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Port Aster Secrets #1

Deadly Devotion

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Research scientist Kate Adams and her colleague Daisy are on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy suddenly dies. Kate knows that if it hadn’t been for Daisy’s mentorship, she wouldn’t have the job she loves or the faith she clings to. So when police rule Daisy’s death a suicide, Kate is determined to unearth the truth.

Former FBI agent Tom Parker finds it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gives him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom’s just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation of her friend’s death, he knows his job is at stake. In fact, despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate looks a bit suspicious herself.
As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?

374 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2013

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About the author

Sandra Orchard

32 books261 followers
Sandra leaps off the garden trails of her herbal-researcher-turned-amateur-sleuth (Port Aster Secrets) series, to the museum corridors of her plucky FBI art crime agent Serena Jones, in A Fool and His Monet.

When not plotting crimes, Sandra plays make-believe with her grandchildren or hikes with her hubby along the escarpment, near their home in Niagara, Canada.

Her novels have garnered numerous awards, including the National Readers' Choice Award, a Holt Medallion Award of Merit, an RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the Daphne DuMaurier Award of Excellence and five national Canadian Awards.

Learn more about Sandra’s books and fun bonus features at www.sandraorchard.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 173 reviews
Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,557 reviews3,402 followers
June 24, 2022
About this book:

“Research scientist Kate Adams and her colleague Daisy are on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy suddenly dies. Kate knows that if it hadn’t been for Daisy’s mentorship, she wouldn’t have the job she loves or the faith she clings to. So when police rule Daisy’s death a suicide, Kate is determined to unearth the truth.
Former FBI agent Tom Parker finds it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gives him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom’s just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation of her friend’s death, he knows his job is at stake. In fact, despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate looks a bit suspicious herself.
As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?”

Series: Book #1 in “Port Aster Secrets” series.

Spiritual Content- Many Prayers; Scriptures are read, remembered, quoted & mentioned; Witnessing; Talks about God & where God is; ‘H’s are not capital when referring to God or Jesus; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers; Mentions of faiths & sharing; Mentions of Heaven & eternity; Mentions of church & church going; Mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; A couple mentions of those in the Bible; A couple mentions of a minister; A mention of a godsend;
*Note: A mention of a “bat out of you-know-where”; A mention of not being in luck.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘darn’, a ‘dumb’, a ‘stinking’, four forms of ‘shut up’, four forms of ‘stupid’; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); Sarcasm & smart alecks; All about a murder (which many believe it was a suicide), poisons, deaths, bodies & a killer (up to semi-detailed); An allergic reaction; Tom has a bit of PTSD after a car bombing; Many, many mentions of marijuana, drugs & dealers; Many mentions of bombs & terrorist theories; Many mentions of cons & con-artists; Mentions of blood & pain (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of threats; Mentions of criminals, victims & jail; Mentions of robberies, stealing, stolen items, & thieves; Mentions of cigarettes; Mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of domestic violence & injuries; A few mentions of vomit; A few mentions of bad smells; A couple mentions of bruises; A couple mentions of a misunderstanding of thinking someone is a terrorist; A couple mentions of roadkill; A mention of a drive-by shooting; A mention of a mafia hit man; A mention of a man zipping his pants after using the restroom;
*Note: Mentions of car brands; A few mentions of brand names; A few mentions of a movie & actor (Australia & Hugh Jackman); A couple mentions of a Disney character; A couple mentions of Boy Scouts; A mention of GQ; A mention of looking like a zombie.

Sexual Content- Two fingers-to-lips touches; Touches & Nearness (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes & Winks; Noticing & Smelling; two forms of ‘hot’; Mentions of boyfriends, girlfriends & acting like you’re dating; Mentions of betrayals; Mentions of a playboy, flirting, blushes, & reputations; A few mentions of miscarriages; A couple mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of crushes & being sweet on someone; A couple mentions of an out of wedlock pregnancy; A couple mentions of affairs; A mention of a first kiss; A mention of a girl necking with her boyfriend; A mention of a gossip asking if a guy and girl could possibly be doing “you know…in the middle of the day?” (they aren’t); Some love, falling in love & the emotions.

