Deadly Christmas Pretense

Deadly Christmas Pretense

by Dana Mentink

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A cowboy to her rescue…

but she’s not who he thinks she is.

Posing as her sister for Christmas is the only way to save her, but Maggie Lofton needs help—even if it means working with her twin’s cowboy ex-boyfriend, Liam Pike. But between the bull’s-eye on her back and the dangerous connection she’s forming with Liam, Maggie’s mission is harder than expected. Will their tenuous partnership be enough to shield her when the killer closes in?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488040788
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 11/01/2019
Series: Roughwater Ranch Cowboys
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 52,616
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a national bestselling author. She has been honored to win two Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion, and a Reviewer's Choice award. She's authored more than thirty novels to date for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and Harlequin Heartwarming. Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her at

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Deadly Christmas Pretense 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
MeezCarrie 1 days ago
Whenever I pick up a suspense novel from Dana Mentink, I know I can expect an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat story with great characters, sweet romance and plenty of humor too. Deadly Christmas Pretense fits right in! First, can I just say how much I loved Jingles the dog? He stole my heart right off the bat and didn’t even bother to give it back. Mentink perfectly captured his absolute adoration of Liam – even when said adoration was not yet returned – and his unerring devotion to Liam as his master just hit me in all the feels. You can tell this author has been loved by dogs, and loved them back, because she writes their personalities and endearing natures with such heart. Maggie and Liam maybe aren’t quite as lovable as Jingles (lol) but they come in a very close second. Liam and his drawl are positively swoony, and his gruff cowboy exterior is really just a front for his tender heart and gentlemanly ways. His Green Beret roots and the injury that forced him to trade that career for the ranch added some unique layers to his character, and when he says things like “Stick with me, Miss Lofton. I’m locked, loaded and ready” you can’t help but swoon. Maggie is pretty much the exact opposite of Tammy – in all the best ways and, while her efforts were perhaps misguided at first (and Tammy’s certainly were), her heart was in the right place. I really liked her personality and the way she interacted with Liam, and I admired her courage in risking her life for her sister. Both Liam and Maggie – and Jingles, too – are allies you want on your side for whatever life throws at you. Bottom Line: With Deadly Christmas Pretense, heart-pounding action meets heart-in-your-throat suspense meets heart-all-twitterpated romance meets Dana Mentink… which all totals up to one intense ride with well-time humor and sweet & swoony moments too. The plot is layered and well-developed, and the storyline more than keeps you engaged throughout. Highly recommended for fans of Mentink’s other books, Lynette Eason, and Susan Sleeman! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
EbosAifuobhokhan_0128 1 days ago
Liam needed someone to hold the broken pieces of his life together. Maggie had only done that for her sister and family. Then through series of life changing events with her life and her sister’s in danger she met Liam who was on a mission to take care of everyone and fixing everything. Together they learnt to let go of the past, fight together, be honest about how they feel and do life together. They learnt God had placed each of them in each other’s life to help them and ease the weight. One sage lesson from this book is we were never meant to do life alone. We have God to help us and he has planted people along our path to help us to through life. I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed here are mine
Erin_Slocum 4 days ago
My Thoughts on Deadly Christmas Pretense: I was so happy to ride back out to the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys Series! The first book was amazing and I could not wait to read this one just like I can’t wait to read the next one. I really wish authors wouldn’t leave us in suspense for so long for each new book to come out! This book brings us new characters but also brings back some of our favorites from book one. We get to take a deeper look at Lima in this bok. He’s an ex-Green Beret with some issues he has to work through. Who better to help him work through those issues than the twin sister of his ex-girlfriend Tammy? Of course, he didn’t know Tammy had a twin named Maggie. And he definitely didn’t know he’d be so attracted to her! Tammy got herself into a whole lot of trouble and can’t remember some key details. Meanwhile, Maggie is in some serious danger when the bad guys think she is Tammy. It’s her lucky day when Liam finds her and saves her. Can they work together to clear Tammy and save all their lives before time runs out? There’s a deadline but someone forgot to tell them how to beat it. I loved the book and highly recommend it. The author writes great characters who you fall in love with. And of course because you’re in love with them you can’t stop reading and the book reads really fast. The worst part is the ending because then it’s over. Oh, and they give you a sneak peek into the next book, which you can’t read all of yet. Man. I love and hate when they do that because now I have to know what happens but I have to wait! Torture! I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
Deana0326 5 days ago
