Review: Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters

Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters (Harbored Secrets Book #2)
Sarah Grace's Rating: 4 out of 5 bookmarks

When Natalie Walters published her debut novel, Living Lies, in May 2019, right away I knew she was an author to watch! (See my review of Book 1 here.) And Book Two in the Harbored Secrets series only confirms that I was right. Deadly Deceit was published in November 2019 by Revell Books.

One of the things that makes Walters' books stand out is the setting. The fictional town of Walton, GA, has the perfect cozy, southern, small-town vibes. The tagline for the series is "Walton, Georgia: everybody knows your name--but no one knows your secret." And that couldn't fit any better. The author does such a fabulous job of describing the small town and its citizens in a vibrant way that instantly draws the reader in. The "small-town setting" trope can be a bit overused, but Walters re-imagines it in a way that makes it stand out and does away with the stereotype.

As vibrant as the town is, the characters are even more so! Vivian DeMarco and Ryan Frost are our main characters. Ryan is a deputy with the sheriff's department and a total-nerd-turned-town-poster-boy. He's a bit on the arrogant side, but in an endearing way instead of irritating. I loved his protectiveness toward his family and those he cares about, and his backstory was very realistic and did a great job of explaining some of his personality and thought processes.

Natalie Walters
Photo Credit: Emilie Hendryx Haney
Vivian is a reporter, and only in town long enough to do her job and get out. I love how her mindset about the town changes as she gets to know its people. I didn't expect to like Vivian at all, but her story instantly grabbed me and I found myself really connecting with her. Both of these characters are really great counterparts to each other, and there are a lot of scenes of hilarious banter between the two, as well as some more heart-touching scenes as together they work through the past and fears.

I could go on about the rest of the cast of fabulous characters, but I'll let you pick up the book and get to know them yourself!

The suspense side of the story is, as expected, very intense and keeps you turning pages. I had my suspicions as to what was going on, but there's so much happening I was constantly guessing!

All in all, Deadly Deceit is an action-packed story full of humor and epic dialogue, heartwarming scenes, sweet romance, and more. Walters is an incredibly talented author and her beautiful writing style quickly and easily draws you into the story. I highly recommend this to all romantic-suspense lovers! I am very much looking forward to the release of the series finale, Silent Shadows, in March 2020!

Content Advisory: Walters includes some pretty heavy topics in this story; including murder, blackmail, rape, and forced prostitution. The author does a great job of not dwelling on these topics too heavily, which I greatly appreciated, but nonetheless, I would recommend the reader be aware of these issues to be able to make an informed decision regarding this book.

Download a free book except here.

Sarah Grace is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called “Life”, she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a woodstove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other. A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things, and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. When not reading, spending time with her ever-growing family, or buried in a textbook, she can be found painting, playing the piano, producing music and audio dramas, web designing, fangirling with her sisters and friends, or discussing technology with her brothers. Sarah Grace inhabits the State of Great Lakes and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a free copy of this book for promotional purposes. A favorable review was not required. This post contains affiliate links.

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