-Kate Adams, age 29-30
-Tom Parker
P.O.V. switches between them
358 pages

Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- One Star (and a half)
Early High School Teens- Three Stars
Older High School Teens- Four Stars
My personal Rating- Four Stars

Okay, I found this book completely fascinating. I’m totally kicking myself that I didn’t buy this trilogy all at once…now I have to wait to get my hands on the rest. I believe my fellow murder mystery fans will enjoy this one. With just a dash of romance and a lot of interesting facts about toxic plants, I’m hooked on this series and am eagerly awaiting to start the next book in the series.
{ So, a note to those interested in “Deadly Devotion”, when I read a couple other reviews I became concerned about the mystery not wrapping up like some reviewers were saying. Thankfully, the main mystery is wrapped up, but there are some smaller ones started in this first book that get carried on to the next. ;) }

Link to review:

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
Profile Image for Sarah Grace Grzy.
629 reviews826 followers
February 2, 2018
This was so fun!

Somehow, Orchard's writing style always has me laughing . . . This author has a crazy fun way with words.

But what really makes her novels are her characters. Kate was so sweet, innocent, and naive. I loved how clueless she was. I'm frankly tired of the tough, I-can-do-it-all-myself, I'm-so-smart female MCs, so this was a refreshing change. Tom Parker was also a fabulous and well-rounded character, and I really liked him a lot. His backstory was great.

The mystery was fun, and kept you guessing. I grew a little tired of the frequent "false alarms", and a little more true action would have been nice, but I did like how it was more light hearted than your typical suspense book. The romance was very sweet.
The ending was a bit disappointing, if I'm being honest, but I enjoyed the rest of the book.

And as mentioned, Orchard's signature writing style made this book such a fun read!

All in all, I highly recommend this light-hearted suspense novel!

Recommended for ages 14+ for mild violence and romance.
Profile Image for Olivia.
674 reviews105 followers
December 4, 2015
A typical mystery story. Tom, is an FBI, and Katie wants to prove that her friend was murdered...but too many people look suspicious.
The book doesn't quite finish as there is a sequel, but at least you get to know who killed Daisy. I thought there should have been a little more of a spiritual aspect to this book. The first half hardly even mentioned God at all, but the author brought in some good lessons at the end.
Profile Image for Melanie Kilsby.
Author 2 books272 followers
July 17, 2022
LOVED this book!!!
First 5 star of the year. Yay!

This book had me guessing almost the entire way through and I loved that. Not many writers can do that for me. A modern, Christian Agatha Christie, if I do say so myself.

Light on the romance, but perfectly subtle! I loved Tom and his back story as well as Kate and hers. These are wonderfully relatable and authentic characters, which made this book come to life. Also the real and authentic picture of Tom's dad and the affects of grief on our lives was so tangible. Each side character was as vibrant as our mains.

I loved the play on herbs and tea!! I couldn't help but sip on some herbal concoctions during this book.

The book had great faith content and this quote summed up the heart of it so well, that I couldn't help fall in love with it and the book:

"Before I met Daisy, I saw God the way most people see marigolds--something pretty to admire now and again, unaware that one variety offers healing while the rest are counterfeits. Now that I know the truth, I won't settle for a counterfeit."
Profile Image for Cathy.
1,090 reviews56 followers
July 10, 2016
Oh my goodness, this book was SO good! I have to admit it was hard to get into at first. Kate seemed kind of dumb (she redeemed herself!) and the characters seemed confusing and I felt like there was a back story I was missing (there is one but it is going to unfold in the following books I'm sure) about halfway through it REALLY got good and I was so hooked! I am so glad I have book 2 ready to go!
Profile Image for Sarita.
1,073 reviews629 followers
August 20, 2020
So, they say don't judge a book by it's cover, which if we are honest, we mostly do. The same with this book. When I picked it up, saw the cover and name, my expectation was a suspense, however, I would rather classify it as a cozy mystery - we have an amateur sleuth and a detective. Also, the events Kate found herself in was sometimes more humorous than suspenseful. And there was a lack of action.

