Nicole Stiling’s latest novel gives us vampires. What is it about vampires that draws us in so much. Paranormal isn’t usually one of my go-to’s but this was a fun and well-written change of pace.
Megan Denham is in the wrong place at the wrong time and all hell breaks loose. The 30-something realtor stops by a local gas station and walks right into an armed robbery. I won’t give away all the details but know, all hope was lost for Megan until something stepped in and saved her.
Our other main character is Angeline. Angeline is definitely not what she seems. The gorgeous veterinarian has secrets that she has kept for a very long time. She is drawn to Megan in a way she has not been drawn to another woman in ages. As the book progresses you learn of Angeline’s story, often through flashbacks. Stiling does a great job of giving you the history of this enigmatic character and how she become who she is today.
There is romance, there is a lot of action, history and well, vampires. It is a well-written book, my only hang-up is that at times it felt too rushed. There is a lot of detail coming at you in regard to Angeline’s character and her past life. That took away from the romance in my opinion. I would have liked more emotion between our leading ladies. It felt superficial in the love department. Lust, yes, I got that, true love, I needed more.
Overall, this was an engaging story that was a fun and exciting change of pace. If this book continues into a series, which I felt like that was the direction the ending gave us, I am totally here for it. Stiling is a great writer and I am so interested to see what direction she takes us next. Give this book a chance if you love vamps, history or you just need to switch things up from your regular les-fic.
3 out of 5 stars
Nicole Stiling’s debut novel Secrets in a Small Town is a dynamic romance meets mystery that keeps you on your toes yet smiling page to page. No worries with this one, you won’t be scared to turn out the lights but you will be enchanted and thoroughly entertained.
Savannah Castillo is the town manager of a sleepy little community of fewer than 1,500 people. She picked this small town specifically because it was an ideal place to raise her daughter, Eliana. Savannah is 100% an ice queen. She lets no one, other than her little one, close to her. This control fanatic is disturbed by the sudden onslaught of mysterious gifts. They arrive at her office and home at all given times with no sender to be found. The gifts start increasing in frequency as well as becoming more and more threating. Savannah thinks she can handle this on her own until her assistant goes over her head and involves the one person Savannah wants to avoid more than anyone, the chief of police, Micki Blake.
Micki loves working in Winter Valley. She was worried when she left the hustle and bustle of the city she would be bored. Come to find out she likes the slow pace of small-town life. The only thorn in her side is that the town manager seems to loathe her for reasons she can’t quite grasp. Micki takes Savannah’s attitude in stride and throws it right back at her needling the uptight town manager whenever she gets the chance. You really can’t rule this lighthearted good-natured police chief. When Micki’s friend and Savannah’s executive assistant, Chloe, brings the gift situation to Micki’s attention, the chief is bound and determined to help her abrasive nemesis.
Nicole Stiling can write a damn good book that is for sure. My mind is still boggled a bit that this is a debut novel. It really has a good flow, the plot is dynamic and the dialogue reads very natural. From the very first page, I was drawn to the story and the main characters. As caustic as Savannah was at times I still liked her and Micki is just a main you are immediately drawn to. There were enough twists and turns in who the stalker might be that I was guessing to the end. I will definitely be reading what Nicole Stiling has to offer next.
4.25 out of 5 stars