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Close to the Bone

(Widow's Island #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  13,263 ratings  ·  597 reviews
FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island.

Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on
Kindle Edition, 94 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Montlake Romance
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Denise I had the same question. Seems that they are alternating writing books in a series of novellas. I found an article about this here:
I had the same question. Seems that they are alternating writing books in a series of novellas. I found an article about this here:

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  13,263 ratings  ·  597 reviews

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Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sandra by: Luli
FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is summoned back home to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest (Widow's Island) because a teenager's skeletal remains have been found on an island nearby (Ruby's Island). Also on the case is Cate's old friend, county deputy Tessa Black. While they try to solve the case they are reminded of their good friend (Samantha) who vanished twenty years ago and who was never found, and the similarities in this case to that case.

This was a very captivating story/novella. It
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot is the first book in the new romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This series is all at novella length and penned by Kendra Elliot along with Melinda Leigh by alternating the books. This pair of authors have teamed up in the past for the romantic suspense Rogue River series of which a couple of the characters have moved over to this series but the books can be read and enjoyed separate from the Rogue River series.

This first book introduces FBI Special Agent
This is sitting somewhere between a three or four stars for me. I was pleasantly surprised.

Cate has returned to the island she calls home following medical leave from her job as an FBI agent. However, the discovery of human bones in her hometown brings her back into the fray, as well as dredging up childhood memories from the past she’d rather forget.

I’m not the biggest fan of thrillers or mysteries. I find the protagonist normally has some kind of ‘deep, dark secret’ that becomes imbedded in
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've been enjoying Elliot's FBI series, Mercy Kilpatrick and was curious about her Rogue River series of novellas written with author Melinda Leigh. So when I got the chance to review this new series by them I jumped in. I am so thrilled that I did. Right now there are four books slated; Close to the Bone, A Bone to Pick, Whisper of Bones, and Bred in the Bone. They are all available in KU, Kindle, and it looks like Audible.

In Close to the Bone, FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde has returned to her c
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Close to the Bone was a fun, quick read with an interesting mystery plotline and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on remote Widow’s Island while she recovers from an injury sustained on the job. In the middle of the night she gets a call that bones have been found on a nearby island and with the ferry from the mainland down, Cate is the only agent close enough to work the case. Cate quickly begins to see similarities between this victim and her best friend who h
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I love craft beer and real ale. If is often a real delight to sample a drink that comes about through the combined efforts of two separate breweries.
Switching to my joy of reading. When I learned that two established and talented writers were working together on a new novella series I wanted to read them early and was grateful to receive advanced reader’s copies of the first two books.
This is number one, with the additional need to set up the series and establish a sense of place and its inhabit
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: no-ow-drama, safe
This was a good start to the series! Interesting characters and good suspense! I would have loved for it to be longer!
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
Initial Thoughts
This was a nice short listen. I found that I liked the characters from the very start and the mystery kept me guessing. This was my first time listening to Christine Williams narration and I thought that she did a good job with the story.

Book Source: Kindle Unlimited

Full review to be posted soon.
Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh are regular collaborators.
There must be a dozen books in the Rogue ... series. Most of them are around 100 pages so they're a long way from weighty tomes.
They've put that series to bed and have returned with the Widow's Island series. Set on an island loosely based on San Juan and the surrounding islands in Washington State it follows an FBI agent on the island to recover from a gun shot wound and a police officer. While the authors do share characters, Kendra E
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This story fails in its various genre attempts, but it's paced well-enough and the characters are interesting enough that it's enjoyable. Enough. I can't say it's a success as a mystery because the main characters solves literally nothing. I can't say it's a success as a romance because it ends before anything interesting has time to start.

What it delivers is an interesting locale populated by characters that were fun to get to know and just a little bit of the mystical for spice. Fortunately, i
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Not the best of the co-author novella series, but it’s the starter. There is world building to add in a short book. The wrap up of the mystery happened too fast, and I didn’t feel the explanation was enough though it was. I don’t know. Hard to explain. It felt as though it came out of left field.

