Series: Dark Mountain

Desperate Deception by D.B. Tait

Desperate Deception by D.B. TaitDesperate Deception: Dark Mountain 2 by D.B. Tait
Series: Dark Mountain #2
Published by Momentum on October 8th 2015
Pages: 264
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When history repeats itself, it doesn't pay to have a murder in your past ...
Julia Taylor did ten years in prison for a murder she didn't commit. Finally released and proved innocent, all she wants is to build up her design business and figure out where her romance with local cop Dylan Andrews is going. She's ready for a quiet life, but murder and mayhem won't let Julia Taylor alone.
First she finds her neighbors dead in an apparent murder-suicide. Then an erratic friend from Julia's time in prison asks her to help find a sex worker who went missing in suspicious circumstances.
As the body count continues to rise, members of the Russian mafia and an unnerving evangelical church begin to cross Julia's path. Soon, Julia and Dylan are caught up in a maelstrom that threatens both their love and their lives.
Can they find justice before injustice finds them? Or is the pull of a haunted past too strong?
A tense crime novel with romantic elements in the style of JD Robb, Nora Roberts and Martina Cole.

Desperate Deception takes us beyond the gritty happy ever after and I confess I was intrigued enough by ex-convict Julia Taylor and D.I. Dylan Andrews to want to know how they navigate the treacherous waters of Julia’s life beyond prison together to read this sequel.

D.B. Tait doesn’t disappoint in this engrossing read; there is a spate of killings and an unsolved mystery that seems to grow beyond the small boundaries of the mountain town Julia and Dylan live in and this case increasingly tests this new life that they’ve found together. Light on the romance and heavy on the suspense but with realistic and no TSTL characters, Desperate Deception is strangely enough, one of those books that colours outside the lines of the romantic suspense genre and does it well.

Cold Deception by D.B. Tait

Cold Deception by D.B. TaitCold Deception by D.B. Tait
Series: Dark Mountain #1
Published by Momentum (Pan Macmillan) on March 12th 2015
Pages: 382
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four-stars

Secrets, lies, deception. That's what it takes to stay alive.
At 20, Julia Taylor went to prison for murdering a man who deserved it. Ten years later, she's ready to put the past behind her and get on with her life. But someone won't let her. Someone will do anything to drive Julia away, including murder.
As the body count rises, Julia is forced to accept the help of Dylan Andrews, a cop with dark secrets of his own. Unfortunately help has a cost. Dylan is digging into Julia's past, uncovering secrets she is desperate to keep.
Julia must keep Dylan at a distance, or else risk her own safety, and the safety of everyone she loves ...

She’d served 10 years in prison for a crime that she never committed, believing that her silence would protect her sister from further mental instability. But secrets have a way of surfacing, and it’s much sooner than later that Julia must confess all, endangering all around her and threatening that new, albeit shaky relationship she’d just begun with the local cop.

I definitely appreciated the unusual setting of the Blue mountains and was left breathless by the escalating suspense that was quite deftly woven into this seemingly idyllic place. There was an interesting cast of characters in this small town tale yet no one was entirely free of the pivotal event that took place 10 years ago that implicates Julia and her entire family. Dylan’s and Julia’s burgeoning relationship however, felt more like an abrupt afterthought than a centrally woven theme, so I didn’t feel too convinced by what they had even when I turned the last page.

four-stars