I did like the plot and trying to, with Kate, find out who killed Daisy and had a few suspicions. The killer was not surprising but definitely the reason behind it. I hoped for a different ending, but maybe in one of the next books, the possible export flowers with more to the story will be picked up again.

This was my first read by this author and for me this was an enjoyable mystery (cozy) and I would continue this series. There was a mystery with Kate's dad hinted at that was not resolved and I still think there is more to Hank and his dad than what was revealed in book one.
Profile Image for M.L. Milligan.
Author 5 books20 followers
November 14, 2022
This was a different style mystery than I'm used to reading, and I have to say, it was quite enjoyable! I liked Kate's dogged determination and Tom's sympathy towards the case at hand, even if they didn't always get along. 😉 Definingly looking into getting the rest of the trilogy!
Profile Image for Brittany.
2,188 reviews137 followers
June 14, 2015
Deadly Devotion is the first book in the Port Aster Secrets series and is also the first book that I have read by Sandra Orchard. I definitely enjoyed it and will be reading more of her books in the future.

The author had me, and the main characters, guessing and following different leads throughout the entire book! Kate and Tom truly had their hands full. There were so many people and potential motives that these two had to sort through.

Deadly Devotion really captured my interest. I was very surprised at the way the author kept the twists and turns going throughout the story. I did, eventually, figure out the culprit, but it was only a few pages before the reveal. She kept me guessing for almost the entire book.

Kate and Tom have the possibility of attraction and of a potential romance in Deadly Devotion. There was often angst between the two, as well. If only they can get over their suspicions of each other and learn to trust again. They both make some judgment errors about each other and that created some serious tension in portions of the story.

This storyline had a lot of interesting information about natural remedies and teas. I really enjoyed the extra details and I feel that those pieces of information enhanced the story and brought Kate’s passion for tinctures to life for me. I’m looking forward to book two and the continuation of this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

You can read this review on my blog at:
Profile Image for Victoria Lynn.
Author 7 books508 followers
February 22, 2017
It has been a while since I have read this, but I remember enjoying it a lot! It was a good mystery with lots of twists. I do know there was something content wise, but I don't remember what. . . LOL! I know, super helpful review! :)
Profile Image for Victoria.
71 reviews
May 7, 2018
I don't understand why... I couldn't figure this one out! Although I had lots of suspects and suspicions. The author did a stupendous job with the spiritual, romance, and mystery aspect in this novel. Kate and Tom were so cute together! I recommend to any fellow murder mystery readers!
Profile Image for Bames.
172 reviews27 followers
July 27, 2013
Deadly Devotion is a crime mystery written by Sandra Orchard. It is the first book in the Port Aster series.

Kate Adams is a research scientist. Her mentor, boss, and friend, Daisy Leacock dies and the death has been ruled as a suicide by police. According to the coroner's report, Daisy died due to poisoning from something in her herbal tea. Kate does not accept the death as a suicide and demands the case be reopened so that Daisy's murderer is found.

Police Detective Tom Parker is ex-FBI who, thanks to his buddy, joins the police force in Port Aster. Most of his colleagues resent him because they feel he does not deserve to be there, but he tries to do his job as best he can. When Kate Adams starts insisting that the Daisy Leacock case be kept open and insists that the death was the result of a murder, Tom tries his best to convince Kate that it was all an accidental suicide. Kate them insists that she will find the killer on her own. But then, Tom learns that Kate stands to inherit as she features in Daisy's will. Did Kate poison Daisy? Or was it someone else?

I have read some other books by Revel and liked them so I decided to request to read Deadly Devotion from Netgalley which was approved. But...First things first. Kate's character is incredibly irritating. For someone who is supposed to be a research scientist, she is a total airhead. She comes up with suspicions and ideas that even an eight year old will find stupid. There are so many characters but I was able to figure out whodunit the moment that character got in the picture. Tom's character is not that much better. He is probably the most incompetent cop ever and he is supposed to be ex-FBI. I mean... Really?!

