#FlashbackFriday (Saturday Edition) – Living the Vida Lola (A Lola Cruz Mystery) by Melissa Bourbon #Review / #Giveaway



On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

This week got away from me and I wasn’t able to prepare this post for yesterday. 

Living the Vida Lola (A Lola Cruz Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Henery Press (January 29, 2019)
Hardcover: 274 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114462
ISBN-13: 978-1635114461
Paperback: 274 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114438
ISBN-13: 978-1635114430

Meet Lola Cruz. After paying her dues as an intern, she’s now a full-fledged detective at Camacho and Associates. Her boss is Manny Camacho, a muy caliente former cop with a mysterious ex-wife, a Lara Croft look-alike girlfriend, and a sudden personal interest in Lola.


Her first big case? A missing mother who may not want to be found. And to make her already busy life even more complicated, Lola’s helping her cousin plan her quinceañera and battling her family and their old-fashioned views on women and careers. She’s also reunited with the gorgeous Jack Callaghan, her high school crush whom she shamelessly tailed years ago and photographed doing the horizontal salsa with some other lucky girl.


Lola takes it all in stride, but when the subject of her search ends up dead, she realizes she has a lot more to worry about. Soon she finds herself wrapped up in the possibly shady practices of a tattoo parlor, local politics, and someone with serious—maybe deadly—road rage. To top it all off, her treasured post-coital pictures of Jack are missing!


Still, Lola is well-equipped to handle these challenges. She’s a black-belt in kung fu, and her body isn’t her only weapon. She’s got smarts, sass, and more tenacity than her Mexican mafioso-wannabe grandfather. A few of her famous margaritas don’t hurt, either.

This book was published originally back in 2009 under the author name Misa Ramirez and has now been rereleased by Henery Press .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been looking forward to reading this series for a long time.  I thought this would be the perfect time to dive into them but after reading this first book I find myself conflicted. I really didn’t like Lola. I was expecting her to be more like Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum but she was more like a lovesick 28-year-old stuck in the past.  She is now a true Private Investigator with her first big case but seems more concentrated on the fact that her high school crush is now interested in her. She can’t get her mind off a risque picture she took of him several years ago that she still keeps under her pillow. She finally gets her mind on the case but if I didn’t know this was a series I would have thought she would be dead by the end of the book.

Jack was also pretty full of himself, Lola’s brother can be a real jerk, Lola’s parents while over the top sure don’t want their daughter to be a private eye, and the staff at the P.I. office just felt swarmy to me. All the characters are well defined I just had trouble finding rewarding characteristics within them.

The mystery was very overshadowed by everything else going on in the book but I was determined to finish the story to see how it came together. There were off the wall twists and truly unbelievable turns but I was somewhat surprised when all was revealed.

I absolutely love Melissa Bourbon’s Magical Dressmaking Series so I am truly disappointed to find the Lola series is just not for me. I am rounding up to 3 stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”