Spent Identity (2019) - Blog Tour & Review #SpentIDTour

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Spent Identity
(Annalisse Series #2)
By Marlene M. Bell
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback &ebook, 378 Pages
December 11th 2019 by Ewephoric Publishing

To find her missing aunt, she has to unearth the secrets of the past. But lies and deceit run through the very heart of their town….

What started out as a promising relationship with adventurer and tycoon Alec Zavos has fizzled into an uncertain future for antiquities expert AnnalisseDrury. Returning to Walker Farm in Upstate New York to see her Aunt Kate should have been a welcome homecoming and distraction. Instead, she finds the childhood home she expected to inherit is for sale, without her permission. What’s worse, Kate’s ranch manager makes a gruesome discovery in the barn: the body of a man, dead by foul play.

Annalisse turns in Alec’s direction for help. She and her aunt shelter on his estate in the Catskills while the authorities canvass the scene. But when Kate herself disappears without a trace, Annalisse fears the worst: that one of the many secrets of her hometown has ensnared her family—a secret someone is willing to kill for to keep hidden.

Praise for the Book

"The story is welcoming and vibrant, and much of it is nuanced and warm. When Bell aims for fun adventure, she hits the bull's-eye." - Booklife Review

"...Bell keeps her well-paced story moving. Her use of dialogue to drive the narrative is excellent and she sticks the twist ending nicely, one of the harder tricks to pull off in this genre. Her characters are vivid and spot-on..." - IndieReader Review

"Ambitiously written, Spent Identity has lots of action, a solid narrative, and engaging dialogue that give it substance, while the theme of betrayal cuts a wide swath. Enhanced with a cast of well-balanced and wide-ranging characters, Spent Identity acts as more than a run of the mill mystery, with engaging and relatable family relationships woven into the mains storyline. Suspenseful and well-crafted, Spent Identity is a consistently entertaining read." Self-Publishing Review

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

Stolen Obsession
(Annalisse Series #1)
By Marlene M. Bell
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback &ebook, 294 Pages
June 30th 2018 by Ewephoric Publishing

People die, but legends live on.

New York antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury recently lost her best friend to murder. The killer’s identity may be linked to her friend’s expensive missing bracelet—a 500-year-old artifact that carries an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a matching necklace at a Manhattan gallery opening. She begs the owner to destroy the cursed piece, but her pleas fall on deaf ears—despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.

Desperate, Annalisse enlists the gallery owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. When the killer changes tactics and goes after Alec behind Annalisse’s back, can her plan to rescue Alec’s mother save them all?

Hold on for a heart-thumping, thrilling adventure through exotic lands in this fast-moving romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M. Bell.

Praise for the Book

"Debut author Bell delivers a great, slow-building romance, gently examining her characters' painful pasts." — Kirkus Reviews

"An irresistible page turner and a successful melding of thriller and romance. With a splash of international adventure and plenty of surprises, Stolen Obsession is an entertaining read and a great beginning to the Annalisse Series." — Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer and acclaimed artist as well as a photographer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living, and Sheep Industry News, to name a few. Her catalog venture, Ewephoric, began in 1985 out of her desire to locate personalized sheep stationery. She rarely found sheep products through catalogs and set out to design them herself. Marlene and her husband, Gregg, reside in beautiful East Texas on a wooded ranch with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, along with Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats that believe they rule the household—and do.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive the following (valued at $230):
  1. Poppies Overnighter bag – Leather and canvas
  2. Large Spa Tin – Lavender scents
  3. Autographed novel by Marlene with companion wire bound notebook
  4. Authentic Vera Bradley portable umbrella
  5. $50 Amazon gift card                                        

US only
Ends February 5, 2020

My Review:

Thank you in advance to Prism Book Tours and the author, Marlene M. Bell, for sending me a complimentary copy to review. All words are my own in this review and a positive review was not required.

To start off – as lately I have been reading and reviewing mostly “Christian” and “clean” reads – this is not a “Christian” read; at least it is not defined as one. It is also not a “clean” read per se as there is some “sex” talk, and mention of a prior sex act.

With regard to language, there is mild profanity in this book with vulgar insults used for both men and women. The “F” word is absent so the language leans more to PG-13.  

There are some mentions of drug addiction and infidelity. While I am mostly steering away from such reads in general – it didn’t bother me as I’ve read far worse in the past.

This book has a “film noir” feel to it. It was a page-turning read that I found was difficult to put down at times.

The cover is simple, somewhat like the covers of the “Twilight” saga – and most of us know what kind of an impact those books had. Thus – “never judge a book by the cover”.

While this book could survive as a standalone read, and the events of the previous novel are mentioned in this one to refresh or introduce a new reader – it might be a good idea to read the first novel “Stolen Obsession” anyway.

In this novel, the reader sees Annalisse attempting to figure out her relationship with Alec, especially after the events in the previous novel.

The book starts off with the discovery of a corpse in a barn at her aunt’s farm. After the discovery, Annalisse’s Aunt Kate goes missing. From there, the adventure and mystery element doesn’t stop. Murder, kidnapping, extortion, diabolical family members – this has all the elements of a thriller/suspense novel, with a slight dash of romance thrown in.

There is even a minor “competing” love interest, in the way of an Australian whose amusing use of Aussie slang, makes this quite an interesting read.

The writer has a realistic, graphic and vivid writing style. So much so that I could see the action taking place as if I was watching a movie.

The end was shocking and not what I was expecting or anticipating. It definitely tied in with the story.

There was enough about the previous book’s events in this one that made me curious enough to eventually read it in the future. I will also keep a lookout for Calico Raven, the third installment.

There are a few technical issues, as with any fictional story.

One was Alec’s rental car was being passed from person to person in it. As a proud and frequent Enterprise member, my contract stipulates only the people on the contract can drive it. I don’t know if that is true for ALL rental car companies, or if it varies by state though.

Also, in a review for this book, someone corrected the use of the author’s use of BEAMER (BMW) to BEEMER. And, I’ll admit, I thought it was “BEEMER” as well.

However, in my research (for this review) – the author, reviewer, and I were all wrong.

It is, according to BMW’s website (https://www.bmw.com/en/automotive-life/bimmer-beamer-nickname-origin.html; October 2019) BIMMER for a BMW car and BEAMER/BEEMER for the BMW motorcycle. So, I did manage to learn something from that.

Those mistakes didn’t inhibit the reading or my enjoyment of the storyline.

This was a hard one to rate, but overall – four (4) stars.

Popular posts from this blog

πŸ‘‘πŸ’ "The Prince and the Wedding Planner" πŸ’πŸ‘‘ (2020) - Book Review #PrincPrism

πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸŽ„ ❄️ πŸ’• "Christmas in Bayberry" (2020) πŸ’• ❄️ πŸŽ„ πŸŽ…πŸ» - Book Review #CBPrism

BOOK BLITZ: Last Chance Beach: Summer's End by Liz Flaherty + 10 Authors #LCBPrism