Living Lies (Harbored Secrets Book #1)

Living Lies (Harbored Secrets Book #1)

by Natalie Walters

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In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name--but no one knows your secret. At least that's what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.

Lane must work with Walton's newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she'll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.

Debut novelist Natalie Walters pulls you to the edge of your seat on the first page and keeps you there until the last in this riveting story that will have you believing no one is defined by their past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493417858
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/21/2019
Series: Harbored Secrets , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 28,774
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Natalie Walters is a military wife of 22 years and currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier husband and their three kids. She writes full-time and has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. In addition to balancing life as a military spouse, mom, and writer, she loves connecting on social media, sharing her love of books, cooking, and traveling. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past.

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Living Lies 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
J_Augustine 5 months ago
Will her secret finally destroy her... There are three basic types of debut novels. The kind that are painfully obvious are a first try, those that are so-so showing some promise with practice, and those you are surprised to find out are the author's debut. Living Lies was definitely one of the latter. I will confess that the suspense didn't quite engage me as much as it could have, it seemed like it was secondary to the plot. But. And that's the keyword, but, what thoroughly engaged every bit of my attention was Natalie Walters's compassionate and sensitive portrayal of a heroine learning to thrive amidst her struggles with depression. As well as another key character facing military related PTSD. I loved the main characters. Lane is giving and has a truly sweet heart towards those society tends to ignore. Charlie is a good man, kind but strong. And you really can't help falling in love with Lane's precocious son as well as Charlie's madcap dog. Living Lies was a good start to what I am sure will be a wonderful series. Author Natalie Walters shows great promise with this first novel and I look forward to returning to the small, seemingly idyllic, town of Walton... (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
Perrianne 5 months ago
Lane Kent has returned home to Walton, Georgia as a recent widow with her five-year-old son, Noah. The opening scene is gripping and is set on the edge of a bridge on the Ogeechee River. Newly minted Deputy Charlie Lynch is nearby and tries to help her, but things really begin to get messy when she stumbles upon a dead body. A quote from that scene: “The scream stopped Charlie Lynch in his tracks even as his pulse jackhammered in his ears.” How about that for an opening chapter to a suspense novel? I really felt for Lane, as she has struggled with depression and anxiety for most of her life and has been suicidal before. Here is another strong quote from the book that captures this very well: “Would it have prevented depression from rotting her from the inside out?” Wow! That’s a stunning statement about where she stands with her depression, even to the point of blaming herself for her late husband’s accident. Her demanding father is a judge who is making a run for the senate, all the while dictating the social scenes she is to attend. What Judge “Bear” Sullivan says goes, and appearances matter to the utmost. Unfortunately, when Bear says “hop,” she is expected to jump no matter what her own personal situation or struggles are. Even little Noah knows that you “don’t poke the bear.” This is Natalie Walters’ debut, and it’s so riveting that It’s really hard to believe that it’s her first novel. It is both gripping and warm, making it so easy to keep you up reading much too late at night. I truly enjoyed all of the suspense as well as the variety and diversity of characters, who are very easy to keep straight. From Lane’s advocates, Sherriff Huggins and Aunt Byrdie, to some of the quirky Friday Night Club regulars, Charlies’ rambunctious dog, Bane, and of course the homemade cinnamon roll loving staff at the sheriff’s office. I would love to have an Aunt Byrdie in my life! She is the encourager and faith driven helpmate in Lane’s life, as well as for others in the community who also enjoy her fabulous cooking. You can’t help but want to cheer for the nerdy Deputy Frost, who just might even save the day a time or two. Lane opens her café for a weekly Friday Night Club and feeds those who are finding themselves struggling and hungry. She is the new owner of the Way Station Café, which sits below her apartment. Her heart is especially tender for veterans, suicidal individuals, and those with PTSD. This small town is reeling from their first murder in 30 years, and it is interesting to see how the citizens react to the fear that has now permeated their small tightly knit community. This book is the first in the Harbored Secrets series. Natalie Walter’s second book in the series, Deadly Deceit, releases on November 5th, and I will definitely be reading that one! I will look forward to my return to Walton, Georgia and the interesting assortment of characters in the Walton County community. I won this book on a blog giveaway, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Pattistep 6 months ago
This is a suspense-filled thriller that grabs your attention from the very beginning and never slows down. Aside from being a great story, I appreciated the author’s compassion and sensitivity when dealing with the topics of depression and suicide. The character of Lane had my sympathy all the way through the book. In the author’s acknowledgments at the end of the book, she has a wonderful message for all of us: “You are loved. You are wonderfully made. You have purpose.” These themes are woven all throughout the story, and are great thoughts for all of us to remember. I’ll be looking for more more books from this author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
DRu12 7 months ago
Living Lies by Natalie Walters is the first book in the series Harbored Secrets. This author can weave a story of suspense, a bit of romance, and hard issues about mental health with passion. Honestly, Living Lies had me wanting to race through to the ending, yet, slow down and enjoy the stories twists and turns. The author did a great job with character development, keeping the reader guessing, and the compassion of the issues she brought forth. If you are debating about purchasing Living Lies, just hit that purchase button already! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
StacyTS 7 months ago
Natalie Walter's debut novel kept me turning the pages quicker and quicker to see what was unfolding within the story. She handles the subjects of PTSD and mental illness with a deft hand, and the respect deserved. It is the kind of book you don't want to end as the maze of drama, intrigue, and a new-found romance come together in one dynamic story. I'm looking forward to more books by Natalie Walters' in the future.