It's a high stakes adventure in this fast paced story filled with intrigue. I have always been fascinated by twins whether they be fraternal or identical. They sense what the other is feeling or thinking. In this story we meet Maggie and Tammy who are fraternal twins. Maggie finds herself in a dangerous cat and mouse game as she tries to help her sister out. Will pretending to be Tammy cause Maggie's life to be in danger? Maggie is a very smart character who is a bit leery of her ex- boyfriend. Why is Liam so insistent in helping Maggie? The chemistry between Maggie and Liam was interesting to read. I wasn't sure if I trusted Liam and wanted him to prove what his true motives were. Liam's relationship with his dad was written with a peek into his soul. You can feel the pain of abandonment and the need for his dad's love. It helped me to understand Liam more and see how much he wanted to be accepted by Maggie. He has this desire to save the world and keep people safe. The more I read about him, the more vulnerable he became. Even the strongest person can have feelings of rejection. Liam has been good about hiding those feelings but how long can he keep it hidden? I love how the author takes characters and exposes them so we can understand their thoughts and emotions. Maggie's need to protect her sister stems from something that happened when they were seventeen. I almost think Maggie feels guilty for surviving back then and it has haunted her all these years. The story is intense at times and filled with unexpected twists. The quest to find the jewelry that someone is willing to kill for is a race that have characters scrambling for their lives. I enjoyed Jingles the dog and thought he was a great addition to the story. Jingles becomes part of a heart pounding rescue when Maggie's life is hanging by a thread. Get ready for an ending that will have you on the edge of your seat. "Sometimes you have to take risks to protect what's important." I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
KimPotter 6 days ago
Deadly Christmas Pretense by Dana Mentink is the second book in her Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series. How far would you be willing to go to protect a family member? That’s what Maggie Lofton must decide when she finds out her twin’s life is in danger. Working with her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Liam Pike, Maggie will put her life on the line to save Tammy and solve the mystery of the missing jewelry. Returning to Roughwater Ranch was like returning home. Although the storyline centered around Maggie and Liam we got to see some old friends from the previous book. I love Aunt Ginny and Uncle Gus. Their love for each other is so sweet. Although Liam has a few problems he finally learns to move past them and find true love and freedom. This was a great story, full of romance, danger, mystery, and cowboys! I received this book from the author for my honest review.
Kathae 7 days ago
In the midst of a small-town Christmas celebration, twin sisters fear for their lives. Author Dana Mentink has again penned a suspense-filled novel that will keep you looking over your shoulder when you're not turning pages. Stolen jewels. Mistaken identities. Car chases. A handsome cowboy. This book has it all, and more. Suspense readers will love it for the action, and romance readers will cheer for the couple to bravely move forward and develop a relationship. I really appreciated the theme of loyalty to family that was pervasive throughout the book. Maggie would do anything to protect her twin sister. Liam had been the protector of his sister since he was seven years old. His brothers always had his back as he worked to thwart the plans of the bad guys and protect the sisters. The Love Inspired line is great for exciting stories with well-developed characters in a quick read. I received a copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
ARS8 7 days ago
I love stories of mistaken identities, and poor Maggie gets pulled into this one by her twin sister Tammy. First she gets chased down by some enemy her sister made, and then she gets rescued by her sister's cowboy ex-boyfriend. To make matters more complicated, she's not sure where her sister is, or even where the jewels her sister supposedly stole are. And then there's poor Liam. My heart went out to him as he fears he'll lose the last of his hearing and doubted his manhood for not being able to hear screams. Yet he's always there when women need him, whether sister, ex-girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend's sister. But the true love story in this book is between Liam, and Jingles, the not-quite-good-enough-for-herding dog who will do anything to find his beloved master again. Even if it drives his master crazy. And the villain- how can you be so deluded and yet so clever at the same time? Chilling. If you love cowboys, romantic suspense, Christmas stories, sibling stories, or cute dog antics- you'll love this book too. I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
SusanFSF 9 days ago
Liam Pike is the star in this new novel in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series from author Dana Mentink. The former Green Beret who has sacrificed for his country is now battling permanent hearing loss. He fears that he can't be what a woman would need or want for her future. Maggie Lofton is searching for her sister who happens to be Liam's ex-girlfriend- sort of. Maggie also just happens to be her sister's twin. They aren't quite identical but enough to launch Maggie into danger because Tammy has gotten herself into another mess. I really like Liam's character. His background and tough guy cowboy gentleman persona tells his story. He is the guy a single Christian girl would hope to meet. There is goodness in the family as Helen, Liam's sister, is a kind and caring character too. Maggie and her sister may resemble one another but they are different characters as any set of twins can be. Tammy wasn't a strong character for me but she added drama to the story. Maggie has a big heart, faith and a strong will to rescue her sister. Anyone who regularly reads Dana Mentink's books knows at least one furry character will show up. Jingles is a laugh-out-loud addition in this one. I was given this book in return for my honest opinion. I liked the story, in fact I didn't put this book down very often when reading it. I enjoy Christmas themed novels during the season and this one had a good touch of the holiday in conjunction with the suspense and danger of the plot. (I would love to see the Christmas train from the story.)
