Friday, September 29, 2023

SHADOW OF DECEIT by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Rebecca and Winnie

"The irony . . . She'd summoned all her courage to return to Shadow Lake and face the people who'd hurt her the most, only to die in a fire in her first hour in town."

Mia Blackburn guessed this was where the note reading, "Evergreen Resort will never be yours. Leave town now or you will pay" came in to play . . . she just didn't expect to be locked inside a burning barn with a young child . . . or to be rescued by . . . none other than Ryan Maddox in full turn-out gear. She couldn't leave; as stipulated in Uncle Wally's will, the beautiful property would be hers within a year's time if she stayed. In the interim, who had a motive to harm her, thereby gaining access to Evergreen, it made no sense.

Full of terse family dynamics, regrets, and suspicions, this story is primarily about rebuilding relationships, learning to walk by faith, enjoying a second opportunity to love . . . and of course, solving more than a few crimes.

"'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding'. . . Letting God be in charge . . . makes the living so much easier."
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 

I can always count on Susan Sleeman for clean romantic suspense books. Shadow of Deceit is the first book in her new Shadow Lake Survival series. Mia Blackburn and Ryan Maddox get a second chance at love as they work together to find out who is threatening Mia and warning her away from the resort property she inherited from her uncle. It’s always interesting to learn more about law enforcement and criminology from Sleeman’s books, as she is knowledgeable about them and includes a lot of intriguing tidbits in her stories.

It took me a little while to connect with the main characters, and there were a couple of spots in the story that were a bit confusing to me, but I still felt that it’s a solid start to the series. Lots of action, suspense, inspiration, and a little romance combined to keep it interesting and me guessing.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own

BackCover Blurb:

When returning to her past threatens her life and a murder occurs…
When Mia Blackburn returns to Shadow Lake to inherit her uncle’s property, she doesn’t expect a threatening warning before she even reaches the rustic resort. And when a fire traps her in the burning barn that very day, she fears she won’t get out alive. Just in time, Ryan Maddox, her ex-boyfriend and Shadow Lake Survival owner, rescues her from the deadly blaze. She’s thankful for his rescue, but after their tumultuous breakup, he’s the last person she wants to see.

Will she be the next victim?
Despite the threatening warning and her residual feelings for Ryan, Mia won’t let anyone scare her from the rustic resort before she fulfills the terms of her uncle’s will and inherits the property. Ryan insists on keeping a close eye on her, and soon Mia feels safer and closer to Ryan than ever before. Yet the threats haven’t stopped, and soon Mia’s inheritance includes a murder, and she could be the next victim.

Edge of Your Seat Books, August 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook


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