Book Title: Shadows & Lies
Author: Eden Butler
Release Date: March 26h, 2015
Series: Shadows #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Mystery
One lie can change your life.
A web of lies can destroy it.
Neil Ryan was a good Navy SEAL. He was an even better detective, but when an unmarked envelope lands on his desk, long-buried secrets are resurrected and Ryan questions everything he thought he knew about justice, including who killed his mother.
Alex Black is a distraction Ryan doesn’t need—she’s loud, obnoxious and a common thief, but her eyes are haunting, her lips irresistible and Ryan happens to love her filthy mouth.
Alex is also the only one able to help Ryan find the leads he's missing. She's the only one who can lead him to the one person who has the answers he seeks, but following her could cost Ryan everything.
Secrets get told, lives get wrecked and in every shadow, the truth is hiding.
"Sometimes things fall into the shadows because they want to be hidden. Sometimes shadows are home to things you didn't know existed- or wish you didn't know."
Ever since finishing last year, it's no lie that Eden Butler has been on my radar on authors to lookout for. I was swept away by the hurricane of emotions that Thin Love left me in and I just knew that I need to get my hands on the next book she writes. While this one proves to be a step-out of her usual niche and entering into the mystery/suspense genre, I can say that the author still managed to weave a story that had me finishing it in almost one sitting.
Shadows & Lies follows Neil Ryan, an ex-Navy SEAL who now runs a security company with a small group of his close buddies and while on one of their assigned jobs, Ryan stumbles across an act of misdemeanour on his client. That's when he crosses path with Alex Black who is a lady of many talents; a grifter who's about to steal from Ryan's client but was caught red-handed by him before she succeeded. After bringing her in for questioning, it was then that they realized both of them had crossed paths a while back ago and what a surprise to find out the circumstances of how they actually met back then.
Soon after, we have Alex's past catching up with her which threatens her to take cover but with almost nowhere to go & little to trust, she had to make a choice of seeking help from the one man who could possibly protect her.
I feel that it's imperative to mention here that this book heavily focuses on the mystery/suspense rather than the romance. As per the author's note prior to the start of the read, she makes it very clear to her readers that this series isn't like her usual writings. So if I had to judge how much I think the romance weighed in on this one, I would say only 30% of this read captured the romance element while the huge portion of the book ran on the mystery plot. And for my smut-lover friends,
you won't get any actual smut until almost 70% through.
That being said, I personally enjoyed watching the story slowly unravelling and allowing me to gain bits of information from both Alex & Ryan with the dual POV shifting between them. They're both connected by their own pasts and driven by a common goal; to determine who killed their loved ones. A heroine like Alex stood out to me because she was the kind of woman who knew how to take control of her life despite her less than ideal upbringing in the foster system.
What I did struggle with this read is that at times, I felt that the story fell a little flat in between and it dragged out at certain scenes that may not have been very crucial to the plot as an overall. I would say like they acted like filler scenes? Perhaps I was hoping more of a suspenseful vibe but I didn't really get that a lot throughout but the story was engaging enough for me to carry on with it. Also the romance buildup between these two felt kinda choppy to me, I was a little thrown off by how slow the buildup was at first but suddenly escalated towards the end
Overall I think Shadows & Lies is a rather solid decent read coming from this author who decided to try out the romantic suspense genre as it does have intriguing characters and an engaging plot with a tad amount of suspense. But again as I mentioned earlier, the romance element is very light and personally I would have loved to have an equal balance of romance and suspense in this one that could have satisfied the romance junkie in me.
Oh and the book does end in relatively safe place that isn't a major cliffy but would definitely leave you wondering what's to come next for this duo and not to mentioned, the answers to the mysteries of this plot.
Shadows & Lies is the first book in the Shadows series which is a romantic suspense series.
ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller.When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.
She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.
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