Rayleigh 8 months ago
In this small town murder mystery, we follow Lane Kent, and Marine-turned-deputy Charlie Lynch, as they both race against the clock to solve the murder case and hopefully keep others from dying too. I enjoy a good mystery novel, but in the past I’ve always stayed away from the “small-town” mysteries because the closeness of the little towns and how the characters always know the suspects is just a little too convenient for my taste, but Living Lies broke through most of those stereotypes! To be truthfully honest, I only considered picking up this novel because it’s written by an Army wife, and I’m a sucker those books right now, and it was recommended to me by my author friend Vanessa (who wrote Soldier On). Then, Charlie was a Marine *wink*, so I was definitely interested and I’m happy to report that it exceeded all expectations! I loved the characters so much! All of them, they were so well done and developed, unique in their personalities, and their diversity really drove this novel forward. The “background characters” weren’t in the background as much as most mysteries, and I loved that some of those characters were the ones that made big contributions to the case, because it felt more like reality than a lot of novels that like to keep only one or two characters in the spotlight at all times. The story is good. Really good. I love to try to solve the mysteries ahead of the characters, but this one had me stumped. There were a lot of suspicions to keep you grappling for leads and even though towards the end, I had my suspect, I couldn’t answer the “why?”. So Mrs. Walters did a great job of keeping the mystery all the way through to the end. Overall, I really enjoyed Living Lies, and I’m so looking forward to the release of the second book in November, and the third, next May! I give it 4 out of 5 stars! I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own. This is a Literature Approved (.com) review.
Anonymous 10 months ago
So, I should note that I finished this book back at the end of May. So why did it take me a whole month to sit down and write a review when I knew the book was a five star the minute I turned the last page? I felt that this book deserved more than a simple "It was amazing, real, and raw. You should buy it"type review. I wasn't sure where we should start first, with the fact that the author not only deals with depression, but acknowledges a system that is broken in helping people heal, or the fact that this quote was dropped in and made my heart stop: "For God does not call us to merely survive this life we've given but to thrive in it". The author deserves to be applauded for her approach in tackling depression in her debut novel, a serious and weighty disease that is treated lightly in society and in the Christian community. Not only does the main character, Lane Kent suffer from depression, but we as readers see all forms: PTSD from combat, Vietnam veterans, and new mothers (because ya'll motherhood is HARD). And we need to applaud our leading man Charlie Lynch for being understanding, compassionate, and gentle (redefining the Marine sterotype) as he searches for purpose in his retirement. As I was reading this book, my husband was doing his Psych rotation in medical school, and I felt I was being hit at all sides emotionally watching the author pour out broken characters in a broken world and my husband watching these people be broken as they experience healing. You see, mental health may be a trendy word to you in this day and age, but I have seen far too much brushed under the rug by doctors in training who don't want to talk to people about how they "feel", from the people who suffer anxiety and aren't sure how to tackle it, and from Christians who just don't understand and therefore tell people to "just have the joy of the Lord!" Secondly, let's briefly discuss the quote above and why it took such a serious toll on me. Growing up in conservative Christian world, women had one of two purposes: to either work with children (teacher, nanny, daycare worker, etc.) or to bear children. Now don't get me wrong, I love motherhood, but my skills with other peoples children do not lie in caring for them and giving them their daily sustenance. Nope. I have the wherewithal to do that with one child alone and that is my son. But often times because of how I was raised, I struggle with purpose. Don't we all? These characters definitely do, and we can see that especially manifested in Charlie. We as readers see Charlie as a retired Marine struggling with letting go the disappointments and infractions that life has dealt to him while trying to move forward. This line often reminds me of the Switchfoot lyrics: "No, I'm not alright I know that I'm not right Feel like I travel but I never arrive I wanna thrive not just survive".
