Looks Are Deceiving by Michele Hart
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac
All shadows and mystery, Elissa Baker's destiny with the scum of the Earth is a secret. Only Greg can wreck her long-laid path by being Mister Right and refusing to let her go.
Restaurateur Greg Moretti is crazy in love with a woman leading a smoke-and-mirrors life. He'll fix that by cooking up some heat, triggering some hunger, and melting the ice-wall around her world. Elissa will have to choose, Greg or the criminal world. Good boys can be bad too, and lethal to the heart.
The serendipitous solution to Greg's father's cold-case murder leads somewhere he'd never anticipated. When the mob takes his dessert-kissed goddess from his house, Greg couldn't have guessed someone would die, and no one knew what Elissa could do.
Everything changes with the pull of a trigger, and Greg loses Elissa to her fate and a badge. Nothing looks the same after this…
What starts out as a bet turns to something more in this enjoyable and suspenseful contemporary romance that proves that Looks Are Deceiving.
Following the murder of his father, restaurateur Greg Moretti is determined to find out the truth about his father’s death. In the meantime, he indulges his brother and friends with a bet that he can’t fall for brains over beauty. His friends pick out his date and he is intrigued by the beautiful woman he meets and is determined to take their relationship beyond the first date. But break-ins, the local mob, and other trouble make pursuing a relationship difficult. Greg is an interesting character as he has a lot to deal with regarding his family and the mystery surrounding his father’s death, yet he still manages to keep things light and fun. Despite his easy-going façade, you could sense the tension that lied just below the surface. I enjoyed his interactions with others as it said a lot about his character and the type of man he was…he is extremely loyal and caring.
As for the heroine of the story, Elissa Baker is a determined woman whose sole focus has been her plans for the future. She isn’t sure what to think when three men approach her when she is looking her worse and offer her money to go out with their friend. But she needs the money and is willing to go along. When Greg tries to convince her to keep up the ruse of a relationship, she is reluctant, but her financial situation and her attraction to Greg make it hard for her to refuse. I really liked Elissa and admired her resolve and determination. She has given up quite a bit to pursue her dreams, and despite her strength and determination, you can sense the doubts that plague her. She keeps a lot of herself hidden from others and has a few secrets that come to light throughout the story.
The relationship between these two interesting characters heats up the pages. Despite their determination to keep things light, soon Greg and Elissa find their relationship changing. Something Elissa struggles with as she is determined to fulfill her dreams…dreams that don’t include a relationship. And when Elissa gets caught up with the trouble that surrounds Greg and his family, Greg will do anything to keep her safe. I really enjoyed the easy relationship that Greg and Elissa find with one another. Even though they both come from two different worlds, they seem to balance each other out and are a perfect fit for one another. But both have a lot to overcome and deal with in order to make a go of things.
I enjoyed the banter and wit of the story and loved how the author incorporated it. In what could have been a suspense-heavy story, the author added moments of lightness that I really found refreshing. The mystery and suspense of the story was also well-done. There were twists and turns, but things didn’t get so complicated that the reader was completely lost. Everything played out nicely and as all the pieces fell into place, I found myself intrigued by all that was going on.
If you are looking for a suspenseful tale with great characters and a tough of humor, then Looks Are Deceiving might be just want you are looking for.