it has a few chapters from Joe (and/or Mason's) perspective. I will buy that one, but as for the rest of the series- I highly doubt I will pre-order or anxiously await anything. After 12 books, my life needs to move on. I wish I could give this a glowing review and I really, really wanted to. But I was really let down by the ending. I get that the author wants to continue the series, but I think she could have done that with a romantic decision.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Rose and Skeeter brought JR Simmons' criminal empire crashing down. And now he's escaped from custody and has nothing to live for except revenge. With a final confrontation inevitable Rose and her friends find themselves scrambling to fit all the puzzle pieces together, to sort out friend from foe. She knows people are going to die, one of her visions showed that to her. What she doesn't know is who or what she can do to prevent it. Thirty-Six and a Half Motives is book nine of the Rose Gardner Rose and Skeeter brought JR Simmons' criminal empire crashing down. And now he's escaped from custody and has nothing to live for except revenge. With a final confrontation inevitable Rose and her friends find themselves scrambling to fit all the puzzle pieces together, to sort out friend from foe. She knows people are going to die, one of her visions showed that to her. What she doesn't know is who or what she can do to prevent it. Thirty-Six and a Half Motives is book nine of the Rose Gardner Mystery series and in some ways it's also the last book. What started out as very cute and fluffy has progressively gotten darker over the series until this final confrontation between the forces of good and evil. As a series it's great. It's not like so many other mystery series' which are basically the same book with a different cover and title –– the Rose Gardner series develops and evolves right along with the reader and that's really what sets it apart. Denise Grover Swank might be one more Southern Woman writing about a female sleuth but there is no forgetting her, she shines a little brighter, stands a little taller. When I'm looking for a book to read hers is one of the names I type into a search engine in the hope that she has something new.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie Dryden

    Ya know... I really hate doing this but that ending.... I hated it. I hate it. So disappointed right now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    TJ

    This was a really hard one to rate. As a story, it was an absolute 5, as a finale to a series, well.... that's why it's an overall four. Because it is the finale to the completely addictive and totally endearing Rose Gardner Mysteries, however, I have to review it as such. This series has been one of the most superbly written and completely enjoyable series I have honestly ever read. It is at the very top of my list of recommended reading! Ms. Swank has taken a character (Rose) and so eloquently This was a really hard one to rate. As a story, it was an absolute 5, as a finale to a series, well.... that's why it's an overall four. Because it is the finale to the completely addictive and totally endearing Rose Gardner Mysteries, however, I have to review it as such. This series has been one of the most superbly written and completely enjoyable series I have honestly ever read. It is at the very top of my list of recommended reading! Ms. Swank has taken a character (Rose) and so eloquently woven her from an insecure, naive but lovable young lady to a strong, confident yet compassionate woman. The character development grew so perfectly with each new installment that I stand in awe of the author! This was accomplished while still keeping readers on the edge of their seats and adoringly turning every page in each individual book. The mysteries were always engrossing with twists and turns that not even the best could figure out. Bravo, Denise!!! With each of the books, the romantic relationships Rose has carry just as strong a thread as do the mysteries, however. We absolutely fall in love with the men in her life! We ache with her, we struggle with her as she learns to love and grow from that love. That is the reason for the one star drop in the finale, though. Although, I completely understand (and even agree with) Ms. Swank's decision to end the series as she did, as it was the most believable choice and the one that stayed true to Rose's character, to be that invested in the romance side through all 9 books and then end the entire series without an HEA for her was a complete let-down from a readers stand-point. We love Rose, we want her to be happy. We have invested years in her life. To end it with no happiness.... UGH!! Luckily, we will get to see Rose in her spin-off series and, hopefully, Ms. Swank will incorporate her continued growth in those relationships and find a happy ending for her there.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Lancaster

