STALKED BY SECRETS - Deborah Fletcher Mello
Harlequin Romantic Suspense
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell RATING: A
REVIEW: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” This line from Sir Walter Scott’s epic poem can certainly be applied as the theme of STALKED BY SECRETS. Prolific author Deborah Fletcher Mello has penned a doozy of a story where secrets abound. It is ironic that the keepers of many of these secrets are members of the prominent Black family of Chicago who are associated with the law in various capacities. They range from a police superintendent, a federal court judge to policemen, attorneys, and a civic leader. This story features Davis Black, city alderman and Neema Kamau, an ambitious journalist.
Ms Mello wastes no time in pulling the reader into the story when the Black family, in the first chapter during a family dinner, is thrown into turmoil when the first secret of this intriguing story is revealed. It could be a game changer for this well-known family, but it is only the beginning. Davis, the upstanding alderman, will find himself drawn into his father’s well-kept secret when he is asked to meet with a notorious crime boss. All of this action happens in the first chapter. Davis and Neema meet when Davis’ meeting takes place in Neema’s father’s restaurant in a private room. Neema’s reporter’s instincts kick in when she recognizes the head of the crime family, and witnesses money exchanging hands. There is chemistry between Davis and Neema, and they act on it. Does she tell Davis that she is a reporter looking for that big story? I think you know the answer to that already. I love this story! Something drops in almost every chapter to keep you turning pages. The relationship between Davis’ father and crime boss, Alexander Balducci, is a shocker, and unfortunately Davis gets caught in the middle. This story has everything: deception, murder, blackmail, romance, and plenty of family drama.
All the minor characters contribute to the intrigue of the story and the development of the main characters from the enigmatic Black family to the dysfunctional Balduccis. Davis and Neema’s dark moment comes after an confrontation led by Davis’ sister, Simone. It’s a highly emotional scene. Nevertheless, their HEA/HFN finally happens. What a relief!
I enjoyed STALKED BY SECRETS, and I recommend it. I also recommend that you read the other books in this series and get to know the other Black siblings. They are SEDUCED BY THE BADGE, TEMPTED BY THE BADGE, and REUNITED BY THE BADGE. They are all good reads. You can thank me later.
1st March 2021 | firstname.lastname@example.org