Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Review: Konigsburg Bk 4 - Long Time Gone © Meg Benjamin

Long Time Gone (Konigsburg, Book 4)

Author: Meg Benjamin
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy Link

A future with the woman of his dreams is within his grasp…if the past will stay that way.

Konigsburg, Book 4

Erik Toleffson wasn’t looking to become Chief of Police. He’s got enough trouble trying to rebuild his relationship with his three brothers who, until just recently, ran the other way when he approached. He’s not the bully they grew up with, but bad memories are tough to overcome.
Morgan Barrett is as worn out as a vat full of crushed grape skins. She never planned to run Cedar Creek Winery, but there’s no one else to shoulder the load as her father recovers from an injury. All she needs is a little sleep. Just a five-minute nap in the booth at the Dew Drop Inn…if that guy across the bar would stop staring at her as if putting her head down on the table is a crime.
After Morgan yawns in Erik’s face, there’s nowhere to go but up. With time, though, their relationship warms like a perfectly blended Bordeaux. Until the shady mayor digs into Erik’s past and dredges up information that could drive a permanent wedge between him and his brothers—and sour any chance of a future with Morgan.

Erik Toleffson hated the Dew Drop Inn in downtown Konigsburg, Texas, with a loathing that was deep and abiding. It wasn’t just because he didn’t drink—he could tolerate most bars without any problem. But the Dew Drop wasn’t most bars.

It was so dark it reminded him of a cave—he half-expected to see bats hanging from the rafters. And bats might have been an improvement over some of the bar’s customers, particularly considering that Erik, one of Konigsburg’s limited supply of cops, had had professional interactions with several of them. There was Otto Friedrich, the high school football coach, whom he’d decked a couple of years ago for attempting to assault Erik’s future sister-in-law. And Billy Jo Slidell, who’d had a couple of DUIs in the last month that ended with Erik tossing him into what passed for a drunk tank in the Konigsburg jail. And Brendan Fowler, who’d had to bail out Mrs. Fowler, Marlene, after she’d thrown a punch at Ethel Overmeyer. Erik wasn’t sure what the origin of the fight had been, but Ethel outweighed Marlene by about fifty pounds and was just getting ready to throw her own punch when he intervened, so he figured Marlene was lucky to have gotten off with a fine.

Given his choice, he’d have hung out at the Coffee Corral or even Brenner’s Restaurant down the street, although he couldn’t afford to eat much more than a couple of dinner rolls there. But his brothers liked the Dew Drop, and Erik wasn’t ready to complain about it now that they’d started including him in their five o’clock get-togethers. It hadn’t been all that long ago they’d have been running in the other direction if they saw him coming, given his standard practice of beating the crap out of them until they’d been old enough to fight him off singly and in a group.

Not that he blamed them for that. In their place, he would have done the same thing. He’d even be willing to let them beat him to a bloody pulp now if they’d like to take him on, assuming it might help to even the score from their childhood.

© Meg Benjamin

My Thoughts

If there is one book that I have been anticipating this year it would be this one. From the first moment I read VENUS IN BLUE JEANS the first in the Konigsburg series I fell in love, with the characters, with the storylines but most importantly with small town Konigsburg itself.

This fourth book is Erik Toleffson’s story and it was a treat worth waiting for. Erik has been in Konigsburg for a while and because he has a specific reasons for being there and he is willing to put up with the weirdness that is Konigsburg in order to see things through to the end. Being in town he naturally gravity towards what he knows for a job – security, and  through a series of unpleasant events he now finds himself as a candidate for the position of Chief of Police of the town.

Erik is a dark soul, the dark horse among his brothers and he often feel that he is more or less getting his just deserve for some of the things he did in his younger years. If there is one thing that Erik would hope for even wish for, it would be what his three brother’s have – someone to call his own, someone who love him and someone that he is able to squeeze into the both at the Drew Drop just as his brothers do with their wives.

With no prospect on the female front Erik is a little surprised and caught out if truth be told when he perks up at meeting Morgan Barrett. Morgan is in Konigsburg dealing with her father’s vineyard and she has her own set of struggles to deal with – but for some reason she seems to like him – Alot.

Morgan despite all the personal problems she is having with her family knows a good thing when she feels it and one Erik Toleffson just about knocks her socks off. Meeting him might present a problem but with some rather nasty business happening in town and on the hillside of Konigsburg Morgan gets her chance for a one to one with Erik sooner rather than later and not under ideal circumstances.

The two do hook up but with Konigsburg being Konigsburg – nothing is as straight forward as it seems, there’s plotting, there undercutting, there’s brother’s trying to connect and a biker rally that just might be the last straw that breaks the camel back.

Erik's story is more than I could ask for, he is the dark brother, the one who always seems to be in the shadows yet somehow always in the right place as the right time – if you speak to any of his sisters-in-law that is.  