5643437 10 days ago
Deadly Christmas Pretense includes the best parts of mistaken identity. Maggie sets out to protect her twin sister but winds up in a lot of danger. Fortunately, her sister’s ex-boyfriend – a former Green Beret turned cowboy comes to her rescue. Filled with theft, a car wreck, a cliff, and more, this book resonates with danger. At the same time, it is filled with Christian values and more. Liam cares deeply about his family and cares a lot for his ex-girlfriend. So when he first sees Maggie, he mistakes her for her twin sister. Having read the first book in this series, I honestly can say I think reading both books is necessary. I loved the first book, and I also loved the second book. The book is well-written and well-paced. I loved getting to know Liam, his sister, brothers, and other family members. If more books come out in this series, I definitely want to read them. So if. you like Christian adventures that are set at Christmas time, check out this book for yourself. I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.
MaureenST 10 days ago
This is a story that has non-stop action, and most you never see coming, and what is the cause, my guess greed! The author drew me in with cars trying to push others off the road, falls, shots, and more! Now this is the second book in this series that I have enjoyed, being pulled into the story, but they can stand alone with no problem. We are given some sweet romance, but with some taboo, and then bombshells are dropped, and you might not see most of them coming! I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.
DKStevens119 11 days ago
Wow! Why was she run off the road on her way to help her sister? What has her "twin" gotten herself into now? Lots of twists and turns as she looks for her sister, tries to figure out where she is, why is she in such a dire situation and who is trying to is now trying to get to her and her sister. Suspense, mystery and a little romance... A page turner!
Librarycataloger 11 days ago
One Green Beret turned cowboy. Two young women, identical in looks, but so different as human beings. When this cowboy sets out to protect these twins you know that danger is involved--physical danger and danger to the heart. Deadly Christmas Pretense starts out with heart-pounding action and the adventure never lets up. As Liam rushes in to protect Tammy (or is it Maggie?) the danger escalates and the mystery deepens. Liam Pike is the perfect hero...dependable, strong, and loyal but he has endured so much. Losing his mother when he was seven, taking care of others, and now facing a future of total deafness. Maggie and Tammy Lofton are identical twins but they are very unalike: Maggie is steadfast and trustworthy and Tammy is like a 'leaf blowing in the wind'. Liam had dated Tammy but as the story continues, a sweet but intense attraction develops between Maggie and him. I couldn't help hoping that they might have a future but there is so much to overcome. Will Liam completely lose his hearing? Would this matter to Maggie? Can the 'bad guy' be identified and stopped? Will Liam allow his doubts and fears to rule his life? This is the second book in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboy series but Deadly Christmas Pretense is definitely a stand-alone novel. If you enjoy romantic suspense and never-ending action and if you love a book with a faithful dog companion (Jingles is a treasure!) you will want to read this book. This is another winner from Dina Mentink! I received a complimentary copy but a favorable review was not required.