I didn’t really feel the romance connection. Like there wasn’t that spark for the slow burn to come. We were told, but I didn’t feel it.

I think it was because the author wasn’t given enough word count
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot is the first book in the new romantic suspense Widow’s Island series. This is a series written by Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, with them alternating books. They are all novellas, yet read like a full length story.

This book introduces the reader to FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde. She was suffering from a gun shot injury and came home to Widow Island to recuperate. Her recuperation is cut short when a skeleton is found on a nearby island and she is the only ag
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, novella, mystery-cozy
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

Book #1 in the Widow's Island Novella Series is a wonderful look at the life of an island off to the Washington State coast. It is also a great little cozy mystery that, while short, packs a lot into its' pages. I loved the previous collaborations of these two authors, Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, and all their standalone, individual books. This short novella has a mystery,
This wasn't Kendra Elliot's best novella, but it wasn't bad either. There was decent character and setting development and I'm interested in reading more about this place. The romance was barely there, and that's ok, too, since I know there are future installments to enjoy. Overall, a decent beginning to a novella series.
Ann Lou
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a very quick read but still good. A start to a series. FBI Agent Cate Wilde has been called home because skeletal remains have been found on the island. But whose remains is it? A teenage girl who disappeared two years ago or her friend who has been missing for decades?

Not really that edge in your seat suspense but it was fast and I still appreciated it.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received from NetGalley
Completed 1/7/19
83 page ebook & 101 page ebook

I enjoy all of Kendra Elliot's books so I was looking forward to this new series from her. I haven't been a fan of Melinda Leigh's books in the same series, but this book I liked much better. Their new series takes them to a new area in the Pacific Northwest and the first book follows an FBI agent (Kendra's books) and a police officer (Melinda's books) as they try to figure out whose bones are found. Not just one girl has gone
Dee Cherry
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good beginning to series as FBI agent Cate Wilde returns home to Ruby's Island on a case. Characters seem to have quite a few secrets as background information revealed. Looking forward to reading next part.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
FBI agent Cate, deputy Tess, and local physician and coroner Henry are called in to investigate a set of teenage bones that are found on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. There are currently two teenage girls missing from the area: one young girl lived right there on that same island and the other girl just happened to be the best friend of Cate and Tess years ago when they were young.

This story is told from Cate's point of view. Cate normally works back on the mainland but she is on med
Anna's Herding Cats

Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup.

Close to the Bone was my first time with Elliot. And, oh, yall, I enjoyed it! I picked it up because I have been loving Melinda Leigh. They co-write this series and Leigh writes book 2. So a new author to try. And she was fun!

The Gist: Cate's been sent home to the island she grew up on to recuperate after being shot on the job. But during her down time...bones are found and with no one able to travel to the island she's call
RachelW (BamaGal)
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Interesting read, if short. Very short, maybe 90 pages. I've read another novella series written by Elliot and Leigh, so I pretty much knew what to expect. The investigation-lite in this one was wrapped up; but there is an overarching plotline concerning a longtime disappearance and probable murder that will wind through the series, however long it might be. I liked FBI Agent Cate and Sheriff's deputy Tessa; but found Henry as the town doctor to be a bit in the Beta side.

Enjoyed it well enough t
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice setting and premise but the mystery was wrapped up quickly with no real investigation. An OK read but not the best.
Anne - Books of My Heart
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point).
Kindle freebie on March 28, 2020 (currently free and in Kindle Unlimited as of writing this post)
Overall rating 3.97 with 11,911 ratings and 517 reviews


I got the ebook as a freebie and I could get the audio through Kindle Unlimited so I could use both to do a review.  Close to the Bone only counts for Thrifty Thursday with the ebook version.  It is
A near-fatal gun shot injury brings FBI Agent, Cate Wilde, home to Widow's Island to recover. No sooner is she back home then bones are found and she is handed the case in conjunction with local law enforcement who happens to be her best friend and the island's new doctor who thought he left violent death behind back in LA. The atmosphere of the group of islands, the introduction to the characters, and the appearance of the bones made for a great introduction to a new series.

