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The Art of Love and Murder
by Brenda Whiteside
Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband. A husband who wasn’t what he seemed. Her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life.
Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the murder of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts may make that impossible. As they move closer to the truth, saving Lacy may be his only salvation.
Lacy begins to think the present is more important than her past…until Chance’s connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. Will the truth destroy Lacy and Chance or will it be the answer that frees them?
Lacy quickened her pace. The footsteps behind her did the same. As fast as her feet touched the bricks, her heart beat twice that speed. If only she could clear the narrow alley, step onto the lit sidewalk… Like a magnet, the street light pulled her forward, and she lunged out of the darkness. Her hand slammed to her chest. After a hard intake of breath and a fast exhale, she cast a furtive glance over her shoulder. With the strap of her purse in a tight fist against her breast, she whirled around to cover the last block at a trot.
She didn’t see him until too late.
As if she’d hit a cement wall, she careened off balance, but his hands grabbed her shoulders keeping her upright. She gasped and reared back and out of his arms. Her fisted purse became a weapon as she hurled a defensive blow to his chest. Her knee came up, landing a jab to his thigh. “Ehhh,” she cried out from the pain of contact.
“Lady, I’m not going to hurt you.” He held his ground and loomed over her, his hands at his chest fending off the swing of her fist.
Her vision filled with the imposing figure, and a chill shivered her body. Run screamed in her head. This time the swing of her purse missed her target when she turned to escape. His hand caught her arm and pulled her close.
“Help, help me!” Her voice came high and hysterical.
“I am trying to help.”
Both hands gripped her shoulders now, and her feet came partly off the ground, forcing her to look into his face.
“What’s wrong? Are you in trouble?”
Her head swung side to side, but the empty street and sidewalks could have been a ghost town. In the distance, a jazzy tune drifted through the air with voices too far away to help. She gulped.
I’m on a roll with romantic suspense books. I must have that magic touch or as I said on Facebook the other day…the books that I have read in the genre have surpassed even my tough standards since this is my favorite genre to read.
While this book was more of a mystery, it did have the suspense elements that I so crave. A villain that is vile, a murder mystery and two characters that I really cared for. Plus, with the layered back story that Ms. Whiteside wove in for Lacy and Chance, I was gone. And really that’s what I look for in a book. Show me why I should care for the characters. How they got where they are and how they are going to figure it out and have that HEA.
Another thing that completely sucked me into the story was the setting. It was a character all its own. I love when an author puts you smack into the action and makes you want to go to that location. Of course, I’ve only flown into Phoenix but still. I know want to burn up even more in Arizona. (I live in Texas)
Oooo and can I say that I love to read about something that I know absolutely NOTHING about. Yes, the art world. Love art but I like reading about it as a plot device because I don’t have a clue. The way the story was told though, once you thought you figured something out…Ms. Whiteside threw you somewhere else. Again, something that I LOVE when a suspense writer can do that. And it made sense.
This book grabs from the get go and doesn’t let you go. While I liked the suspense/mystery plot, what kept me going was Lacy and Chance. Deeply layered, intriguing and I just had to make sure that they made it in the end, is what kept me up at night. Character driven not plot driven so much for me. I know, I know…I’m hard core when it comes to Romantic Suspense but in my opinion, it was the characters that drove the story. I cared for them, wanted to know them and I hope to see them again in another story. I could read about them all day long. 🙂
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Brenda spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love. The rest of her time is spent tending vegetables on the small family farm she shares with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Together, they’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States – multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.
Although she didn’t start out to write romance, she’s found all good stories involve complicated human relationships. She’s also found no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or mystery, all her books revolve around those two facts.
Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com.
Or on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about writing and prairie life at http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/