    I finished this book over 24 hours ago and am still in a book hangover fog. I know that I will be this way for days. Denise has a way of pulling you into the story and making the characters feel so real that you are right there with them. This book wraps up the JR storyline that has been going on for quite sometime. Denise does an excellent job of drawing out the suspense and keeping you guessing as to what is going to happen. There are some shocking and ah-ha moments that I did not see coming. I finished this book over 24 hours ago and am still in a book hangover fog. I know that I will be this way for days. Denise has a way of pulling you into the story and making the characters feel so real that you are right there with them. This book wraps up the JR storyline that has been going on for quite sometime. Denise does an excellent job of drawing out the suspense and keeping you guessing as to what is going to happen. There are some shocking and ah-ha moments that I did not see coming. The major storylines are addressed and answers revealed. And yes, some things are left open ended; however, I believe that the important ones will carry over to the Rose Gardner Investigation Series. I'm so glad I took the chance and downloaded the free copy of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes over 2 1/2 years ago. It's been exciting be along Rose's journey as she had grown from the timid, innocent girl she was to the strong, independent, loving and fight for what she believes in woman she has become. I will be continuing this journey with her as long as Denise keeps writing them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn Kurtz

    I'm also giving this book 5 <3 and 5 crying emogis. This was a wonderful, loving, suspenseful, heartbreaking, emotional, heartwarming love story. It didn't have the ending I expected or wanted - but Denise Grover Swank wrote the perfect ending for "Thirty-Six and a Half Motives." I'm crying as I write this review, I loved this book so much. My heart is full. I'm not writing anymore because then my review would contain spoilers. Read the book, you will love it!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    April

    4.5 stars. What a great finale to a fantastic series! I can't wait for the Rose and NK spinoff! :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    5 Explosive Stars.... This series encompassed many elements including romance, mystery, and a touch of the supernatural, however, the essence of this series is Rose's journey to becoming the woman she is meant to be... I have stated before, that the character of Rose begins this journey as a naive, frightened, young girl; as we traveled through each book with her we watched her evolve into a strong willed, brave woman who followed her instincts in order to protect those she loved and endured the 5 Explosive Stars.... This series encompassed many elements including romance, mystery, and a touch of the supernatural, however, the essence of this series is Rose's journey to becoming the woman she is meant to be... I have stated before, that the character of Rose begins this journey as a naive, frightened, young girl; as we traveled through each book with her we watched her evolve into a strong willed, brave woman who followed her instincts in order to protect those she loved and endured the painful consequences of her choices... this finale continues in that same respect; the players are identified, secrets are revealed, and the clues are connected for an explosive finale that certainly had me holding my breath and shaking my head in astonishment... expect the unexpected as you travel this last leg of the journey with Rose and her friends to the heartbreaking but heartfelt conclusion... I feel strongly, that Denise Grover Swank has a beautiful gift, in that she creates characters that we adore but also respect; each character in this series makes realistic and authentic choices that have powerful consequences but also keep the story feeling genuine; Denise Grover Swank has brilliantly left some doors open and some questions unanswered going forward into her spinoff series that has me eagerly awaiting my journey through those novels...looking forward to the next adventure with Rose, Neely Kate, and Skeeter and all of the shenanigans they will undoubtedly create:)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Mccurdy

    ~~~~~~~~~WARNING, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THIS BOOK YET, DO NOT CONTINUE WITH THIS REVIEW~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I don't know where to even begin with this review. Let me start at the feelings part. OK, this book is way more than 5 stars. I took my time reading this book. I didn't fly through the book like I normally do. I wanted to make sure that I read everything, that I got what was going on, and made sure that I was feeling what was being por ~~~~~~~~~WARNING, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THIS BOOK YET, DO NOT CONTINUE WITH THIS REVIEW~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I don't know where to even begin with this review. Let me start at the feelings part. OK, this book is way more than 5 stars. I took my time reading this book. I didn't fly through the book like I normally do. I wanted to make sure that I read everything, that I got what was going on, and made sure that I was feeling what was being portrayed. What I am feeling from this book, is relief, sadness, happy, confusion. There was still one question that I felt never got answered. Maybe it did and I read over it, but I felt that it wasn't answered. She swears it was Joe's but, Kate was adamant that it wasn't.  There was also Hilary's and Mason's connection, other than that Denise did an amazing job with finishing the series and wrapping it up perfectly. Thirty- Six will leave you in a major book hangover. Just when you think you may recover, you think about it again, then the hangover hits you. There is so many things that I want to write about, but that would totally defeat the purpose of you reading the book. You NEED to read this book. You NEED to finish the series. You WILL love this book and how it ends. Denise poured her heart, soul, body, mind, love and whatever else you can think of, she put it in this book. She loves her characters, she makes them her children, her best friend etc. She wants you to love them just as much as she loves them. If you have started this series, at the very beginning with 28 and a Half Wishes, then you need to finish the series! You will not be disappointed at all!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angela Shockley