jebsweetpea 11 months ago
Imagine battling your own mind and trying to hold it all together for everyone around you. This is the life for Lane Kent. Her husband has died, her father is holding it over her head, she's running a cafe, and she finds a dead body of a teenage girl. As Lane battles her own demons, she is forced to work with the new deputy in town, Charlie Lynch. As the plot thickens and those she loves become in danger, the hunt is on for the killer who is wreaking havoc on an entire town. This is the first book I have read by Natalie Walters and it did not disappoint! This was book one in the Harbored Series. What a fantastic story line with amazing characters and a plot that just keeps twisting throughout. It was link a layer was added on to another layer and then another and soon you have a depth to a mystery that you hope gets solved by the end! The element of romance, of forgiveness, of faith and of struggles that people face daily in the real world were all balanced just right throughout this book. It was a hard to put down and I grabbed it every chance I got to find out what happened next! I look forward to book 2 when it comes out! Revell Reads sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions expressed are my own.
JLYoung 11 months ago
Let's start from the cover. We all know we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but look at that cover! It's so captivating. I love the misty green look. It makes me want to find out what's inside. The start of the book is great. I want to know more. I'm drawn in to the mystery. But then sadly, I quickly began to loose interest. I did love the inclusion of depression. This is a little talked about topic in Christian fiction but it is a huge problem in the lives of many Christians. We don't talk about it enough. I'm glad the author chose to include it in her story. But, I don't want that to define a person the entire story. I felt like Lane was more than her depression but I didn't know much else. I wanted a deeper understanding of this character. I was left wanting. And there was something about her name. It would get lost in the story and I would forget that it was her name. I would find myself thinking, "Wait? Who is this Lane person?" I became more easily distracted. The details were nicely written but kind of irrelevant. I found they detracted from the central story. I had a hard time floating from page to page. I had to go back and reread quite a bit. Charlie's character was really likable. I feel like his character had more depth. Unfortunately that wasn't enough for me. I couldn't sink into this story and get carried away. I was disappointed by that because typically this genre is one where I can sit down and not get up til the book is done. This was not the case for this book, sad to say. I'm interested to read future books by this author. This just wasn't one for me. I gave it 3 stars. I received a copy of this book from Revell. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
Virginiaw 11 months ago
This was the first book I have ever read by this author and it will not be my last. I loved all the suspense in the story. There were many twists and turns. I am looking forward to many more stories by this author. The characters have many secrets and it is fun learning each one. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
armom 11 months ago
Lane Kent moved back to her hometown of Walton, Georgia with her five year old son following the death of her military husband. She suffers from depression and guilt. Lane suffers in silence, as she learns many others do, as well. Lane meets Charlie, the new deputy sheriff when he finds her on the wrong side of the guard rails of a bridge. Who is this woman, he wonders, and was she about to jump? Lane discovers the dead body of a teenage girl and the investigation is on! Lane sees more and more of Charlie. Lane's son, Noah, likes Charlie. Lane won't allow herself to have a relationship, as she feels she is to blame for her husband's death. Her and her illness. To add to the stress in her life is the fact that her father is a politician, and the family must keep up the act and public front of a wonderful family, when all she feels is criticism and disappointment from her parents. Then, there's the threat her father holds over her head. Wonderful gripping story! I was given an ecopy of this to read by the publisher, Revell and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
lolly-pops 11 months ago
LIVING LIES is a very well-written debut novel by Natalie Walters. I love Romantic Suspense so was excited to read this book. Set in a small southern town, LIVING LIES has an array of colorful characters and Charlie is pretty much related to everyone. He was a sweet good ole boy and probably the most developed character. Lane moved home due to becoming a young widow, but she is greatly depressed and attempting suicide when Charlie comes across her. She says she moved home for her five year old son, but he was kind of an afterthought. She cared more about herself than him. I wanted to like this book, but I couldn't care about the characters and the suspense dragged for most of the book. I didn't even try to figure out who-dun-it, I just focused on finishing. If you like small country southern settings and laid-back heroes, you might be interested in trying LIVING LIES. It was a fail for me, but you might join the majority that loved it. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Deana0326 11 months ago
