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Shattered Secrets

(Cold Creek #1)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  1,829 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Every town has its secrets…

Returning to Cold Creek, Ohio, is an act of courage for Tess Lockwood. Abducted and held captive as a young girl, she is unable to remember anything about the crime that destroyed her childhood and tore her family apart. Now a grown woman with a bright future, she is certain she has put the past behind her. But when she inherits the family home,
Mass Market Paperback, 394 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,829 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Ok, so during the first 1/4 of the book- I had high hopes. Things were interesting, promising a great mystery. Then things got...well ridiculous. Without giving the end of the book away, let's just say that the clues found include a vintage scare crow called "Mr Mean", a stuffed pit bull, a life size stuffed doll, and other outrageously odd things. The ending was absolutely absurd. I'm sorry...but come on.

As the wife of a police officer, I tend to hate reading crime thrillers. The way the office
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
It took me a couple of chapters to get into this book but once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a young girl, Tess was kidnapped from outside her home. She was lucky enough to get away but cannot remember a thing about her ordeal. Now, as a grown woman, she has to return to her childhood home to sell it following the death of her mother, and finds that young girls are still going missing. Her childhood best friend, Gabe, is now sheriff and needs her help to find these girls if they are still a ...more
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was the first Karen Harper I've read. The concept was intriguing, but the delivery could have been stronger. The character development wasn't quite there, and some of the suspension-of-disbelief threads were so out there that they pulled me out of the story. I prefer much tighter writing, especially with this genre. Overall, I think a good editor could have worked with the author to tighten the pace, smooth the rough edges, and flesh out the characters. With those changes, it could have bee ...more
I read this back in September of 2018 and wrote my thoughts down, but I never got back to publishing a review, so forgive me if this seems less than stellar months later.

Teresa (Tess) inherits her family home and hopes to sell it. Abducted as a child, Tess has very few memories of the event. When another girl is taken, Tess wants to remember in order to help that family find their child.

Sherriff McCabe was in charge of several children the day Tess was taken. Only a child himself at the time, hi
Jan 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shattered Secrets is the first romantic suspense I've read in awhile. The plot sounded great and the reviews were promising. I had high hopes for it. Unfortunately, I did not think it lived up to the hype. I felt that the story was rushed and poorly written. I never felt invested in the characters or the town. I also found the dialogue stilted. Basically, there was no flow to this book. There were parts of the story that had no bearing on the story line whatsoever and others that didn't get full ...more
Nikita (NjKinny's World of Books & Stuff)

Teresa or Tess Lockwood hasn't been to Cold Creek in eighteen years. The old but still haunting childhood experience of her kidnapping and then recovery after eight months left an indelible mark on her mind. Although unable to remember anything of her time in captivity, Tess did everything to erase the town and that time from her mind and her life. But the death of her mother and the necessity to sell their old home in Cold Creek so she can fulfill her dre
Judy Collins
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
A special thank you to Harlequin MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

SHATTERED SECRETS by Karen Harper, a Cold Creek Series (Book 1) romantic suspense crime trilogy about three different sisters, three desirable and dangerous men, and three endangered lives.

The Cold Creek Trilogy begins with SHATTERED SECRETS (Tess’ story)-Sept, FORBIDDEN GROUND (Kate’s Story-heroine)-Nov, BROKEN BONDS (Charlene’s story)-Jan; set in a small rural town in the Appalachian area, holding
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Seems like everyone has a secret in this book, some red herrings and some just downright despicable. I've never been a fan of cornfields and for sure not after reading this book. Missing children is always a tough subject and happens way too often in the real world. Drug labs and dog fights also find their place in this book.

I'm calling this book a murder light and romance light, with slight tinges of angst, but nothing to really write about. Books play a big factor all around in this novel :)

Tanya C.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
I liked some things about this book quite a lot but other things bugged me enough that I'm only giving it a 2-star "OK." I liked the characters and the main storyline of the kidnappings quite a bit but towards the end it felt like the author threw in every possible stereotype to endanger the protagonist. A meth lab? Was that necessary?