    “It all started when I saw myself dead.” That’s how the Rose Gardner Mysteries began in Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. How could it possibly end well for Rose Gardner and her cohorts? It’s not easy to write a review for such a phenomenal story without revealing spoilers, but I’m going to do my best. I was given the task of summing up this final installment with one word: explosive. Denise Grover Swank is at the top of her game in Thirty-Six and a Half Motives. She holds nothing back, makes some “It all started when I saw myself dead.” That’s how the Rose Gardner Mysteries began in Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. How could it possibly end well for Rose Gardner and her cohorts? It’s not easy to write a review for such a phenomenal story without revealing spoilers, but I’m going to do my best. I was given the task of summing up this final installment with one word: explosive. Denise Grover Swank is at the top of her game in Thirty-Six and a Half Motives. She holds nothing back, makes some bold decisions, and by the end the fallout is unavoidable. You get the finish every character deserves in the JR Simmons saga that has ruined so many lives. All the dirty secrets and lies come to a head in one heck of a finale. Plans explode. Relationships explode. There’s even literal explosions. Every character’s true colors shine through. While you don’t get answers to everything, there are answers for: Mason’s relationship with Rose The identity of Rose’s father Kate’s real reason for pestering everyone in Fenton County Why Hilary Wilder would follow Joe Simmons to the end of the world JR Simmons’ endgame The identity of Anna and what role she plays in the bigger picture …and much more! I normally give some sort of “MVP” of the book, but in this instance everyone who mattered was most valuable. Skeeter Malcolm is swoon worthy. Jed Carlisle is one heck of a fearless protector. Joe Simmons is the guy you always want at your back. Mason is the boyfriend everyone wishes they could have. Neely Kate is the bestest of the best friends a girl could ever hope for. Maeve Deveraux is the mother all of these characters have been missing from their lives. The pacing is fast. I read the entire book in a handful of hours. There’s even a fair share of surprises that I’m not going to reveal here. I’m keeping this spoiler-free after all! Let me just say that I laughed, cried, and was left in shock MANY times throughout this 117K word masterpiece. One of my favorite quotes expresses just how I feel about the Rose Gardner Mysteries and Denise Grover Swank’s writing as a whole: “She’s taught me life is meaningless without people to share it with.” I want to share this book with the world. Where can a story like this end? You’ll just have to read it for yourself.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This series has been my guilty pleasure and it kinda snuck up on me how much I started to really like the books. Rose Gardner never fails to entertain, as was the case with this book. But as much as I wanted to give it a 5-star rating to show my appreciation for the series, I didn't like the ending. I didn't necessarily need a happy ending, but Mason's reasoning seemed to come out of nowhere and seemed a bit unfair to Rose. Throughout the book he tells Rose that he wants to fix them when she's fi This series has been my guilty pleasure and it kinda snuck up on me how much I started to really like the books. Rose Gardner never fails to entertain, as was the case with this book. But as much as I wanted to give it a 5-star rating to show my appreciation for the series, I didn't like the ending. I didn't necessarily need a happy ending, but Mason's reasoning seemed to come out of nowhere and seemed a bit unfair to Rose. Throughout the book he tells Rose that he wants to fix them when she's finished with J.R. but then when they're finally past all that he breaks up with her. Well actually I'm not really sure what he was saying because he told her it's not really goodbye and mayby the timing would be better later? What kind of a breakup is that.. Also I did not like that he actually made the decision for her by breaking up with her (which admittedly Rose did earlier with him) and he didn't even ask if she wanted to settle down with him. Even though I understand the sentiment that Rose has grown so much since the first book and has become a strong independent woman that mayby just needs to live a little bit without a man by her side, this putting Mason and Rose in some kind of limbo did not work for me and their break up could have been handled better. What I did really like about this book was the amount of Skeeter and Jed, those dudes are awesome. Also the showdown at the end of the book with all the important players together worked very well. There were the usual twists as well, especially NK's parentage I didn't see coming. I'm not sure however if the angst with Violet was necessary, since it didn't really work. If felt a bit forced and too much, but we do know now that Rose really was a Gardner so there's that. I'm sad to see this series 'ending', but I'll definitely be reading more of Rose and NK's adventures in the future (hopefully there will be plenty of Skeeter and Jed as well). Despite the ending with Mason, the rest of the book was well done and it was a good conclusion to the series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    I have never been so addicted to a series. This one had me from the first book. I have never anticipated the release of a book like I did this one, book 9. I rearranged my life around it so I could binge read! That is how much I loved this series! I loved Rose and watching her grow and change and develop real friendships and love relationships. From being alone in the world and beaten down she moved on to having a whole host of really sincere friends and developed into a very strong, smart, inde I have never been so