Sue1 12 days ago
If you are a fan of suspense stories that add in just the right amount of romance and faith, you will want to read Dana Mentink's new novel, Deadly Christmas Pretense. Maggie Lofton finds herself at Roughwater Ranch after being waylaid on her way to help her twin sister, Tammy. Little does she know she will be caught up in a mystery and will, herself, become a victim. Liam Pike, Tammy's ex-boyfriend, turns out to be Maggie's rescuer when trouble arises. Rescuing quickly turns to protecting. Liam feels drawn to Maggie and will do all in his power to keep her safe. He would like to be more than a friend to her, but he can't shake off his past to pursue a future. Liam and Maggie form a partnership to solve the mystery involving Tammy and a crime she is accused of committing. In doing so, Maggie quickly becomes a target of foul play as well. Someone will stop at nothing--even murder--to get what he wants. Liam and Maggie must prove Tammy's innocence all the while watching their own backs. And their Christmas Eve deadline to produce the evidence is approaching fast. Can they stay out of harm's way long enough to solve the mystery? Will Liam and Maggie be able to forge a deeper relationship when they are free from danger? Dana Mentink writes awesome novels. I have read many romantic suspense novels and have found her books to always be among the best. I've never been disappointed in her stories. Deadly Christmas Pretense is no exception. You are drawn into the story on the first page and will stay a part of the action right on through until the end. I felt Liam's struggles and Maggie's fear. I was right in the thick of things with them. Only a superb author can make the reader feel so much a part of the story. Kudos, Dana Mentink, for coming up with another winner!
SBMC 12 days ago
A fun and action-packed second book in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series! Dana Mentink knows how to create a background full of suspense within a charming and sleepy little town. When Maggie’s twin sister Tammy is threatened, Maggie’s loyal and protective nature kicks in to help her sister. Liam, the former Green Beret turned cowboy, happens to be her twin sister’s ex-boyfriend who gets involved in helping Maggie when she finds herself being chased by cars, bullets, fists, and fire. Liam has emotional baggage from his traumatic childhood and a medical condition to deal with currently. He’s quite broken and it’s not in his nature to let others into his life but Maggie somehow wins him over with her gentle, kind, and understanding ways (along with her fabulous cooking skills). If you enjoy romantic suspense, you will definitely enjoy this book and the series. I received a copy of the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
MelissaF 13 days ago
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Dana Mentink knows how to write a great Love Inspired book and she has done it again with this book. I read the first book in this series and loved it. It was great to get to know Liam and his story, since we meet him in the first book. The suspense drove this story forward and me wanting to read. I liked Maggie and her desire to want to protect her sister, although I wondered at times if she (Tammy) was the nicest person since she did dump Liam and move on to other guys. If you like romantic suspense I am sure you will enjoy this book. A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
NanceeMarchinowski 14 days ago
Dana Mentink is my favorite author of Love Inspired Suspense. She knows how to develop a fast paced plot with unpredictable events throughout her stories. Deadly Christmas Pretense is no exception. It can be easily read as a stand alone story, but I love the connections in her series. Family is closely knit and loving, and kindness and acceptance are wonderful features throughout. Selflessness and reaching out to others are examples to cherish as the author weaves her stories around family, friends, community and strangers. Suspense is high and unpredictable throughout Deadly Christmas Pretense. There's no room for boredom in this book, and there is no clue as to what will reveal itself on the next page! An easy, quick read, I was swept into the adventures and the spirit of Christmas as the plot developed. Highly recommend! Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book. All expressed opinions are honest and my own.
diannashuford 14 days ago
Although I missed reading book one in this series, I was able to engage in this story and loved most of the characters. Maggie’s devotion to family is heartwarming, and Liam is the ultimate, swoon-worthy hero. The fast-paced action kept me turning the page, which meant I want without sleep but was totally worth it. This twin switching places story had a refreshing twist. Maggie and Liam make a fabulous team at dodging the villain and learning to work together. I fully enjoyed the twists and action in this story. Another Mentink reader hit, in my opinion.