Also, I don't know how to explain it exactly, but there were numerous moments where she used a 10 dollar word when a $ word would do... in a way that I found jarr
I really wish we could give half stars, I would give this one 3 1/2.
I found this improbable number of disasters she found herself in a little tedious. She no sooner got rescued from one peril and then was right into another.
Storyline was good. I figured out the who, but not the why and was a little disappointed when it all came to light, seemed a bit of a letdown.
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: s-bv-library
3.5 Stars rounded up

Review to come...
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoy Karen Harper as an author. This book concerned child kidnapping cases, and I was not thrilled that it was children , but it really showed very little about any suffering, so I soon warmed to the story. Tess as she liked to be called now, returns to a small town in Ohio, to sell her mother's home. She had been kidnapped as a small child, in that same town, and clearly still shows PTSD .I love that the author can use something as simple as a cornfield ,to cause ...more
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

Returning to Cold Creek, Ohio, is an act of courage for Tess Lockwood. Abducted and held captive as a young girl, she is unable to remember anything about the crime that destroyed her childhood and tore her family apart. Now a grown woman with a bright future, she is certain she has put the past behind her. But when she inherits the family home, Tess must confront the demons that still haunt her and the town o
Andrea Corley
Although I did feel like this moved a little slow, I did enjoy listening to Shattered Secrets and will continue on with the series at some point!

This had good, strong characters and a solid story. I like the fact that Tess doesn't give up and keeps going despite everything that is against her!

I must say that in the end, the story was quite surprising and took a bit more of a different turn than I expected! Karen Harper really threw some stuff out there, which I appreciated!

Overall, I enjoyed th
THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE STORY! Now that I have said that... This isn't a bad book but it is a suspense thriller with hardly any "Romance" at all. I mean we had a part where the guy gets to first base. The story keeps you guessing because there are so many odd characters and (spoiler) it's never the most obvious person. Neither of the main characters caught my interest. The heroine seemed very mousy and timid and the hero spent all of his time running (daily) to rescue her. I just like stronger cha ...more
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Can't wait to read the next cold creek story. Liked the characters. New type of criminal.
Rebecca Tust
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense-mystery
Shattered Secrets

*4 stars for this suspenseful story that will keep you intrigued and guessing until the end*

Teresa (Tess) Lockwood returns to her childhood home in the small town of Cold Creek, Ohio, to make arrangements for the sale of the family house she inherited. The only reason she has decided to return is because she needs the money to help buy a daycare in Michigan. She hasn't been back to Cold Creek in over eighteen years and prefers to leave the past forgotten.

Sheriff Gabe McCord was
Aug 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Tess Lockwood has begrudgingly returned to Cold Creek, Ohio to sell the family home. She (and her family) left town after six-year-old Tess was kidnapped and held captive for eight months before suddenly reappearing.

Although 18 years has passed since her abduction Tess remembers nothing about those eight months but still suffers from nightmares as a result.

Her plans to keep a low profile are thwarted when a four year old girl disappears just after Tess’s arrival. She’s the third girl to be tak
Nyah Rust
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Personal response:
when I first started reading this book I wasn't too sure about how well I would like it and I was very happy when I got to page twelve it was like I didn't want to put the book down because I had to know what happened, who took tess and the other two girls. When I got to the chapter that told me Dane was the number one suspect in the investigation from twenty years ago I kinda went along with it considering he had easy access to the cornfield where she was taken from and the dr
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good. This is the first Karen Harper book I have read and won't be the last. I like her style of writing and her story building.