addicted to a series. This one had me from the first book. I have never anticipated the release of a book like I did this one, book 9. I rearranged my life around it so I could binge read! That is how much I loved this series! I loved Rose and watching her grow and change and develop real friendships and love relationships. From being alone in the world and beaten down she moved on to having a whole host of really sincere friends and developed into a very strong, smart, independent woman. I love that her friendships include such a variety of characters. Who doesn't love Skeeter, Jed, Neely Kate, Jonah and Bruce Wayne? And that's all credit to Rose. She brings out the best in those around her and gives even an underdog a chance. This is the last book in the JR series and it was a real page turner. I lost some sleep with this book because I couldn't put it down! We went into this final book in the series with so many questions. The answers came but along with them lots of twists and turns. What a wild ride! I cried and laughed and held my breath. It's a little mystery, a little romance, a little suspense, a little something for everyone. And I am so grateful that Rose is continuing on in a new series "Family Jewels." I am not ready to say goodbye to her just yet. It is just so amazing to me how Denise Grover Swank brings these characters to life. Everyone needs a best friend like Neely Kate or a protector like Jed. I feel like I know them all. I guess that is a good indication of a truly great author! Thank you DGS for ALL of your great books! I can't wait to see how Rose continues on and all of her friends are along for the ride.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Wow!! Amazing!! Truly incredible. ***** "Thirty-Six and a Half Motives" by Denise Grover Swank Wow!! Amazing!! Incredible!! The author uses this last book of the series to put an end to the loose pieces and larger parts. Almost every piece of the puzzle has been placed. It is complete. She brigs it all to a close with a punch!! Fast moving and sometimes complicated there is not a stone unturned. Engaging isn't an adequate word. Ensnaring might be strong enough. It pulls the reader in and in and i Wow!! Amazing!! Truly incredible. ***** "Thirty-Six and a Half Motives" by Denise Grover Swank Wow!! Amazing!! Incredible!! The author uses this last book of the series to put an end to the loose pieces and larger parts. Almost every piece of the puzzle has been placed. It is complete. She brigs it all to a close with a punch!! Fast moving and sometimes complicated there is not a stone unturned. Engaging isn't an adequate word. Ensnaring might be strong enough. It pulls the reader in and in and in again, until we are fully submerged in the novel. It is truly a book the reader can't/won't put down. The author has written a one of a kind gem. It is a hard concept for lovers of this series to accept that this is the last book, the finale, never another to follow... What now??? Rose isn't done. She is blooming and changing and growing more everyday; and so are many of the characters. These threads need to continue to be seen until there is nothing left but a true masterpiece. So, it turns out we can grieve and mourn a series that so many waited (im)patiently for the next book to be released over the last five years... We can do so knowing Rose's story will continue. It will do so via a spin off: "Rose Gardner Investigators." Oh and there will be one last novella this summer for the Rose Gardner Mystery series. This is a monumental book. An end we all knew was coming...but just couldn't believe. Denise Grover Swank wrote a finale like no other. A true and powerful ending!! An amazing, incredible, and wow finale. *** Note: Do not read this one if you haven't read others. Lots of spoilers in the final novel. But well worth the wait.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Did I devour this book in one day? Heck yes. Was there twists and unexpected revelations? You betcha. Did I appreciate Rose's transformation? Absolutely. So why not 5 stars? Well, because I'm a big cry baby who doesn't like my heart shattered and that's what happened with all that happened to Joe. I am perfectly alright with Rose not ending up with someone, so this was not a problem for me, at all. People will say she didn't get her HEA, but she is just beginning her life, so I can handle that. Did I devour this book in one day? Heck yes. Was there twists and unexpected revelations? You betcha. Did I appreciate Rose's transformation? Absolutely. So why not 5 stars? Well, because I'm a big cry baby who doesn't like my heart shattered and that's what happened with all that happened to Joe. I am perfectly alright with Rose not ending up with someone, so this was not a problem for me, at all. People will say she didn't get her HEA, but she is just beginning her life, so I can handle that. Plus, she is happy; she's just not settled down and having to rely or check in on a man. Good for Rose for taking a lyric from Beyoncé and being all independent woman. I can appreciate the fact that she needs to be on her own for a bit. I like that she is going to find her own happy. I think what I really just cannot get over is the lack of closure with Joe's character. I'm sorry I just love him too much. I know, it's not his story. I know the fact that I want it all makes me a greedy bitch. I just cannot help it. I'm sorry. We met Joe in book twenty eight, which is book one. I get that we get the story from Rose's POV, but this series was also very much about him growing and stepping out from under his father. Yea, there is some resolution between him and Rose in this book and a step towards a friendship (Did I mention I hated the friend zoning of them?) Yea, yea, I'm a brat. So yea, I really did love the book. I'm just dropping that 1 little star because I'm a spoiled brat.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shawna Wood (A Girl and Her Books)

