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Not What She Seems

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  1,890 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
A New York Times bestseller!

Steven Ashton, a billionaire from New York, and Emily Grant, on the run from the law...and when they meet he can't help falling for her. What he doesn't know is that interfering in her life will put his own life in danger.

When billionaire Steven Ashton couldn't stand his high society social life anymore, he left the stress of New York on a vacat
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published April 17th 2010
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Alice Yeh
Jul 20, 2010 Alice Yeh rated it liked it
I chose this novel after seeing a great number of Ms. Lieske’s posts on Kindleboards. The summary sounded interesting, so I figured, “Oh, why not? It’s only $2.99.” For the price, it was certainly a bargain, and hundreds of sales and positive reviews don’t lie, right? Right.

I’ll start off with the good. The storyline was interesting, keeping the reader in a constant “whodunnit” frame of mind. Every suspect had a reasonable motive, and all of it tied together rather nicely in the end.

Now, for the
Jun 10, 2010 Jason rated it it was amazing
I can't claim to be an expert on romantic suspense, because I've really never read one before, but I picked this one up and I'm very glad I did. I think it says something about the book's broad appeal that even a reader like myself could find it enjoyable. The dynamic between Steven and Emily drew me in immediately. Their interactions did have a coy, clever quality to them that both highlighted their own personalities and made them mesh.

The title of this book could've just as easily been "Not W
Feb 16, 2011 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
Is Emily Grant an innocent young mother, or is she a hard-boiled killer? Billionaire Stephen Ashton must decide before it's too late.

Okay, let's be honest. The book is a quick, easy read and not a deep, philosophical tome. A beach book for certain. And as a fan of Patricia MacDonald and LifeTime Movie Network romantic thrillers, I adore these kinds of books (just like I adore all other 'bad for you' things: M&M's, movie popcorn, sweet iced get the idea.) But while Lieske's book cer
Nov 28, 2010 Celia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celia-can-read
Victorine truly has a victory with this sweet romance/suspense story!
It started off really well and grabbed my attention right away; at times it was difficult to put down and I nearly missed my stop a couple of times on the way to work. (This would have definitely been no bueno because I am not a morning person and having to do any extra walking in the morning is not my idea of fun!)
The story is easy to follow, but there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. At the end,
Vicki Keire
Jan 06, 2011 Vicki Keire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been quite a long time since I read something in this genre, and I was happy that when I did, it was with a good read like this one. I'd call this a sweet romantic suspense. The writing was excellent. Ms. Lieske kept up a fast pace that didn't drag or get boring or, alternately, go so fast as to lose the reader. Her writing was lean but descriptive- no long, flowery, unnecessary expostions here. Her dialogue was believable, as were her characters. In fact, I developed quite a fondness for s ...more
Jun 01, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I have read on Victorine Lieske's success as an indie author on Kindleboards, and saw her mentioned in the NY Times top 100, so I was very curious. I like mysteries, but the combination with romance did not appeal that much, to be honest.

The romance part fitted seamlessly into a tight, well-crafted plot, however, and added depth to the main characters, Steven and Emily. The mystery element was executed extremely well. At one point there was not one character in the novel I did not suspect. And I
Jessica Bowers
May 06, 2013 Jessica Bowers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not What She Seems
By Victorine E. Lieske

This exciting story of a woman on the run from her terrible abusive past will have you on the edge of your seat. Emily Grant and her four year old son, Connor, are trying their best to keep the past behind them. She is currently on the run until she meets a wonderful, handsome, caring, man named Ethan, actually the billionaire Steven Ashton, and she begins to fall in love. When she realizes who he really is she devises a plan to get money from him so she
Patricia A. Woodburn
An Excellent Beginning
Emily believes that she killed her husband, William. Steven Ashton, a billionaire, tries to escape from his high society life by travelling incognito to Nebraska. Emily and her son, Connor live with Richard, an obnoxious High school friend who controls Emily with the belief that she is wanted for murder.

Richard cooks up a plan for Emily to gouge money from Steven Ashton, now called Ethan. Emily half heartedly complies with this, but feels guilty.

