The Publisher’s Summary:
Jewel Caraway thought she'd left her mistakes in the past—but then her past arrives at her door. Though she's thrilled to reunite with her estranged sister, something about her sister's new husband makes Jewel uneasy. Does he know her secret? Is he the one behind the growing list of attacks against her? And if he is involved…does that mean her sister is, too? With nowhere else to turn, Jewel must rely on police chief Colin Winters—the first man to make the widow question her resolve to never love again. But will he stay by her side when her guarded secrets are revealed?
Elizabeth Goddard, author of Deception, has been writing inspirational romantic suspense novels for the Love Inspired Suspense line and another well-known Christian publisher for some time. So, it comes as no surprise that Deception opens with an action-packed test of heroine Jewel Caraway’s strength and resilience. A forty-something widow and owner of a quaint Bed & Breakfast in remote Mountain Cove, Alaska, Jewel loves the great outdoors. She’s on a hike near treacherous Dead Man Falls, in fact, when she becomes separated from her party—younger sister, Meral, and new brother-in-law Buck Cambridge. The two have surprised Jewel recently by honeymooning in Mountain Cove after a twenty-year estrangement between Jewel and her family. Jewel quickly becomes anxious about her sister and brother-in-law’s fate when they fail to meet her at the top of the falls as planned. Too bad for our heroine the day’s complications have only begun. Moments after she shouts her sister’s name, a not-so-gentle push from behind sends Jewel careening into the falls and battling for her life.
Enter forty-something police chief Colin Winters, former best friend of Jewel’s deceased husband and possessor of a serious crush on the beautiful widow. Learning of Jewel’s “accident” from the fire chief, Colin rushes to Dead Man Falls to join the search and rescue party. Though he and the search team locate Jewel in short order—and she has miraculously survived an inconceivable brush with death with serious but treatable injuries—Colin is disturbed to hear Jewel’s claim that she was pushed into the water. To the police chief’s knowledge, the woman has no known enemies and nothing of any significant value beyond the B&B. What would be the motive for killing her? He doesn’t remain incredulous for long. As the attacks mount—and the casualties increase—Colin becomes convinced that Jewel is hiding something. If he doesn’t find out what—and soon—it may cost Jewel her life and Colin his last real chance at love.
Whew! Lucky for her readers Mrs. Goddard knows her stuff. Topping such an exhilarating opening would prove daunting for a less experienced writer, but the author of Deception is only getting started. The sixth book in the writer’s Mountain Cove series, Deception is chock full of beloved secondary characters who’ve appeared front and center in the earlier books. But, make no mistake. This is Jewel and Colin’s story. The author delves deftly and deeply into their needs, desires and frailties—painting flawed but sympathetic, three-dimensional characters in the process. The reader can’t help but root for them to find their way out of the quagmire created by Jewel’s attacker and into one another’s arms.
Mrs. Goddard uses the perilous, untamed beauty of Alaska, moreover, to excellent effect throughout the work. The exotic setting evokes a tantalizing mix of awe and terror in the reader—rendering it the perfect backdrop for a story that can only be described as an ice-packed thrill ride to love, revelation and fulfillment. And, let’s not forget the villain, or villains, as the case may be. Trust me—you won’t be disappointed. Jewel’s nemesis lacks neither proper motivation nor the requisite bent for evil these books require. Get ready for a few surprises!
About the Reviewer:
A licensed Georgia attorney since 1998, Sybil Bates McCormack now writes responses to state and Federal contract solicitations during the day while lurching haltingly toward a career as an inspirational romantic suspense author at night. She's also the crazed wife of a bi-vocational pastor and mom to two bright, talented kids. They don't call her BizzySyb for nothing! You can visit Sybil at her blog, Christian Romance/Pulsating Suspense, follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, friend her on Goodreads, connect with her on LinkedIn, and add her to your circles on Google+.