The book is sure to please mystery buffs with secrets, lies and a murder. The author does a great job in keeping the story moving at a fast pace. I loved learning about paintings and all that is involved in an art gallery. Lane is a good character who comes from a very influential family. It was hard for Lane to pretend everything was grand when she suffers from depression. I appreciate how the author writes about anxiety and depression with honesty and compassion. So many people suffer from depression and it is hard to find the right treatment. I loved Lane'swill power to deal with it in a positive manor. Her family seems to want to hide it from the world, which puts Lane in a difficult position at times. The story is dark at times with realistic views of PTSD and depression which I think enhanced the story line. The last thing Lane needs in her life is to stumble upon the body of a young girl in the woods. This is where we meet the charismatic Deputy Charlie Lynch. He is fierce with a background in the military. He takes to Lane right away and has compassion for her and her adorable son. His intelligence is obvious when he realizes Lane is hiding something. Will she trust him with her secret? I loved the setting of a small town and how neighbors look out for each other. The mystery of a painting really increases the speculation of who is involved with the murder and how it ties into a possible drug problem. Who is Miguel and why does he feel that Lane needs protecting? I found Miguel to be a lost soul tossed aside by society due to PTSD. My heart went out to him and I wanted someone to give him a helping hand. I was impressed with the details of drug smuggling and new ways they are able to transport drugs undetected. The town is in an uproar when someone lets slip who they think killed the young girl. You could feel the chaos and rumors as the crowd gathers at what they think is the killer's home. The author brings us a story that keeps you guessing right up to the end. I have found a new author to add to my list who writes with intensity, honesty and an element of faith. I received a copy of this book from Revel Publishing. The review is my own opinion.
Moonpie72 11 months ago
Natalie Walters hit a home run with her first book! The characters and the plot were amazing, but the author skillfully included serious issues in the forefront of society today: PTSD, depression and anxiety. The story immediately grabbed my attention from the first paragraph and didn’t let go. I was hooked into the old readers’ syndrome, “I am just going to read one more chapter to see what happens”. It is late at night and a young woman (Lane) is standing near the edge of bridge on the verge of jumping to her death. The town’s new deputy (Charlie) happens by and finds her. She attempts to explain she is just taking pictures but Charlie can see through the facade. Ashamed and frightened she bolts into the woods but in the darkness she trips over something and falls. That something was a dead body! Very quickly a troubled war veteran with PTSD is suspected and the small town wants justice! Lane knows in her heart he is innocent and courageously takes a stand for him. Lane is a widow and mother who had moved back to her hometown and start a new life leaving her guilt, grief and secrets behind. Charlie, a war veteran has moved there to work with his uncle, the sheriff. Both are sure they want no part of romance or marriage but God has other plans. Lane suffers from severe depression and anxiety. Due her family’s attitude toward her struggle, lack of support and understanding she sees herself as broken and undeserving of love. Charlie also faces family disapproval for leaving a career in the military. The story moves so smoothly as clues to the murderer’s identity is sought. The author does a beautiful job of showing the minds and hearts of those with mental illness. I feel it gives the reader a greater understanding of how those afflicted suffer, needing our compassion and understanding, not disapproval. They are often hindered in forgiving and accepting themselves by the harsh judgement of others. Ms. Walters shows throughout the book that the true source of overcoming and moving on is trust in God. I cannot wait to read the next book! I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.
benhli38 11 months ago
When I say that I truly loved a book it has to do with the way an author writes, the phrasing of what is said, the characters given and portrayed. I can say the same for Natalie Walters latest Living Lies, it is really a good read. The book is set against the southern town of Walton, Georgia where Lane Kent has a restaurant. It seems from the outside of the book she's seeking to move on after her husband's death. We see a woman, a bit of how she is--being depressed, and at the same time who ends up seeing a dead body. Over the course of the book she interacts with the Sheriff's latest deputy and nephew, Charlie Lynch. He's intrigued by Lane and we learn in no time flat his aunt knows Lane Kent (you have to dive a bit in this story to get there). I find the characters are fresh and the writing really good. Overall, I would have to say for this debut novel of Natalie Walters is a great book and read. I am happy with what I read in and with this book. I did in fact receive this book complimentary from Revell to give an honest and objective review of the book. With all that said, I can say I am looking forward to more books from Natalie Walters.