Erik's story is not pretty and in the previous three books Ms. Benjamin had given us sneak peeks at each Toleffson’s brother experience with Erik and it was not pretty. Erik sharing his story is probably one of the highlight of this book for me.  I saw how a good kid turned bad, then rotten and through just a struck of luck and much willpower he made good.

Being in Konigsburg is all about reconnecting with his brothers and their family, the Chief of Police gig just happens to be one of the list of things that rubs Erik the wrong way about the town. Some things are part and parcel of the town, like the Drew Drop with it’s questionable food and even scarier waitresses, then there is the people – they are just odd and Konigsburg would not be the same without them if truth be told, but then there are things that Erik knows he can make a difference with and the Chief of Police job is just about top of the list.    

Things are not on the up and up in the town and Erik literally has an uphill battle not only corralling the towns small police force but the multitude of hidden secrets that seems to be popping up on his watch.

Morgan is learning the business of wine and wine production – but at the rate of how things are going she will be old and grey before her opinion is of any value to anything in the family run business, and that is where much of her headache stems from. Thankfully meeting Erik while a non starter for a few day seem to be the one of the better things that is happening in her life of late. 

Together they click, where Erik is pessimistic, Morgan tends to always look on the bright side of life, they both have a pretty good attitude towards work and knows when to give each other space to find themselves yet they are not opposed to pushing for what they want as well.  

I could feel their connection and while they made it no secret that they were together, I do like the fact that they lived their life on their terms and made their own mistakes in regards to how they manage their relationship. Small town is not the easiest of place to make a hook up much less try to build a relationship when neither party is sure if they would be living there at the end of the summer.

There are a few suspenseful storyline running through this book that just give the feel of a small-town where there is a whole lot of maggots in the woodwork and my one niggle of the book stems from this.  I thought all the story lines were realistic and suited to the small-town scene however one of the minor plotline was wrapped up too easily for me.

New characters makes their debut in this book and some are scarier than hell, but I am pleased old friends were not left out in LONG TIME GONE and between the Toleffson boys and the gang that hangs out with them – I had a treat seeing then interact with each other and I could not fall in love with these people more even if I tried.  

Ms. Benjamin style is one I love, she had somehow manage to find that balance between a decent plot, characters that you really can’t get enough of and actually look forward to every journey with – add to that she tosses in her brand of sarcastic humour that had me really laughing out loud many many times.

With this fourth Ms. Benjamin has even freshen up the town, after three books I thought I knew the layout and idiosyncrasy of Konigsburg and it’s residence and yet she is still able to surprise me with just how complex this simply little town of Konigsburg is. I do really love this small-town. 

I could go on and on about how much this book works for me – I will stop here and say hands down this is a must read series and LONG TIME GONE is a perfect addition to the Konigsburg set of book.  

Books in Series

Venue in Blue Jeans – Review HERE

Wedding Bell Blues – Review HERE

Be My Baby – Review HERE

P.S. I would not recommend these book be read on there own.  

11 Speak To Me:

Meg Benjamin on 13 July 2010 at 13:46 said...

Thanks so much--I'm so glad you liked it!

Fiction Vixen on 13 July 2010 at 16:58 said...

Oh nice review! I will check this series out for sure!

Eyre on 13 July 2010 at 17:30 said...

Oh, this sounds like a great series!

Chris on 13 July 2010 at 20:23 said...

Someday, when/if I start reading m/f again. :)

Sassy Brit on 13 July 2010 at 20:34 said...

Sounds good, thanks!

Great review.

Erotic Horizon on 13 July 2010 at 21:53 said...

@Meg..

Congrats on the release and thanks for another great addition to the Konigsburg collection...

I could not have asked for more for Erik...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 13 July 2010 at 21:54 said...

@FV..

Please do hon - it is a good one..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 13 July 2010 at 21:56 said...

@Eyre..

I think you would like this one hon - small town , fun characters and a full series at your finger tip...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 13 July 2010 at 21:58 said...

@Sassy..

Thanks hon.. this was a good one...

E.H >

Lesley-Ann on 19 July 2010 at 18:54 said...

I have just this minute finished reading the book and found it everything I could possibly hope for. Having the first three books installed on my ereader I have read them several times, first to third book in order.

I have loved all three and am more than happy to add the fourth brother's story to the reading order.


It was such a lovely surprise when I saw it instore this afternoon, one quick buy later I had it ready to read, now three hours later I find myself looking forward to a re-reading.

One of those few that seem worth re-reading to get the warm fuzzy and contended feeling when you reach the finish. Too few of those type of reads around.

Erotic Horizon on 20 July 2010 at 11:03 said...

@Lesley Ann..

Another Konisburger like myself I see.

I so agree with your entire post.. I am a little reluctant to enquire if this is the last book in the series - as I would have a mini break down, I really would...

I really could not ask for a better story for Erik or a better partner... he is my favourite actually, and Docia my fav girl...

I really do wish I could find more books like this... Benjamin hit a winner with me with this series..

E.H>