My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.
This is the third book in the Cardwell series, however it can be read as a standalone.
This book was a little slow to start. Unlike the previous novels in this series the suspense is minimal at the beginning. Initially we are introduced to Dee Anna Justice, who is on her wy out of her currently apparent when a letter from her cousin Dana arrives and she decides to go visit family. Dee is far from typical family and has ulterior motives to this visit.
I quite liked Dee’s character, she could be sweet and loving when needed, she was smart and knew how to win over others or to learn what she needed in order to see her plans through. But behind the falseness she was a manipulator who was looking out for herself and anything she could use to gain what she wanted. Dana was of course so thrilled to meet this cousin she didn’t know about until recently that she believed everything she said and couldn’t understand why the others didn’t entirely trust her.
Another key player in this story was Hilde, Dana’s best friend who played minor roles in the previous two books. I had always liked Hilde even though her parts were fairly minimal. Unlike Dana she doesn’t trust Dee one bit and questions her motives of visiting family or if she is truly even Dana’s cousin. Her suspicions put her in grave danger as Dee is willing to do what she must to keep her secrets safe and Hilde is getting in the way. Colt was a nice addition to the story, he’s a new deputy who has had an interest in Hilde for a little while now however she turned down his previous advances and it isn’t until her life is in danger and Colt is the only one who believes her suspicions of Dee that their relationship starts to form.
Overall I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as the first book in the series. A large chunk of the book focuses on Dee’s motives and her trying to get rid of Hilde at any cost. The romance played a relatively small part in the first half of the book but picked up speed the closer they came to discovering Dee’s true identity. I found the pace of this book to be fairly solid as there seemed to be a constant flow of things happening, with minimal slow spots. I am not sure if this is the end of the series or if there are more books coming out in the future, however I would recommend these books to those who enjoy romantic suspense and will keep my eye out for possible futures book in this series and other work by the author.