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 [a:Patricia MacDonald|48908|Patricia MacDonald|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1300491952p2/48908.jpg] 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 tea...you get the idea.) But while Lieske's book certainly fits the romantic thriller genre, there are a few things that spoil it.
The best thing about Not What She Seems (other than the gorgeous cover) is the plot. The story moves fluidly and quickly. It keeps the reader guessing until the final page. It also plays out very satisfactorily. I actually found the book quite gripping and read it in under two days (which is a *huge* accomplishment for a slow reader like myself). The story might not be entirely fresh, but it is well constructed. I also like the multiple points-of-view. Lieske should be applauded for her adept plot structure.
What I didn't like, however, was the writing itself. The dialogue was terribly stilted, and there were a lot of passive sentence structures (Mrs. Smith saw this... Mr. Jones felt like this...). Unfortunately, that style of writing will encumber even the best of plots. Also, the four-year-old boy in the book was perfectly behaved. In fact, he was so perfect he was basically a robot. Tell him to go to bed, and he immediately complied. Ask him to trust this stranger, and he did so without question. He was more like a picture of a boy than a real kid. Finally, the other characters were very cardboard as well. Like I said, this book wasn't meant to be the Great American Novel, but I needed more depth in the characters.
Because this is Lieske's first book, it isn't a surprise that her writing isn't perfect, but she has a terrific start here in this novel. I would definitely try her books again. Not What She Seems is a fun, quick read and perfect for a summertime reading list.