GENRE: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
RELEASE DATE: January 10, 2021
CAN OMINOUS VALENTINES LEAD TO TRUE LOVE?
When Susanna Kelly returns to her hometown of Sweetheart, Texas and its quirky, lovable citizens, her peace of mind is shattered by heart-shaped notes with sinister messages. Daniel Sheppard, Asian American bestselling author and her childhood friend, offers to play the role of her boyfriend to discourage the stalker, but Susanna resists. Pretending to be a couple? Who would buy it?
The note writer’s mind games force her to reconsider. Susanna accepts Daniel’s crazy plan, but her heart acts up whenever she’s near her decoy valentine. Comfortable, uncomplicated Daniel has turned into a full-grown man who makes her senses spin. As she tries to sort out her feelings, the make-believe romance has the opposite effect intended. Harmless notes turn into life-threatening accidents, and Daniel and Susanna must find out who’s behind the attacks before they can decide if their temporary relationship is a heaven-sent gift meant to last forever.
Today is unofficially ‘friends-to-more’ day on the blog because Decoy Valentine by Shannon Kent is another wonderful story of best friends falling in love!
There are a lot of elements in play as the story begins – Susanna’s best friend (and bestselling author) Daniel returns after years abroad, she’s being interviewed for a documentary, the town of Sweetheart is getting ready for their annual Valentine’s festival, and someone is sending Susanna creepy stalkerish Valentines. Yet even with all these things (and a couple others) going on, the author is able to keep the reader from being overwhelmed with info or feeling like the story is too shallow. Rather, all the different spinning plates work together to give the story layers and keep it engaging.
While they are navigating some awkwardness from their long time apart, Susanna and Daniel still slip back fairly easily into a natural friendship and I loved how Kent wrote them together. Their decision to temporarily date (rather than lie about dating) to protect each other from unwanted attention provides excellent excuses to spend time together … which allows any lingering romantical feelings to push toward the surface. And this, of course, makes me a happy reader 🙂
Throw in some suspense with a friends to more romance, and I’m totally on board! Decoy Valentine hits the spot as the threats from Susanna’s stalker escalate quickly. More the better for really-in-love-with-Susanna Daniel to show his protective side, and he’s quite swoony about it. And for a quirky small town like Sweetheart, there are plenty of suspects to choose from! I ended up being right about who was behind the threats but not as right as I thought I was (she says mysteriously).
Bottom Line: Need a good romantic suspense with a host of eclectic suspects and two best friends “pretending” to be in love? Then make sure you add Decoy Valentine by Shannon Kent to your TBR list! Susanna and Daniel are a great pair – as friends or as more – and readers will enjoy hanging out with them on these pages. I loved that the hero is Korean (though it could easily have been given a bit more focus) and how much he respected and cared for Susanna as both his best friend and the woman who has his heart. Fun, sweet and full of warmth even with threats from a stalker, this is a delightful read from beginning to end!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / will forget to breathe on occasion
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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Other Books by Shannon Kent
What about you? What makes you want to read Decoy Valentine by Shannon Kent?