Ethan and Emily start to d
Nov 24, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not What She Seems starts out with billionaire Steven Ashton trying to get away from the stresses of his life and business for a while, and finding some peace in a small town in Nebraska. He meets a young woman and her four year old son, and soon gets wrapped up in their life and trying to help them. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know that she is wanted for questioning in a murder and is thought to be a con woman. Events spiral out of control and Steven is torn between trying to help her and not kno ...more
Unfortunately the audio probably skewed My take on this book. It seemed to be a cross between computer generated voice and quite a nice voice, maybe it is something to do with the production.

Anyhow the story was quite good a murder mystery involving a squillionaire (incognito), a waitress and her creepy "boyfriend".

But all is not what it seems. Poor girl waitress, recognises squillionaire (who is having a little holiday away from the spotlight) and attempts to fleece him out of some money so she
Imogen Rose
Jun 06, 2010 Imogen Rose rated it it was amazing
An enjoyable read. Not What She Seems tells the story of Emily, a small-town girl on the run (I won’t give away any spoilers) with her son and best friend from high school. It tells the story of Steven, a high-profile New Yorker who, after an accidental encounter with her, becomes entangled in her complicated life. This was a sweet, romantic tale. The story line was fairly predictable, but captivating. The Kindle version was well formatted.
Laura Sullivan
Apr 15, 2011 Laura Sullivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book, you really won't know what to expect. You will fall in love with the characters, and all the while trying to figure out who is the bad guy in all this mess. You will enjoy the story, it is completely worth your time.

I look forward to more from this author..
Oct 13, 2012 Mandi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It kept me on my toes and wondering "who really did it". If you like a good love story and mystery, this is the perfect book to read.
Craig Hansen
Oct 10, 2010 Craig Hansen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS by Victorine Leiske is a stunning debut novel. Although categorized generally under romantic suspense, this is no Harlequin or Silhouette romance, and although the book will appeal to women, it’s not exactly “chick lit,” either, because anyone who enjoys a good edge-of-your-seat thriller will find this novel appealing.

Personally, I’m a fan of suspense authors; it’s one of my favorite genres. I like some of Thomas Harris’ pre-HANNIBAL novels, I’ve enjoyed most of what James Pat
Michelle Douglas
Feb 10, 2017 Michelle Douglas rated it liked it
The title makes you think that Emily [one of the main characters] is not what she seems but by the end of the book, you realise who the title is referring to. Emily is on the run after thinking she killed her abusive husband five years previously. A friend from school had helped her get a fake I.D. so she could have her son in hospital. Richard came up with a plan to acquire money from a billionaire who Emily and Connor had bumped into in the hall of a hotel they were staying in. Steve was hidin ...more
Gayle Alexander
Jan 11, 2017 Gayle Alexander rated it liked it
Obvious ending

Good story telling with clean romance, some suspense but ending was predictable. Standard likable characters . Need more background on protagonist
Jan 11, 2017 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't too bad for a free download. It did have some twists & turns that kept me going on who was the bad guys. I was disappointed with the ending though. It just sort of ended and seemed like she needed to finish it off more.
Mar 01, 2012 02malloryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you like mystery, murder, suspense, and a plot that keeps you guessing? Then this is a great book for you. Not what she seems is full of all those things and more like backstabbing friends, over protective mothers, and a love story that continues throughout the book. Something that I really liked was how the book kept me guessing the whole time! It wasn’t until the last couple pages that I realized who the murder was. Another thing that I liked was how the book gave just the right amount of ...more
Elizabeth Svigar Stephen
I really enjoyed this book. I found myself thinking about it between reads, wondering what was going to happen, suspecting different people of different actions and motivations, and dying (ha!) to get to the end to find out. This lovely romantic suspense novel begins with us meeting Steven Ashton, a lonely, good-looking billionaire. Then we are introduced to an interesting cast of characters… and a somewhat unsolved murder, though Lieske crafts well to that also.

Plot: A cat-and-mouse-and-cat-and
Aug 08, 2010 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Contemporary romantic suspense is probably my favorite type of book, but only if the plot is complex and unpredictable, and the tension is balanced with some lighter scenes and/or humorous moments. Victorine Lieske’s "Not What She Seems" gets high marks from me in both of these categories.