I did not like the book. I regret reading it. And I will definitely stay away from the other books in the series. Although there may be some readers and reviewers who will find the book interesting enough to give it more stars... I am unable to do so.
Profile Image for Dawn.
781 reviews75 followers
June 12, 2013
Deadly Devotion - A Review

Research scientist, Kate Adams, is shocked when her mentor dies suddenly in what the police have ruled as a suicide. Kate knows that Daisy didn't kill herself and is determined that the police re-open the case. Former FBI agent Tom Parker is reluctant to reopen the case. Yet when he discovers Kate investigating on her own, he unofficially reopens the case. As Kate and Tom investigate, someone feels that Kate has stumbled too close to the truth and wants her silenced - forever. Can Tom protect Kate before it's too late?

I'm not sure if this is the first book of Sandra Orchard's that I've read or not. I may have read some of her Love Inspired Suspense novels a while back, but I just don't know. I do know I enjoyed this book. I had my own list of suspects and one second I'd be like "oh such and such did it." Then the next chapter, I'd change my mind. So I really had no clue who was the guilty party, which was a good thing. I loved Tom's Dad. I think he was my favorite character in the book. This is a fast paced story. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received the Kindle version of the book from Revell Books via NetGalley for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of romantic suspense, Love Inspiried suspense, Irene Hannon

Rating - 4 stars

Available June 2013 at local bookstores from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Profile Image for Katy Lee.
Author 54 books145 followers
November 26, 2013
I am a huge tea drinker, but Sandra Orchard’s latest suspense series, the Port Aster Secrets, now has me questioning every ingredient that fills my teabags. The titles of the teas on my canisters all sound delightful, but after reading the first book in Sandra’s series, Deadly Devotion, I have to question what exactly goes into my African Autumn Surprise teabags…eeeek!

Deadly Devotion is the first book in a three-book mystery series in which a romance arcs the series, along with an underlying suspense plot. The heroine of the series, Kate Adams, is a research scientist who knows her herbs. She knows which ones are deadly and which ones could go undetected in an autopsy. But knowing this doesn’t mean she’s safe from their poison–especially when she starts sniffing more than tea leaves. She’s putting her nose where it doesn’t belong, and her amateur sleuthing is going to get her into trouble. Will the handsome FBI agent-turned cop, Tom Parker, be able to help her out? All I will say is they make a great team, and I am looking forward to Book Two, Blind Trust, releasing in January.
Profile Image for Vondraya.
32 reviews82 followers
May 10, 2014
This should've been a terrific read. The concept is unique and fresh. But the police procedure is completely unbelievable. And the heroine comes off as a spoiled ditz.

At the very start, researcher Kate Adams rushes into the police station and castigates Detective Tom Parker for allowing the local newspaper to print an insulting story about her deceased friend having committed suicide. Apparently this college educated, professional young woman doesn't understand the police department does not manage, or instruct the news media on what to put in print. Then she demands the detective reopen the case. She also has a penchant for believing nearly everyone int he town has killed her friend at one time or another and the detective takes this seriously. It's hard to believe, as is told to us, that he was a former FBI agent.
Profile Image for Natalie.
2,395 reviews51 followers
July 31, 2017
This book went in circles. Kate suspects a person, follows or stalks that person, determines that person is innocent and then suspects that individual again. It got very tiresome after a while.

Tom is quite the bumbling detective, especially for a guy who used to be in the FBI. He's just not very good at crime fighting.

The mystery was not as thrilling as I thought it would be. I solved the crime almost immediately and it annoyed me that it took Kate and Tom so long to catch up.

I also didn't like the ending. It seemed like it left too much hanging. I'm not sure I'll bother reading the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Cara Putman.
Author 48 books1,614 followers
June 30, 2013
Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard is a book about the lengths one will go to in an effort to prove their friend did not commit suicide. Kate Adams is determined that her friend Daisy was murdered, but the police have labeled it accidental. She knows they're wrong and embarks on a search to prove it. In the process she needs help from Tom Parker, a former FBI agent who is trying to settle back into life in Port Aster. The book is filled with suspects, clue, and bits of romance. I had suspicious about who the killer was, but the reason surprised me. A very enjoyable romantic mystery.
Profile Image for Emma.
357 reviews2 followers
November 12, 2021
This was an interesting read for sure! I’ve never really read a book about toxic plants so this was definitely different than what I typically read. I’ve always liked mysteries so I decided to give it a go.
I really liked Kate. She was a sweet character. I love how she wanted to believe the best in people even when they were all giving her reason to doubt them (like seriously, how on earth would you know how to trust anyone when they acted like that??) I was totally clueless!!
Tom was also a great guy. He’s more of a serious guy but I still liked him.

