Someone is out there. Watching her. Waiting.
Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime-scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime-scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright -- and changed her life. But six months ago, wen her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.
Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit for which her friend modeled. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead -- and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. Worse, her friend can't be found, and so Avery immediately calls Parker for help.
As Avery, Parker, and their friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.
Dani Pettrey is one of those authors who can send me into a euphoric tizzy of expectation when she has a new book release. The anticipation is almost as rewarding as the actual reading and it's always bittersweet when I reach the end. And that was exactly the case with this second book in the Chesapeake Valor series. No worries if you haven't read Cold Shot first -- Still Life reads wonderfully well as a standalone but you will get more out of the group dynamics if you read the books in order.
And oh those group dynamics! Love the intricacies of the relationships. Life-long friendships that have had some bumps along the way. Professional respect that results in outstanding teamwork. Attractions that seem doomed to remain only that. Great banter and camaraderie. I absolutely love the way this author digs deep and brings all the characters to life. Yes, this is mainly Avery and Parker's story but Pettrey takes the time to deliver so much more.
Like Kate and her relentless search for her lost love. Just a few scenes that promise more to come in a future book. And Declan and Tanner's awkward circling around an obvious attraction that they don't seem eager to explore. Can't wait for that story! So while Still Life provides satisfactory romantic closure in many ways, there are still some hopeful threads I'm eager to follow in future books.
And then there's the suspense. Gritty. Raw. Creepy. And we even get the villain's point of view which ups the creep factor all the more. Shudder. Procedural police work combined with eerie action scenes kept me turning pages as I tried to follow the clues and put the pieces together before the team did. There is also a secondary suspense thread that will continue in the next book (I think) and I have some interesting theories about that. Can't wait to see if I'm right.
And if all that isn't enough to pique your interest -- the romance between Avery and Parker is toe-curling good. Difficult to be sure as they both struggle with issues from their past. Avery in particular has trouble reconciling who she was with who she is now. As a Christian she understand the principle of grace but she has a hard time forgiving herself and that puts up barriers that are hard for Parker to breech. These two have such an interesting connection -- I loved every precious bit of their love story. Great dialogue, gentle teasing, hidden yearning. And did I mention Parker is Irish? Be. Still. My. Heart.
Dani Pettrey has delivered another stunning romantic suspense sure to please her fans while garnering new ones. A definite must read.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Still Life please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 26 2017. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!