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What it's about (from publisher Revell):
Research scientist Kate Adams and her colleague Daisy are on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy suddenly dies. Kate knows that if it hadn't been for Daisy's mentorship, she wouldn't have the job she loves or the faith she clings to. So when police rule Daisy's death a suicide, Kate is determined to unearth the truth.
Former FBI agent Tom Parker finds it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gives him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom's just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation of her friend's death, he knows his job is at stake. In fact, despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate looks a bit suspicious herself.
As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?
Why you should read it: Kate is an herbal genius on the job, but personally? This girl is all over the place — an "act first, think later" type of gal. She's quick to jump to conclusions, make allegations and pursue justice for her friend, no matter the cost. Simply put, Kate is a bit of a spaz, and ... I can't help but like her.
Tom, on the other hand, is a pretty straight-shooting guy who — bonus! — ranks right up there for Mr. Fictional Law Enforcement Hottie 2013. I love how Kate takes Tom to the very edge of losing his cool ... but he always grabs it back at the last moment and re-enters reality. These two are a great on-the-same-team-but-always-at-odds pairing. Every five minutes Kate is just sure of the "who" in this whodunit, but Tom need substantial proof — which, of course, drives Kate completely batty because she wants him to act and she wants it yesterday! The immediacy of her enthusiastic sense of justice makes finding the real killer — if there even is one — a lot tougher for this evidence-seeking cop. I loved how the author used this understated, odd-couple comedy to not only raise the stakes for the characters, but to flesh out their personalities as the story progresses.
I'll admit that the somewhat abrupt ending threw me for a loop, but I was relieved that the publisher included a sneak peek into the second book of the Port Aster Secrets series. If you're looking for something fresh in an inspy suspense series, give Sandra Orchard's Deadly Devotion a try!
(the above originally appeared at USA Today's Happy Ever After blog)STORY: 4 stars
CONTENT: rated EDGY for inspirational romance