I really liked the faith content too. It wasn’t a lot but still there.

There were a few times I got a bit bored because things kept leading to dead ends. But overall, there was enough action and suspense to keep me reading. I think I’ll continue the trilogy since there’s still some things left unresolved and I’m interested in the rest of Kate and Tom’s story.
Profile Image for Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter).
1,086 reviews24 followers
December 14, 2019
3.5 rounded up.

I enjoyed this book while reading it. I hadn't guessed the ending and who had done it, but I'm not very good at that usually. I liked the main characters, though the main police man was not very good at his job (or at least it felt that way for most of the book, his retired police man Dad was much more convincing).

My main complaint was it felt too long. There were parts where the pacing felt off. The ending in particular felt very unsatisfying, though I'm guessing this same case in continued in the sequel and might be wrapped up better later.

Overall, it was enjoyable. I would probably recommend Sandra Orchard's Serena Jones series over this one so far.
475 reviews3 followers
May 25, 2020
This was ok. It very much leaves you hanging, which I didn't like. It felt like the last chapter was missing, not just "leaves you wanting more." Overall, it wasn't the best constructed mystery. There were LOTS of rabbit trails. I may or may not read the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Ellen Hamilton.
Author 1 book14 followers
March 16, 2019
I really enjoyed reading this modern-day murder mystery. It was well-written, facts seemed to be very well-researched, and the best part of it all were the main characters, Detective Parker and research scientist Kate Adams. I liked that they were normal people with families, not some weird, emotionally unavailable, mentally isolated people. I also liked that these people were religious, went to church, turned to God in their difficulties, and were overall nice, decent people. I just wish this wasn't a series because that means we have to wait a long time to see the potential couple get together.
Profile Image for Nancee.
648 reviews
October 17, 2013
Kate Adams had become close friends with her mentor, Daisy Leacock, as they worked together in a research laboratory testing herbs as possible medicinal treatments. They were close to a breakthrough in a treatment for depression when Daisy was discovered dead. An investigation ensued, but with no evidence to indicate foul play aside from a cup of tea, the case was closed and Daisy's death was ruled a suicide. Kate knew her friend's strong spiritual beliefs and refused to believe that her mentor's death was self inflicted. Approaching Detective Tom Parker with her suspicions Kate insisted that she would find the truth surrounding Daisy's death. Several suspects had motives to want Daisy dead, and Kate insisted on investigating on her own to clear Daisy's name and prove she was murdered. Much to Detective Parker's dismay, Kate's insistence on following her instincts placed her in a number of dangerous situations. Parker's job was on the line because of the time he spent keeping Kate out of trouble. Kate's motives were also questioned as developments revealed themselves.

Sandra Orchard has written a compelling murder investigation that kept me on the edge of my seat and up into the wee hours of the morning! The suspense in this novel was ceaseless, and the questions regarding each of the suspects were endless! Characters in this fast-paced book are well defined and varied, some suspicious, others colorful, but all individuals of interest. The author creates settings that are detailed and descriptive, creating atmospheres of suspense in themselves. Underlying spiritual concerns were blended throughout this book, including faith and forgiveness. I thoroughly enjoyed this suspense-filled novel, and look forward to reading more books by this talented author.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Profile Image for Tamara Tilley.
Author 10 books17 followers
January 23, 2016
DEADLY DEVOTION is book one in the Port Aster Secrets series. Romance, suspense, and more twists than a mountain road.

Herbiest, Kate Adams insists her friend Daisy did not kill herself. But the Port Aster Police Department does not agree. Though she knows Detective Tom Parker is annoyed with her, she doesn’t care. Kate will do whatever is necessary to prove Daisy was murdered, even if she has to use herself as bait.