Julie12 11 months ago
This book was so good and I had a hard time putting it down even to sleep! I really love a good story that has a bit of intrigue and mystery and this book definitely had all this and more! Lane is a woman with a small child and a good heart. I liked her immediately and how she worked to find the inner strength she needed to make it another day. She has depression and fights it on a daily basis. Self accusations don't help her as she blames herself for her husband's death and for other things that she has no control over. Her parents aren't exactly helpful in this situation either as they put more pressure on her. Charlie is the new deputy in town and he has his own family problems and is working to find a new life after being in the Marines. He is thrown into a huge case when Lane finds a body out in the woods and they realize it's a murder. This also is the beginning of a friendship between Lane and Charlie. I really liked the intrigue of this story and how we see both Lane and Charlie grow into their own. I loved seeing their faith grow but I also liked seeing Lane's doubts at time as to whether God cared for her. We all have these feelings at time so it felt very realistic. I think my favorite character in the book was Miss Byrdie. She is the mother hen and friend we all wish we had whose faith is strong and who has just the right words at the right time. Her friendship to Lane is so lovely and I really liked her wise words and care for those around her. If you enjoy a good story with great characters and mystery, you'll love this book. I give this book 5 stars. *This book was provided to me by Revell. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.
Librarycataloger 11 months ago
PTSD, depression, anxiety and suicidal urges are some of the serious issues in Living Lies and the author suggests that our society can harshly judge people who suffer from these illnesses. In this new book Natalie Walters has created several characters with mental health problems who become part of a serious crime. The suspense revolves around the unsolved murder of a teenage girl in Walton, Georgia and the assumption that she was killed by a former soldier who had served in Vietnam. Lane Kent has just come back to her hometown and she is quick to defend this ex-soldier because she believes that, even though he suffers from PTSD, he cannot be capable of murder. Lane understands emotional problems because she herself suffers from anxiety and depression and she has always felt like she was unworthy, flawed, and an unlovable mistake. She feels responsible for her husband's death and she believes that doesn't deserve to have that kind of love again. Until....Charlie Lynch becomes the new deputy in Walton, Georgia and feelings of love begin to blossom and to take root. It is when Lane continues to question her purpose for living that she is told by her very wise older friend "Honey, God never makes mistakes. You are here on purpose, Lane. With purpose." Natalie Wells has been able to shine a light on mental health problems and still create a mystery that will keep readers guessing. There are many twists and turns throughout her story and there are several occurences that kept me baffled until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed Living Lies and I recommend it to all who love romantic suspense novels. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and this is my honest review.
KayleesKindofWrites 11 months ago
My Review: Genre: Suspense, romance, Christian fiction. My Rating: 5 stars. My Recommendation: 16 up, warnings below. My Favorite Character/s: It was so hard to read Lane's story but she was a character that you could see was struggling with something and needed help. I loved how her character changed by the end of the story. My Verse for Lane is Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (King James Version.) And Charlie with little Noah was so so so so adorable! My Thoughts: This debut was AMAZING . . . I enjoy suspense and this may have been one of my favorite involving police officers. Yes, there was a lot of hard content but there was a lot of darkness and hurt. The suspense was wonderful and it didn't drag, it kept up with a good pace throughout the whole novel. It was a big plus that Vets were helped some and that it showed how hard it is for men to return home after war. Warnings: There is a murder . . . Think a Hallmark movie that's real. A character suffers from depression and attempts to kill themself. A character is shot and there are mentions of drugs/drinking. An older lady makes a joke about 'enjoying the view' when a guy rushes to help someone while preparing for the day and he was shirtless. (Surprisingly, slightly funny but still, I needed to mention it.) I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review and am truly happy to provide it — all the thoughts are my own.