This is book one in the "Cold Creek" trilogy and this follows a woman who comes back home to sell her Mother's home after her death. When she returns she not only has to wrestle the hassle of selling off her family home but dealing with the few memories she does have of when she was kidnapped for 8 months from the cornfield behind her home. When more girls go mi
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed this novel it was a great Romantic/Suspense story. It's about a young woman, Tess who is returning to her hometown to sell her family home that she hadn't been to in many years. Her family left town when she was very young because of terrible thing that happened to Tess. She is still remembered as the young girl who suffered a terrible trauma. She meets the new Sheriff who is the son of the Sheriff that was on her case. She finds herself involved in a several cases that resemble ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good start to this series. I enjoyed the suspense with the main characters and the bumbling attempts to work out who dun it. I was initially unsure if a relationship between Gabe and Tess was a good idea - in fact a little creepy given that the last time they had seen each other was when he was 12 and she 4 or 5, but I got over that. I didnt love Tess - I thought she was a shallow and a bit dumb to be honest, but she found her spine by the end.
Jul 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
The story had so much promise and suspense to start off with, but the poor pacing and lack of character depth was it's downfall. I found some of the "dangerous" events in the book unnecessary to the development of the plot and was just thrown in to add some excitement to the story. The entire thing then wrapped up overly quick with very little realism. Overall it was a bit disappointing. I will not be reading the other sequels.
Sheila Myers
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Exciting and suspenseful with a little romance thrown in. The plot follows a logical course and the characters are well-developed. Unfortunately, I deduct points when I find things that, while they sound good, are wrong. In this novel, it had to do with the tracking dogs. Otherwise, this was an enjoyable read.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Always the quiet ones you have to watch out for...

Review notes:

-I was right!.
-Wordy convo dialogue
-Thrilling case
-Adrenaline rush romance
-Hit something personal (more than once)
-Everybody has secrets!!!!!
Lori Schiele
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
The book was an okay read as a woman returns to the small town she grew up in 10 years after being kidnapped as a child in a cornfield when the house is left to her in her mother's will. Suffering from nerves, flashbacks and terror, she wants to leave as soon as possible. Until she meets the new sheriff, Gabe McCord, the very same older boy who was supposed to be watching over several children when she was kidnapped. She wants to hate him, but is, instead, drawn to him. And over the years that s ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ohio
Tess Lockwood returns to the small town of Cold Creek, Ohio, where she had been abducted as a little girl and then found walking along a road disoriented and lost eight months later with no memory of what had happened to her. Soon after that her family moved and Tess had no desire to return, until Tess inherits the family home twenty years later. She only plans to stay just long enough to clean the house out and sell it, but in the short time she's back, another little girl goes missing, just li ...more
Literati Literature Lovers
No Suspense and Mediocre writing

First I am dumbfounded that Mira Harlequin published this book with both content and editing errors in the text. Why do publishers even hire editors that just spell check.

Second I tried to listen to the book and the narrator made the Sheriff the hero in the book sound like a halfwitted buffoon. It was like listening to a redneck caricature of a good ole boy sheriff.

Third I was bored to tears by this book, as the premise sounded great but the execution was horri
Anne Brown
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Very capable thriller full of twists and turns. Tess was abducted as a child but was found wandering near home after an absence of eight months. She has no memories of her time away at the start of the book. Her family moved away after her return but she has returned to Cold Creek to sell her mother’s house to raise funds to start a pre school daycare business in Michigan. Tess is haunted by her abduction and her blank memory. She is fearful, nervous and alone. When another small girl goes missi ...more
Beth Lechman
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tess Lockwood was kidnapped at the age of 6. She vanished into thin air. Months later she was found wandering down a road with no memory of what happened or where she had been. Now 18 years later she is returning to Cold Creek to sale her family home. Ten years ago another girl was kidnapped and never found. Now a few days after she arrives another young girl disappears. Tess has vowed to herself that she is going to try and remember what happened 18 years ago. Her memories just might be the dea ...more
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A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scott ...more

Other books in the series

Cold Creek (3 books)
  • Forbidden Ground (Cold Creek, #2)
  • Broken Bonds (Cold Creek, #3)
“I swear, I’m gonna have to lock you up. I’d chain you to my bed, except I’m seldom in it.” 1 likes
“He walked ahead and opened the police station door for the mayor. The office was deserted. Tess was going to help fill Ann’s daytime shift tomorrow until he could hire someone else, but that was the last thing on his list of things to do right now.” 1 likes
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