Book Review: Summer Stalker by Nicole Helm

About the Book:

Title: Summer Stalker

Author: Nicole Helm

Page Length: 256

Publication Date: April 27, 2021

Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue

Synopsis: Someone’s watching them.

Someone they’d never suspect.

Reece Montgomery’s on an undercover mission to learn what unsuspecting B and B owner Lianna Kade knows about her husband’s murder. However, the workaholic North Star agent finds himself in serious danger, not the least of which is his unprofessional need to protect Lianna and her son, Henry. When the fearless widow proposes an ultra-risky plan to lure a killer, it will test Reece’s resolve not to fall for Lianna and her fatherless child.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |  

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My Review:

An intriguing and exciting romantic suspense, Summer Stalker follows Lianna and Reece. A year after a tumultuous marriage that ended in the brutal and unsolved murder of her husband, Lianna is coping with anxiety and trying to find her confidence. This isn’t shocking considering her marriage was built on lies, and his murderer is still at large. Lianna runs the family bed-and-breakfast and tries to maintain a sense of normalcy for the sake of her young son, but she is still tormented by the past.

When Reece is charged with investigating Lianna and what she knows about her husband’s murder, he poses as a nature photographer and guest so he can secretly learn more. Reece doesn’t expect to become so connected to her and her son Henry. His life is so defined by his career and making up for the sins of his parents that he’s never really taken the time to have anything other than that. But when he notices that Lianna is being monitored, he can’t hide his feelings anymore. Reece will do anything to keep Lianna and Henry safe, even if that means losing her. Will Lianna trust Reece when she learns of his lies and his mission? Will Lianna’s past prevent her from having a future?

Lianna is a strong woman who is determined to raise her son in a safe and happy environment. After being in a loveless marriage with a neglectful, criminal, and dishonest husband, Lianna struggles to trust others. Riddled with anxiety and fear, she does her best to protect Henry and shelter him from the harsh realities of their life. She is a wonderful and caring mother who clearly has her son’s best interest at heart, and I can understand why she has her defenses up. Reece is one of the few with whom she lets her guard down.

Reece is a solitary man who doesn’t get involved when on a mission, but that changes when he meets Lianna and her son Henry. He is so drawn to this mother and son, and there is a connection from their first awkward meeting. I love the romance between Lianna and Reece! Both fight their feelings for different reasons, but their connection is strong. Both have trauma in their past and have felt the pain of parental abandonment. Both also seem to be looking for a feeling of home, and both work to right the wrongs of the past. Being with Lianna and Hank is the first time that Reece has ever felt a sense of home and family, and he is determined to protect them. Reece has also never been in love, and he struggles to identify those feelings, which is so sweet and swoon-worthy!

Another great part of the story is the relationship between Reece and Henry. Reece is unaccustomed to being with children, but he has a deep desire to protect them. Henry is a sweet boy that connects to Reece almost instantly. He sees Reece as a father-figure and protector, and he puts his trust in this honorable man. I think the bond that develops between Henry and Reece endears Reece to Lianna even more, and it shows Reece a part of himself that he never knew existed.

I enjoyed this suspenseful romance. The pacing is great, the characters are well-developed and interesting, and the mystery is intriguing. Throughout the story, it is unclear who is targeting Lianna, but there are several possibilities. There are some intense, nail-biting scenes and some unexpected revelations that added to the suspense.

Some of the side characters that work with Reece and help protect Lianna and Henry are also wonderful, and I’m hoping that they will be the focus of future books. I’m curious to learn more about them and the fascinating company they work for. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Harlequin Intrigue, and Nicole Helm for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance! Reece and Lianna have a wonderful love story!
  • Henry. He’s a sweet little boy and so endearing!
  • The suspense. This is a fast-paced read with a suspenseful build-up.

Favorite Lines:

Sometimes the wrong people get the best of us.

No one should have to pay someone else’s penance forever.

The stars shone brilliantly above-he’d always had that, even as a kid. Starshine and endless space-and the hope that there was something beyond the hell he’s lived when he was still with his parents.

Recommendations:

This is a great story for readers who enjoy suspenseful stories with great characters and a wonderful romance.

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