    Holy Hell, this book was everything. I was yelling and screaming and running around my apartment with all that went on. Denise Grover Swank crafted a brilliant final chapter, that was full of danger, intrigue and shock. It's bitter sweet to see this chapter end in the lives of these characters that have become my extended family. It was so easy to get caught up in the story of Rose Gardner. A girl who was beaten down by the one person who was meant to love her. She had no life, no friends and no Holy Hell, this book was everything. I was yelling and screaming and running around my apartment with all that went on. Denise Grover Swank crafted a brilliant final chapter, that was full of danger, intrigue and shock. It's bitter sweet to see this chapter end in the lives of these characters that have become my extended family. It was so easy to get caught up in the story of Rose Gardner. A girl who was beaten down by the one person who was meant to love her. She had no life, no friends and no hope for a future. Her whole life changes the day she gets vision of her own death. She went from having nothing to having a full and happy life through the course of the series. Rose became a strong independent women, able to stand on her own two feet. She went from being the victim, to taking control of her life and refusing to let anyone keep her down. She stood up to the forces that were trying to take her and her loved ones down. Refusing to back down or cower in the corner. Rose truly found her on HEA in the book. It may not be what some people want, but it is true to the story and to her character. This was the end of one chapter in Rose's life, but not the end. The book tied the whole series together and set up the next stage in Rose's life. I can't wait to see what the future holds for Rose, Neely Kate, Skeeter and Joe as they begin to navigate the fallout from this book into the spinoff series. In Ms. Swanks hands, the new chapter will not disappoint