Close to the Bone in
Can't decide whether this should sit at a 3 or 4.

Really enjoyed it, especially considering I'm not usually one for novella-length stories. I feel like there was enough build-up and you certainly get to know the characters well enough. I'm curious enough to pick up the rest of the novellas in the series.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The dynamic writing duo is back with a new series that takes place on remote Pacific Northwest island. I just devoured both of these books loving the setting, getting to know the new characters along with the suspense in addition to an overarching plot mystery I am sure will take the whole series to solve.

Close to the Bone introduces us to FBI Agent Cate Wilde who has just recently returned home to Widow's Island after an injury on the job put her on medical leave. She's not back long before sh
Up All Night Book Addict
This novella series caught my attention. I was intrigued. I thought it would be a continuing series since they were such short books. I was right and wrong at the same time. However, that's neither here nor there.

The thing about novellas is it's hard to truly connect to anything or anyone in the story. They start and then they finish. This one started out pretty good. I thought for sure I was on track for a huge cliffhanger. However, as the story built. The tension JUST starts... then boom! Ever
Dilushani Jayalath
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Considering it was novella the story pretty much managed to wrap itself up pretty nicely. Although it had a romance tag in Netgalley the story itself had no romance. Only a hint of it here and there and considering the series has 6 books I'm really looking forward for the rest of it. I managed to get my hands on book number 3 and 4 thus I can see the rest of the story too.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Really enjoyed the book! My only complaint- I wish it was longer!!! Loved the story, characters and writing style. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and can't wait until Cate and Tessa start looking into what happened to their best friend.

FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back at her grandmother's home recuperating after being shot. Home is a remote island in the Pacific Northwest, which doesn't always have reliable ferry service to the mainland. Cate is supposed to be on medical leave, bu
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast read, good story line, just wish it was longer - not a fan of novellas, but this one was pretty good. The characters are likeable for the most part. A small town where everyone knows your name and business - how irritating is that! Enough of the back story is given on the main characters to keep your interest. The story does wrap up mostly, but still leaves you wanting more in the next installment, which I hope is a full novel.

From the blurb: FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a r
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
First I’d like to make clear that I listened to this book, probably only reading 15% of text.

Also, the only reason that I couldn’t give a 4 star review is due to the fact that things moved slower than I prefer- or perhaps it just seemed like that to me. When things started to really happen at a faster was over. Thankfully there will be another book in The Widow Island series.

The island history, ancestry, culture, and it’s story is entertaining & I liked that part, that there was meani
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Nancy Gideon By M...: Close to the Bone - Widow's Island #1 by Kendra Elliot 25 9 Jan 02, 2019 10:36AM  

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An Amazon #1 selling author, Kendra Elliot has sold over 8 Million books and been on the WSJ best seller list eleven times.

She grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her family and three cats. She's fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and dreams of living every day in flip flops.



Other books in the series

Widow's Island (6 books)
  • A Bone to Pick (Widow's Island #2)
  • Whisper of Bones (Widow's Island #3)
  • Bred in the Bone (Widow's Island #4)
  • Below the Bones (Widow's Island #5)
  • A Broken Bone (Widow's Island #6)

News & Interviews

Summer reading season is in full swing, which means many of the year's biggest and best releases are coming out of the gates. And although your Ju...
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“Cate had been summoned because human bones had been found on Ruby’s Island. “Who else needed a ride?” Cate asked the gray-haired driver. Dick had driven an unofficial water taxi around the islands since Cate was a child. When someone needed a ride and didn’t have a boat available, they called Dick. He charged twenty bucks, a twelve-pack of beer, or a fifth of vodka. Cate paid cash.” 0 likes
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