While evading her vengeful, abusive husband, a woman changes her identity and finds new opportunities for romance.
Liles’ debut novel is the story of Amie Dupler, formerly known as Allison Murdock, who has undergone plastic surgery and changed her identity to hide from her abusive husband, Mike. Amie starts her life anew and runs a B&B on the coast of Northern California. Completely cut off from her own family, she cautiously explores new friendships—and new romances. There’s Levi, the much older antiques dealer who displays a kind, tender interest. The mysterious Jared lavishes attention on her, although he seems to have his own undisclosed agenda. And there’s Chet Phillips, the FBI agent assigned to Amie’s case, whom Amie hasn’t been able to stop thinking about since she met him. But her feelings for him aren’t reciprocated—right? As Amie tries to choose the right man, she must also hide from Mike, whose search is intensifying. The combination of a few potentially innocuous incidents—the vandalism of her new home, mysterious phone calls, strangers asking about her—makes Amie realize that she may still be in danger and can never be truly safe until Mike is stopped. Liles’ novel hums with tension, and she clearly has a keen eye for the atmosphere of beautiful Northern California. The characters, however, don’t quite spring to life in the same way. Amie is relentlessly wonderful—beautiful, brave, selfless—and constantly in need of rescuing from one of the three men in her life. There is an excess of florid dialogue: “I plead; please come and let me love you, if you will.” Furthermore, the plotting of the story is a bit muddled, and the eventual reveal is more confusing than compelling.
A convoluted romantic suspense novel set among well-rendered scenery.