Deanne Patterson 11 months ago
This Book! This Author! Wow, let me tell you, I wasn't big on reading Christian fiction suspense before my son became a police officer. Suspense is not a new genre but quite a few of the Christian fiction authors are jumping on the bandwagon of writing the hottest read genre now and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I find it hard to believe this is the author's debut book. She definitely writes like she has quite a few books under her belt. I am also so glad to see she brings depression front and center in her book. It's an issue that so many of us deal with on a personal issue or know someone that is affected by it. My hope is that people reading this that are affected by this will not feel ostracized by their condition but will discuss it in their families and get the help they need or get someone suffering with it the help they need. This book is just incredible, it is written and flows like a well greased cog. The pieces fit together like a well put together puzzle. One thing I noticed is the book has a small town feel and neighbors helping neighbors and just caring for each other. I had to keep reading to find out what happens and it had me guessing all the way to the end. I am really looking forward to the next book in series. Published May 21st 2019 by Fleming H. Revell Company. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
D_Maddox 11 months ago
I really enjoyed Living Lies. The author was able to pull off the mystery/suspense plot very successfully. It kept me guessing up to the end! Ms Walters also introduced the reader to the crippling agony that depression can have on a person's life. Most people don't realize that depression is much more than being sad. The romance was a little too predictable for my taste. Overall though, Living Lies delivered a good story. I would read another book by Ms Waters.
DarleneLTurner 11 months ago
Lane Kent harbors a secret she desperately wants to keep hidden, but after she stumbles onto a dead body in the woods, everything spirals out of control. Including her feelings for the new deputy in town, but can she let go of the guilt over her husband’s death and find love again? Deputy Charlie Lynch moves to a small town and accepts a position as Deputy to prove to not only himself but his father that it’s his life’s purpose. To protect the innocent. However, when he comes across a young woman sitting precariously close to the edge of a bridge, he intervenes. Soon they are thrust into a heinous murder, and he vows to protect both her and her five-year-old son from lurking predators. As Lane and Charlie grow closer, they find themselves in danger at every turn. Can they find love amongst killers, suspicious art connections, and drug dealers? Living Lies is Natalie Walters’ debut novel and WOW. What a start to a promising writing career. This book had me hooked from the first line. The plot sucker-punched me in the gut and I found myself rushing to get to the last page. It was full of intrigue, heartfelt emotion, and breathtaking twists. I fell in love with Lane, Charlie, and little Noah right from the get-go. The characters were well-rounded and their arcs were beautifully woven into the plot. The imagery in this well-crafted novel literally had me breathless at some points. The author knows how to put her reader right into the pages. Well done. I give Living Lies five stars. It’s one debut that will grab you by the throat and not let go! **Book has been provided courtesy of the author and Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Loretta_Eidson 11 months ago
I loved the gripping suspense that captured my attention from the beginning. Lane Kent harbors a secret she doesn’t want anyone to know about. Even though her husband died a few years ago, she still suffers from grief and regret. She becomes severely depressed and clings to the bridge by the lake that’s surrounded by trees. Thoughts of suicide haunt her, but she has a five-year-old son who needs her. Charlie Lynch, the new deputy in town, is out riding his mountain bike when spots Lane on the bridge. He stops to see if she’s okay. His presence spooks her. She runs deep into the woods to escape Charlie’s questioning, but she stumbles into the body of a young girl who had been brutally murdered. Her screams bring Charlie running to her side. She is forced to work with the new deputy in a murder investigation. Lane struggles in her relationship with her father, who is a judge in town. He knows her secret and tries to control her life, so the secret doesn’t get out and mar his political position. Lane must make the difficult decision to help Charlie find the murderer and the truth about her friend who is thought to be the killer, but that means she must go against her father’s demands and reveal her secret. Natalie does a fabulous job of building suspense and romance. Her characters are well-developed, and the plot is believable. Definitely a page-turner!