Detective Tom Parker is beyond frustrated with Kate Adams. With her wild accusations and uncanny way of getting herself into dangerous situations, he has no choice but to look into Kate’s allegations, if only to keep her out of trouble. Unfortunately, his chief doesn’t want him wasting time on a closed case so Tom’s is unofficially keeping his eye on Kate.

While Kate and Tom sidestep their growing attraction for each other, they have come to the agreement Daisy was indeed murdered - now to prove it.

I really enjoyed DEADLY DEVOTION and BLIND TRUST, book two in the series. Though I read them out of order (book two was sent to me as part of a contest so I couldn’t post a public review), both books kept me interested and involved. I enjoyed the characters of Kate and Tom. Kate is a go-getter and Tom has just the right mix of exasperation and protectiveness. Tom’s family and the other members of the Port Aster community added small town charm to the story, and lent to the myriad of suspects. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the next installment in the series.

Profile Image for Melanie.
1,951 reviews548 followers
June 7, 2013
Review on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/R31IGHQZ...
Review on my blog (to be posted 6/10): http://christianbookshelfreviews.blog...

3.5 stars

Deadly Devotion was a really good mystery novel. I had thought for a long time I knew who was behind it all, but my first guess was totally off! One thing I loved was how everything clicked and made sense in the end.

The characters in Deadly Devotion were nice and I liked them, but it annoyed me slightly that the characters in the book kept jumping to conclusions and switching their opinions on who they thought was guilty.

The ending definitely makes me want to read the next book in the Port Aster Secrets series - it sounds really good! I'm excited to see where Kate and Tom's relationship goes.

Overall, while not my favorite of Sandra Orchard's books, it was still a good read that I enjoyed. If you enjoy mystery novels with some romance, I definitely think you'll like Deadly Devotion.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

*Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*
Profile Image for Donna.
789 reviews32 followers
September 10, 2015

Deadly Devotion is book one in the Port Aster series. I was able to download it for free when book three came out. It is a suspenseful mystery with a sweet romance.

I loved Kate from the opening scene where she is trying to convince Tom to reopen the case. Kate is convinced that her mentor Daisy did not kill herself and or carelessly mix chemicals that killed her. Kate and Daisy have been working on a cure for treating depression with herbal medicine and they were getting close.
Tom is a former FBI agent who as returned to his home town after a bad situation and to take care of his grieving father. I loved how his father helped with the case. He was one of my favorite secondary characters.

There are plenty of suspects to keep you guessing.

The sweet connection between Kate and Tom drew me in and I look forward to the future stories with them.
I recommend reading the books in order.
You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
Profile Image for Margaret Chind.
3,131 reviews210 followers
September 8, 2014
It’s always interesting going into a new series, but even more so when it’s a new-to-me author as this one was with Deadly Devotion. It was an interesting read, and while not fabulous if I stumbled across more by this author I think I’d get it. However I’m not sure at this point that I would desperately seek out the next read. Yet then if you know me, contemporary is not always my genre of choice. Kate was a bit of a quirky character, but I really liked Tom and he seemed real off the page. This type of writing makes me think a bit of Lorna McCourtney, less intense than Irene Hannon, and perhaps Peggy Darcy.

posted: http://creativemadnessmama.com/blog/2...

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.
Profile Image for Marji Laine.
Author 24 books347 followers
October 18, 2014
Sandra Orchard casts a delicious mystery in a picturesque town just north of the Canadian border. Port Aster is the quaint tourist village expected from travel magazines. But like the dilapidated buildings covered by the street-front facades, there's a lot more going on there than visitors can see. Things aren't always what they seem to be. A theme that echoes throughout this story.

Full of twisted sub-plots and unexpected laughs, the story baffles, as a good mystery should. Tom and Kate waffle between possible scenarios and suspects, carrying the reader along. With a number of reasonable killers, good motives, and plenty of secrets that draw attention, the constant mind-changing actually makes perfect sense.

The story sets followups, too. Little details are left unresolved, ready to explode into new plots. And then there's the budding romance. Bud is as far as the romance goes, even though the feelings seem intense. Left me quite giddy! I'm looking forward to seeing it build!
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