  21. 4 out of 5

    MarQuinta Moore

    This was the book that I have been waiting for! Rose was so strong, and smart, a total badass, and FINALLY realized a few truths about some relationships that she was in, she may not have wanted to realize these things but none of the other characters would let her escape them. I loved every second of it. I loved how so many characters are finally seeing how much Rose has changed, and getting her to realize it as well. I loved that all of the questions, except one, were answered, and the final s This was the book that I have been waiting for! Rose was so strong, and smart, a total badass, and FINALLY realized a few truths about some relationships that she was in, she may not have wanted to realize these things but none of the other characters would let her escape them. I loved every second of it. I loved how so many characters are finally seeing how much Rose has changed, and getting her to realize it as well. I loved that all of the questions, except one, were answered, and the final showdown was amazing. It left me a little surprised, what does not happen often. There were a few twist and turns in this book and it kept me glued to my kindle, it also gave me a few laugh out loud moments, and made me fall in love with a few characters. Even though the guy I wanted did not end up with Rose, I am very happy with the way it ended, Rose knows that she is a strong woman, and will finally get to have the freedom that she never got to experience before, but if she decided to experience some of that freedom by dating Skeeter that would be great too, even if he is not the guy that I want her to be with. At first I was one of the people that wanted the series to end, but know that all, but one, of my questions has been answered I am definitely looking forward to the new series and seeing what new things that Rose and NK can get themselves into.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Turner long

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is hard for me to give this book four stars because the series as a whole is five but not this book. It defiantly was a great, can't put you down read. I felt like the last fourth of the book was rushed without enough explanation with the twists and turns we've all grown to love in this series. This book just seemed lacking at the end. I understand that the Rose story is continuing but this book wasn't up to the others standards. I didn't need a HEA. I am glad she didn't settle but cut the This is hard for me to give this book four stars because the series as a whole is five but not this book. It defiantly was a great, can't put you down read. I felt like the last fourth of the book was rushed without enough explanation with the twists and turns we've all grown to love in this series. This book just seemed lacking at the end. I understand that the Rose story is continuing but this book wasn't up to the others standards. I didn't need a HEA. I am glad she didn't settle but cut the cord. He's 33 wanting a family, he not that into her if he isn't wanting that without her. I love how she's grown. I can't wait to read what's next. I have been secretly team Skeeter for a few books now but would have been happy Mason. All the "I love you but love isn't enough" was total BS to me. Just rubbed me the wrong way. I would have rather them been more like "we're better as friends" than "the timing isn't right." I'm looking forward to who her next love interest is and for goodness sakes, she can fall for the wrong guy a few times without it being a relationship. I would love to she her next relationship be Skeeter but I like her to not jump into another love of her life right away. And I kinda don't like her going for a man whose already somewhat confessed his love. I would have rather had that sexual tention turn into something more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Hordon

    Book 9 when all the questions would be answered, all the secrets would be revealed and Rose would live Happily Ever After??????? Um yeah nope, not even close there are shocks, surprises and I'm not giving any spoilers :-) this is a must read series final that will leave you wishing you could read it all over again for the first time. I have loved Rose from book 1 she was sweet naive and just the kindest person you couldn't help but love her, by the end of book 9 I am still loving her even though s Book 9 when all the questions would be answered, all the secrets would be revealed and Rose would live Happily Ever After??????? Um yeah nope, not even close there are shocks, surprises and I'm not giving any spoilers :-) this is a must read series final that will leave you wishing you could read it all over again for the first time. I have loved Rose from book 1 she was sweet naive and just the kindest person you couldn't help but love her, by the end of book 9 I am still loving her even though she has changed and evolved, Rose is now stronger, smarter, sassier and just plain wonderful, when you read these 9 books and realise everything she has been through in just a year, you think omg how is this woman holding all together well that there just shows her strength of character and her never say die attitude and that's what makes Rose who she is one amazing awesome person. Rose and NK's friendship is amazing I love the way Denise writes her female friendships, they are special they go beyond family it's more a soulmate connection without the romance side of things it's a deeper connection that will stand the test of time. I can see Rose, NK, Jed and Skeeter being very active together solving mysteries in the new series I am so looking forward to that.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sudha