SemmieWise 12 months ago
** “ ‘That’s the thing about storms, right? Come in quick and then leave just as quickly.’ ‘Not all storms. … Sometimes they stick around and make life miserable.’ ” ** ** “It wasn’t always easy, but if you look for it beauty can be seen even in the ugliness of war.” ** Natalie Walters’ debut novel, “Living Lies,” is a fantastic romantic thriller that takes on some very serious topics. After a weak moment, widow Lane Kent stumbles upon the body of a teen-age girl. Originally believing it was suicide, police quickly determine young Sydney Donovan was murdered. When Charlie Lynch, the quaint town’s new deputy, who just happens to be the sheriff’s nephew, gets pulled into the case, he quickly becomes intrigued with the reserved and enigmatic Lane. As Charlie and Lane work toward solving Sydney’s murder, they quickly begin to develop feelings for each other. Lane, however, struggles with feeling good enough, as she struggles with depression and guilt over her husband’s death. “Living Lies” is a fast-paced thriller filled with murder, art espionage, drug cartels, misguided blame, and mysterious figures around town. And with just enough toe-curling romance, this book will keep your heart thumping on both the love level and the fear factor. But besides offering a great romantic suspense, Walters dives into some very serious and dark topics. Much of the book revolves around depression and suicide, and shows the importance of getting help whenever someone is feeling that low. It also deals with themes like we’re not meant to shoulder burdens alone and that we need support from our loved ones to succeed; caring for our veterans; being “broken happily ever after”; God is a God of second chances; the feeling of not being enough; God never, ever makes mistakes; overcoming obstacles and tragedies; and the fact that we need to not only look past the flaws of others, but we must look past our own flaws. This is a great story with great themes, and great characters. Walters does a great job of creating very real and very relatable characters — with Lane’s battle with depression and feeling not worthy enough of love, and Charlie’s worry the town will feel he received his job due to nepotism and not due to his ability. She also creates adorable and lovable characters, like Lane’s dinosaur-loving son Noah, and Charlie’s wise and caring aunt, Ms. Byrdie. I know I’m looking forward to more books in Natalie Walters’ “Harbored Secrets” series. Fans of authors like Terri Blackstock, Lynette Eason, Irene Hannon and Janice Cantore will love this book. And please, if you are suffering from depression or having thoughts of suicide, please talk to someone. Seek help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-TALK. You ARE worthy! Five stars out of five. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
BBulow 12 months ago
What a wonderful debut! Though suspense is not my go-to genre, I was drawn to this story first because of the small town setting, but also because of the author's presence on social media. Say what you will, but I'm always drawn to a warm, down-to-earth person, especially online where things can be so shallow and superficial. As I mentioned previously, the small town setting of Walton, Georgia comes to life in this story. From the locals who look after one another, to the diner where everyone gathers on the designated night, the flavor feels just right. In addition to the setting, I loved getting to know these characters. Lane's character is one that truly resonated with me, and I feel she will do the same for anyone that has struggled at any point in their life with depression. I applaud Walters for portraying her in what I feel is a realistic yet sensitive way. I cheered for the way that Lane kept pushing through, even when darkness threatened to take over her heart and mind. Words spoken to her by the precious Ms. Byrdie rooted deep into my heart: "You are not broken. You are perfectly made. You have to stop punishing yourself for the way God made you - even for your depression. You need to forgive yourself and take captive those thoughts that you are anything but the woman our Creator designed you to be." The secondary characters are varied and endearing as well. My particular favorites (other than a handsome deputy Charlie Lynch, of course) are the Ms. Byrdie mentioned above, and Deputy Frost, who works with Charlie. The banter between Charlie and Deputy Frost had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. The plot unfolds with delicious twists, and the mystery is sustained until just the perfect time. It was far enough to keep me guessing, yet soon enough so as to heighten the tension when I had a bit more of a clue than I did before. The investigating feels realistic to me, and I never felt there was any awkward behavior just for the sake of a thrill. Everything happens organically and feels natural. Speaking of feeling natural, the romance is a bit of a slow burn and SO sweet. I appreciate Living Lies for both it's entertainment value as much as I do for its honest portrayal of both struggles and hope. Throw in a quality mystery and an endearing romance, and it's a winning debut. I've added book two in the series to my to-read list and will be eager to get my hands on it! I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review, and the opinions expressed here are my own.
CaraPutman 12 months ago
In Living Lies, the author transports readers to small town Georgia where things aren't as they seem. When a teenager is found murdered, the question becomes why and who. The chain of events launched by the discovery of the body threatens to put Lane Kent's precarious world in danger. Her battle with depression has almost taken her life, and now she'll do anything to convince everyone else she is fine. Charlie Lynch has arrived in town just in time to be assigned to the murder, but finds himself intrigued by Lane and her young son. What ensues is a spiraling story of intrigue and romance well worth the read.