Now, for about the first quarter of the book, I was not impressed. There were only a few important characters, and I thought I had the whole plotline figured out lickety-split. I was wrong. At about that point,
Kevin Bowser
May 10, 2013 Kevin Bowser rated it really liked it
Well, first of all, I am really glad I read the book before I read the reviews of the book. If I had read the reviews first, I am ight have skipped this little gem.

Come on. Be honest. Haven't you ever wondered what it would be like to be a gazillionaire and try to imagine what their life must be like? Maybe I am the only person who has (although I doubt it.)

This story is about a young billionaire, Steven Ashton, who becomes disenchanted with his life. He becomes tired of the lifestyle and the w
Bill Collins
Oct 04, 2015 Bill Collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MAGNIFICENT!! BRAVO!! WELL DONE!! I never saw the ending coming. It caught me totally off-guard. I see now why it gained NY Times Best-Seller status, even thought it was written by an indie author. It is simply that good. Read my last paragraph to see how she managed that!

There were a couple of small spots that stretched believably, in order to make the plot work. The biggest was the hero on the phone with his private detective. He finds out the detective has located his girlfriend that he is de
Sep 24, 2010 Belle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodness, it’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a book. So a sincere apology there to anyone who reads these.

Victorine E. Lieske was born 1972 in Nebraska. Victorine has written one novel so far, let’s hope there are many more to come!

I won Not What She Seems through Good Reads, much to my delight. When the book arrived I was reading Echoes by Jackie Hyman, oh how I wish I’d put that book down and read Not What She Seems sooner.

Billionaire Steve Ashton takes a vacation to escape the pressu
Jan 10, 2011 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I got really into this book from the very first page. Immediately I was curious about Emily and what was going on with her and Richard and how her little boy Conner fit into everything. Each page kept me on edge, anxiously wondering what was going to happen next. I felt like there were too many twists and turns toward the end and I really hated how it ended with Emily just falling asleep.

I really wanted more details about her and Steven and where there relationship was headed after they fou
Gina Barlean
Dec 17, 2011 Gina Barlean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I personally had to give it a 3 star, but only because I just don't care for romance novels. It just wasn't gritty enough for me. Not enough blood or cursing or meanness! Yeah. I like gory gritty stuff.

Regarding the writing: Perfectly clean.
Plot: Solid. Good twists. Nice surprise ending I didn't expect.
Characters: Solid, but too polite for my taste. I really liked the character, Richard. I'd have liked to known more about him. His story seemed like a psychological mess and it intrigued me.
Apr 29, 2013 Tonya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

What I liked about the story:

1) The whodunit surprise at the end.

What I didn't like about the story:

1) The love story was stilted and cold. I didn't feel any love between Steven and Emily at all.

2) There were too many suspects/plot twists/crimes going on at the same time. Multiple murders, bribery, illegitimate children, domestic disputes...the list can go on and on. You don't have to add everything to have an interesting story.

3) Connor was not believable at all. He didn't act like a 4 year o
Aug 17, 2012 Roybot rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lieske's suspense/romance "Not What She Seems" lives up to the title, in that I was expecting more of a suspense/thriller, but ended up with a sort of light paced romance novel, instead.

Which might not be a bad thing, if that's what you're looking for, but romance wasn't on my mind.

I did enjoy that there were some elements of mystery involved (who killed her husband? What's the secret everyone is so touchy about? Is the friend everything he seems to be?), but, by the end of the novel, I found
Aug 31, 2015 Kelsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised by this book after reading the author's
"reluctantly married". It was very different from the other and not something I would normally read.
I enjoyed the premise of the book and felt the plot had some great twists and turns.
On the other hand it felt like it just needed more. More detail in parts, more talking between the main characters and more editing.
I think I could have gotten over most of the missing pieces if the main characters had spent more time talking about how they
Aug 21, 2012 Sherry rated it liked it
Steven Ashton is a Billionaire and Bored. He hasn't found a woman to share his life with. Most woman cant see past the dollar signs. He leaves one day to get away from all the craziness of life. He wants to find a simpler time . Then on his journey he meets Emily. Emily is single mom with an adorable little boy Conner. Emily is on the run. She has a past that she is trying not to think about and a bleak future ahead with a man she thought was her protector. She has to get away from Richard, he h ...more
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