Virginiaw 14 days ago
I am loving this series. I love this rancher family. The suspense is some of my favorite part of this story. Maggie and Liam form a wonderful relationship once they get over the fact that Liam had dated her twin sister. There are many twists and turns that happen. I cannot wait until the next rancher brother gets to find his true love. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Phyllis_H 15 days ago
Mistaken identity can be deadly My rating is 4.5 stars Oh, Liam is such a great wounded hero! His story is pretty amazing and "hero" is such a feeble attempt to describe this valiant man who took on responsibility far beyond his years when he was just a young boy. You may remember him from Danger on the Ranch. He is the former Green Beret who was losing his hearing. His courage and fears warred for victory over him as he began to fall in love with Maggie. I loved seeing him hold on to his faith despite his struggles. Despite being a fraternal, not identical, twin, Maggie was able to pretend to be her sister Tammy. Though much to her detriment and danger to her life! Maggie was more serious and cautious than her sister. She was fiercely protective and was willing to step way outside her comfort zone to make sure Tammy remained safe. Deadly Christmas Pretense was packed with action as Maggie and Liam worked together to rescue Tammy and clear her name. Jingles, the dog Liam's sister got for him, was so much fun! The candy cane dilemma at the parade was cute, and the solution surprised me. I especially liked the way Liam's opinion of the four-legged escape artist evolved throughout the story and that Jingles got to play the hero himself. If you enjoy romantic suspense, don't miss Deadly Christmas Pretense. As with all the stories I've read by Dana Mentink, the characters grow in their faith through deep issues, it is sweetly romantic, and has just the right touch of humor. Read my review of Deadly Christmas Pretense by Dana Mentink at I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
susanmsj 16 days ago
Non-stop action and suspense. And cowboys. I fell in love with Liam and Maggie. I liked the way the author was able to open up the past of these characters and show why they had the insecurities that they did. I loved they way these characters, with God’s help, were able to work through these insecurities and learn to trust one another. Another character that I loved was Jingles. He saved the day more than once. There were also plenty of breath-holding moments of wondering if they were going to be able to get the “bad guy”. I would recommend this book. I received a copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a positive review.
Amigagal 16 days ago
Another fantastic addition to this series! This time we get to experience Liam's story and it involves twins! One of them being his ex-girlfriend! I love stories that happen during the holidays but it's extra fun when they involve a little suspense and mayhem! Everyone's senses are heightened at the holidays and the author does that well in this story. Liam can't believe his eyes when he "thinks" he sees his ex-girlfriend's Corvette headed right towards an oncoming train! Doesn't she remember that train and the train tracks??? I loved the scene that follows! From there he gets pulled into a situation that tests all of his physical and mental capacities! He also finds out his ex-girlfriend had a twin sister, Maggie. In true Dana Mentink fashion, this story has lots of suspense and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. Just when you think you know what's going on, she throws you a curve ball! Oh, and she keeps the Christmas season front and center all during the story which is fantastic! You really need to read Liam and Maggie's story - the "other" twin! It's wonderful!
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 16 days ago
'Stick with me, Miss Lofton. I'm locked, loaded and ready.' Dana Mentink proves once again she knows how to do suspense and create wonderfully swoon worthy heroes. Liam Pike is a dream cowboy--polite, respectful and has a heart of gold, not to mentnion honorable and trustworthy. I loved this guy. Maybe because he's a southerner like me. Hmmm. Maggie Lofton decides to pretend to be her twin sister when she is nearly killed by a driver intent on running her off the road. She has no idea what caused this, but soon finds out. She is rescued by the handsome cowboy Liam and he is determined to help her discover the culprit. Mentink is good here, as always. Her suspense is top notch and I never tire of digging into one of her books. Recommended. *My thanks to the publisher for a preview copy of this book. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
BrittanyMc 17 days ago
Deadly Christmas Pretense was a high-impact, full of danger, wild ride of a novel! I kept wondering how the bad guy was able to be so sneaky and contintually get away with terrorizing poor Maggie without getting caught. This is book two in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series, but is definitely written so that it can be enjoyed as a stand alone novel, too. I enjoyed the attraction that formed between Maggie and Liam, as well as watching Liam learn to work through his fears and the difficutlies that he dealt with on a personal level. These things added a lot of good tension to the novel. Additionally, the romance and suspense kept me turning the pages to see how things turned out. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
LizD1 18 days ago
Deadly Christmas Pretense ( Roughwater Ranch Cowboys #2 ) By: Dana Mentink This is a Love Inspired Suspense Inspirational Romance You do not want to put down. I was drawn in at the start and did not want to put it down. I was not disappointed. The story and the characters, both were well written. Twins, ex-boyfriend, Christmas, and plenty of riveting suspense will keep you reading to see what is going to happen next. The author will keep you guessing till the end. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All expressed opinions are my own.
BMace 24 days ago
Any story involving twins is always fun to read, perhaps because, as a child, I wished I was a twin. Maggie and Tammy are fraternal twins, but still look enough alike that they could be mistaken for each other. This just brings problems since Tammy seems to have an affinity to trouble. Between jewelry theft, explosions, kidnapping and almost being pushed off the road this page-turner will keep you at the edge of your seat until finished! Questions as to who really was guilty of these things kept me wondering through most of this well written suspense. An unexpected love was a lovely addition to the plot. I received this copy through Harlequin Enterprises and CelebrateLit. This positive review was in no way solicited.