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Sarah Starting Over (Siletz Bay Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Chasing Shadows" by Catherine Bybee
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Minor spoilers alert!!!
I don’t read romantic suspense as often as I used to, so I was excited to read this novella. The story mainly focuses on how Sarah is coping with the loss of her husband who was found dead a year earlier. That loss is financial, emotional and physical of course. She needs closure and gets a lucky break when P.I. Greyson walks into the donut shop where she works. She’s still not relationship minded at this point in time, so she fails to take his flirtatious interaction with her seriously. A seed is planted though about seeking out Greyson's professional help to solve the mystery of her husband's unexpected death.
I enjoyed the extensive look at Sarah’s life as a struggling, still grieving but strong widow with Milo, her young 5-year old son, as they moved forward in their new normal after Brandon’s passing. Greyson slowly became a part of their new normal after agreeing to take on Sarah’s case pro-bono and by later giving her a job at his private detective agency when she needed it most. The mystery of her husband’s death isn’t solved immediately but rather one clue at a time. I never guessed who the perpetrator was, and I quite liked how the guilty suffered.
Cover love: It’s so fitting! I love the tag line and its sweet and cozy design overall.
Writing style: 1st person narrative
I loved Sarah’s honesty about parenting and how she encouraged Milo to talk about and celebrate his deceased father. Her reflective moments about grief also hit home for me since I lost my mom a year and half ago. I gained a new understanding of how a parent left alone to raise a child could feel and just an overall appreciation of a mother’s love for her child.
Best of all, Greyson and Milo together were just too freaking adorable! I could really see this trio of personalities, who have handled major loss in their own ways, becoming a new family unit someday soon. And that vision put a big fat happy smile on my face.
I would have liked more passionate moments between Sarah and Greyson and longer, more detailed scenes of those moments. But there were just enough budding moments of sexual interest to pacify me on the whole and keep this one in the “romantic” suspense arena. I see this novella as a good palette cleanser in between my racier romance reads.
‘The exlir of the kiss, aroma of chocolate, chill in the air and warmth of the company stirred something inside of me…Hope. It was a wonderful and unexpected surprise.’
The Christmas chapter had a range of moments that put a smile on my face several times.
I would definitely read another novel by this new author if her novel’s synopsis appealed to me. I’m curious to see how her writing grows over time as she tackles different story ideas.
I was completely captivated by the story, it had more than just romance on offer, it had a good old fashioned mystery to solve and piecing together the clues were Sarah and Greyson.
Sarah is still reeling following the death of her husband but what exactly happened is a nagging doubt that seems to plague her very existence. She is determined that come hell or high water that she will find out if it was murder or suicide, hardly a task that she should or would have ever wanted to undertake but she needs to know, not only for her own peace of mind but also for his little boy.
I admired her tenacity, her fortitude and her sheer dogged determination but could she piece together the clues in what was a far from easy event.
Life as a single mother, let alone a widow is tough but she does what she has to in order to make it through each day. It’s while she is at work in the local donut shop that she meets Greyson.
Now I wasn’t sure that him being in the shop and eventually agreeing to help her sort through the events of her husband’s death was a mere coincidence but I might have been reading too much into the situation because this seriously sexy P. I. was just who she needed.
I liked Greyson and I really liked the friendship that blossomed between the two of them, they were more alike that I had anticipated. Greyson had suffered in his past and he needed Sarah almost as much as she was willing to lean on him.
Could they find the truth? What would their investigations uncover and how far were they willing to go?
Was friendship all that they had to give to each other or could they find a way to something more?
Like I said this smart little novel was a really good read.
I love a good suspense novel & I love it even more when a bit of romance is chucked into the mix. I loved the main characters. I loved putting the clues together. I loved everything about this book. Why don't you try it for yourself. A definite 5 star read.
Was Sarah’s husband’s death murder or suicide? She searches for answers while raising her young son alone in the sleepy seaside town of Siletz Bay.
To make ends meet, she's working in a donut shop where she encounters Greyson. He's a hot, black P.I. with a prosthetic leg. He offers to help Sarah unravel the mystery of what really happened to her husband.
Their friendship provides answers and hope for two people who’ve survived great loss.
Note: I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.