Simon Teen sent me Dangerous Lies in the mail, and I almost didn't pick it up because thrillers and murder aren't usually my thing. But then I read Alyssa's review (Eater of Books) and saw it entailed a hot cowboy and a good romance. Also I then remembered I gave her other thriller 4 stars, so I decided to give it a chance.
Stella, the main character is in witness protection because she witnessed her mom's boyfriend and testified against him. Her boyfriend Reed also is in protection, but not in the same place as her. Stella has given up on her mom ever getting sober, so she is with a woman posing as her foster mom, and all of the sudden in a small country town when she is used to a city. She is understandably prickly and upset about the changes.
Carmina, the woman she is living with now, is strict and no-nonsense, which Stella doesn't like since she has always had freedom. But I love the bond that eventually forms between them. They open up to one another and there are times when Stella is surprised by how deep her bond with her has become. On the other hand, Stella has been burned by her mom so many times, her mom chosing drugs over her, and the stealing, lies, and neglect. But she has to face her still, and wonder if this rehab might finally take, or if she will be disappointed again.
She keeps bumping into older, handsome Chet, from him taking care of the lawn and grounds for Carmina, to running into him when she goes to town to try and contact Reed. They have chemistry right away, but she is in denial because she is still fighting the relocation, and still hoping for things to work out with her and her old boyfriend Reed. But the more time she spends with them, the more they banter, the more Chet is there for her when she needs someone, and she sees his character tested and it proves over and over how good of a guy he is.
The ending wasn't what I expected, but it worked for the book, and I like the way that it left the characters with lots of promise and hope for their futures.
Bottom Line: Nice romance and character growth.