    Spoilers ahead: Finished reading the book in just two days and my head is reeling with questions. 1. This book had fewer visions of future which is good for a change. But, wasn't Rose supposed to blurt out everything she sees? How could she have kept the secret to herself when she saw the vision of Jed's future? 2. Kate is seeking revenge on her father. And planted a bomb in the Atchinson factory. But, what was the need to invite her brother(Joe) whom she loves and Mason(who did not harm her in any Spoilers ahead: Finished reading the book in just two days and my head is reeling with questions. 1. This book had fewer visions of future which is good for a change. But, wasn't Rose supposed to blurt out everything she sees? How could she have kept the secret to herself when she saw the vision of Jed's future? 2. Kate is seeking revenge on her father. And planted a bomb in the Atchinson factory. But, what was the need to invite her brother(Joe) whom she loves and Mason(who did not harm her in any way)? 3. Towards the climax, Hillary makes some allegations about Mason, which are left unexplained! Are the readers supposed to assume they're just false? 4. A lot of talking about Ronnie(Neely Kate's husband) siding with the bad guys. No explanation of the situation. 5. Also, Joe got hold of Dora's Journal(in Thirty-five and a half...) which played absolutely no role in bringing JR down. However, I liked the book about how the author has developed the characters throughout the series. But, these people seem to eat out a lot :P. Also, the author seemed to have been in a hurry to wrap-up the series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    It's not over yet... I just finished this book so I need to get my review out while it's still fresh in my mind. I fell in love with Rose in Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes and love her still through her many predicaments, loves and losses and evolution from a scared beat down girl to a strong force to be reckoned with young woman. Thirty Six and a Half Motives answers many questions and signifies the end of some key characters but we know this is not the end for Rose. I have never felt such emoti It's not over yet... I just finished this book so I need to get my review out while it's still fresh in my mind. I fell in love with Rose in Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes and love her still through her many predicaments, loves and losses and evolution from a scared beat down girl to a strong force to be reckoned with young woman. Thirty Six and a Half Motives answers many questions and signifies the end of some key characters but we know this is not the end for Rose. I have never felt such emotion as I do when I read Rose Gardner books and this was no exception. It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. So many OMG moments! As much as I am sad to see this series end, I am excited to see what the future brings for Rose and her motley crew of friends and family. There are still some unanswered questions which I hope will be addressed in her new series as well. Denise Grover Swank is a wonderful author and I am thankful that she shares her talent with the world.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The writing is great as always. Another suspenseful story. But I must admit that I'm very disappointed with the ending, especially since its the last book of the series. I was upset when Joe broke up with Rose originally and I hoped that they would get back together, but then I fell in love with the idea of Rose and Mason together. But to end this series with Mason ending things with Rose (though a possibility of a future for them eventually) was just sad. I'm just hoping that with the new Rose The writing is great as always. Another suspenseful story. But I must admit that I'm very disappointed with the ending, especially since its the last book of the series. I was upset when Joe broke up with Rose originally and I hoped that they would get back together, but then I fell in love with the idea of Rose and Mason together. But to end this series with Mason ending things with Rose (though a possibility of a future for them eventually) was just sad. I'm just hoping that with the new Rose Gardner series we will see Rose and Mason get back together. And it would be nice to know what happened to Ronnie as well. Maybe some of the things that weren't resolved, like where Neely Kate learned how to use a gun and maybe whatever else she seems to be hiding from Rose about her past, will be sorted out in the new series. At least I can hope for that.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    What a roller coaster this series has been. I wish I had enjoyed the end more. Plot-wise, everything is mostly tied up nicely. Relationship-wise, not so much, and I found I really wanted that after all the chaos in Rose's journey. I am unsure if I will continue on to the next series. I have enjoyed watching Rose grow, but the ending (no spoilers) was difficult. True to the characters, but not very fun to read. Such is life?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After 9 books, I think the author should have given the readers and Rose a HEA. I am very disappointed at wasting my time and money on this series. Edit: This review is not requesting a refund, and it's extremely poor form to call out reviews on social media.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I didn’t enjoy this one for several reasons. First and foremost because Rose & Mason don’t end up together. Noting that the author is writing a spin off series about Rose seems to be the main motivation for that rather and a number of other things that bugged me such as the transformation of Neely Kate from Rose’s bubbly happily married friend into a tortured woman with a hidden past, Ronnie’s sudden elevation to the criminal element and disappearance and the revelation the Joe & Neely K I didn’t enjoy this one for several reasons. First and foremost because Rose & Mason don’t end up together. Noting that the author is writing a spin off series about Rose seems to be the main motivation for that rather and a number of other things that bugged me such as the transformation of Neely Kate from Rose’s bubbly happily married friend into a tortured woman with a hidden past, Ronnie’s sudden elevation to the criminal element and disappearance and the revelation the Joe & Neely Kate are related. And my lord does DGS hate babies or something. She killed off four of them before they were even born. Now onto the plot of this one which I also found lacking. The previous book was tense and exciting and we finally get resolution of the JR storyline and then suddenly we have to go back and do it all again. I must say I thought the mysterious female villain behind everything would be Hilary (based I my reasoning that she is the woman mostly likely to want Rose dead) and the more everything pointed to Kate the more convinced I was it was Hilary so I was surprised that Kate actually was a crazy person trying to kill everyone. And that brings me to some other majorly annoying plot holes and co-incidences that bugged me: 1. Kate’s omniescent knowledge of abso- fucking-lutley everything that was and had gone on in everyone’s lives. I mean this woman had copies of police report, photos of people at various times, knowldge and case reports for Mason's old cases, knew about Neely Kate, knew Rose was going to be arrested within minutes of that decision etc. I mean from the level of her knowledge I was kind of expecting her to work for the CIA or something not just be a crazy pants stalker who managed tofind out every single detail of everyones’ lives without anyone (including her own relatives) noticing she was there. 2. That Neely Kate basically becomes a different character with her mysterious past and that she chucks a frickin tanty every time Rose doesn’t instantly inform her of everything happening in Rose’s life yet tells Rose her supposed BFF soulmate nothing about her own life and gets cross with her for asking. 3. The Neely Kate turns out to be JR’s daughter. 4. Kate’s crazy pants plans to kill everyone. I get her wanting to kill JR and maybe even Hilary although killing her cause they didn’t get along as kids seems excessive but I could see no reason for her desire to include Rose & Mason in her plans.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rhea

