Desert Isle Keeper
Lie to Me
I’m always on the lookout for new contemporary romance authors, but didn’t have a lot of hope for Starr Ambrose’s Lie To Me since the description on the back cover sounded a bit too predictable. Happily, I was wrong – very wrong. I found this to be a wonderful debut novel, with engaging main characters, and interesting secondary characters. Mostly, it’s just a very fun read.
Eleanor Coggins is in wealthy Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to investigate the death of her best friend. During the last weeks of her life, Eleanor’s friend sent her a series of messages indicating that she had found something disturbing about her new husband. Eleanor believes that the husband killed her and decides to break into his home during a big party and look for evidence. Unfortunately, Jack Payton, her suspect’s half brother, catches Eleanor in the act. Luckily, for Eleanor, instead of turning her in, Jack introduces her to his family as his fiancée.
Jack has his reasons for pretending Eleanor is his fiancée. He was released recently from prison for manslaughter and, while in prison, Jack discovered he has a 12-year old daughter. His mother has taken custody of the girl and Jack’s only hope for getting her back is to prove that he’s a respectable citizen. Being engaged seems to be a step in that direction.
In Jack and Eleanor, the author has created two interesting, likeable characters. There’s an almost immediate sizzle between the two. Although they don’t trust and aren’t even sure they like each other very much, they also clearly feel mutual desire. However, there are a number of obstacles in their path. They come from drastically different backgrounds; Jack grew up surrounded by luxury, while Eleanor was raised by working class parents. Jack wants Eleanor to help him gain the trust of his daughter, while Eleanor is concerned about lying to the girl. Gradually, they begin to both trust, respect, and like each other.
I liked a number of the secondary characters in the book, but particularly memorable were Jack’s daughter, and his ex-con friend. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the ex-con and Eleanor, as they started up an – initially phony – security service.
Jack and Eleanor spend a lot of their time attempting to prove that Jack’s brother is guilty of numerous crimes, including murder. However, the focus of the book is primarily on their relationship, as well as their relationships with various secondary characters. Fans of detailed romantic suspense may not like this book as much as I do. I enjoyed Jack and Eleanor so much, that I did not mind the lack of details about the various mysteries.
I enjoyed Lie to Me from the first page to the last. In fact, I started slowing down my reading pace in the last few chapters to make the book last longer. I can hardly wait to see what the author comes up with for her second novel.