    I will start this review by saying that I was part of the group of Rose Gardner fans that did not want this series to end or to change. I love all the characters, good and bad. I have been TeamMason from his beginning in the series but I care about Joe too. When I began this last book, I read it slowly because I didn't want to get to the ending and lose characters I loved. The mystery and storyline were the usual Rose books that I love but the reason I couldn't give it 5 stars was that the end c I will start this review by saying that I was part of the group of Rose Gardner fans that did not want this series to end or to change. I love all the characters, good and bad. I have been TeamMason from his beginning in the series but I care about Joe too. When I began this last book, I read it slowly because I didn't want to get to the ending and lose characters I loved. The mystery and storyline were the usual Rose books that I love but the reason I couldn't give it 5 stars was that the end chapters felt rushed and left a lot of loose ends for many characters. Now if those characters will be in the new Rose series, maybe they'll be tied up but I'm doubting it. There were so many emotional events for so many characters and it felt like the book was just shut without resolving things for them or even letting us know how they were dealing with the fallout. I'm really surprised because the very best part of this series, and Denise Grover Swank's writing, is her character development, the way she makes you care about the characters on a very visceral level. So to be so cold at the end and not take us on their final journeys feels wrong. Hopefully, there will be a novella told from their perspectives to give us all closure. Of course, I will read the new Rose series. I'm sitting here typing this next to my "Crappy Doodles" mug and I love Rose. But I really don't want the series to change into something silly and superficial. Honestly, Neely Kate is not my favorite character and if the first chapter of the new series with characters like Marci is any indication, I'm not very optimistic. I already know I'm not a Magnolia Steele fan and I really wish the author would continue her older series like she said she would. Now I have more grieving to do.

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