"One Little Lie" [Pelican Harbor Series] (2020) - Book Review

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

One Little Lie
(Pelican Harbor #1)
By Colleen Coble
Christian Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 352 Pages
March 3rd 2020 by Thomas Nelson

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there's no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she's facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother who refused to leave ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane's career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid's calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross especially once her father's lie catches up with him.

Praise for the Book

Colleen Coble always raises the notch on romantic suspense, and One Little Lie is my favorite yet! The story took me on a wild and wonderful ride.” Diann Mills, bestselling author

Colleen Coble once again proves she is at the pinnacle of Christian romantic suspense. Filled with characters you'll come to love, faith lost and found, and scenes that will have you holding your breath, Jane Hardy's story deftly follows the complex and tangled web that can be woven by one little lie.” Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean's Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble (US only)
Ends March 25, 2020

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Thank you in advance to the publisher, TNZ Fiction/Thomas Nelson, and Prism Book Tours for providing a complimentary advance review copy. A positive review was not required. All words and thoughts are my own.

Possible content warnings: teen pregnancy, cult, somewhat gruesome body find, stalking, and child abuse.

Last Christmas (2019), my mother got me the Lavender Tides series, along with the then new release – “Strands of Truth” (which is incidentally mentioned in the giveaway) thinking I would enjoy them based on the blurbs. And, she was right – I did “skim” them (haven’t fully read them yet) and they’re definitely high up on the never-ending TBR. However, this is the first book by the author I’ve read.

Right off, from the prologue, the novel grabbed me – pregnant teen, cult, and fleeing the cult. I am definitely old enough to remember the Branch Davidian cult and subsequent siege at Waco (Texas) in 1993, and the notorious David Koresh.

That was another reason this novel had my interest – someone escaping from a cult and later becoming a law enforcement officer. Even more impressive – Jane is elected Sheriff of Pelican Harbor.

By chapter three, I was hooked.

In addition to Jane Hardy being elected Chief, a position previously held by her father – she has to investigate two murders; she’s trying to figure out where her mother is; and her father’s arrest for theft and murder is also stressful. She’s also dealing with Reid covering her career.

Reid has his own secrets in addition to a wonderful teenage son. One is that he was tied to one of the murder victims; another secret is Lauren, his ex-wife, who comes back after being declared dead after going missing. It’s pretty obvious she wants money, but is using Will to blackmail Reid. And, it turns out one secret of Reid’s is who Will’s mother really is.

When the issue of Will’s mom was brought up, I remembered the baby born in the prologue. And, as I kept reading – I kept getting this nagging suspicion. That’s another reason I just couldn’t put this book down. I had to know what was going on. Keen-eyed and attentive readers will soon figure it out for themselves. 

Coble crafts a unique, highly-addictive, emotionally entangling, and very disturbing plot. With as disturbing as it was, I almost felt uncomfortable at enjoying this book so much. I really didn’t want to stop reading. This suspense novel has murder, kidnapping, blackmail, police corruption, stalking, and references to cults.

While others could feel bogged down by all that is going on in it, Coble has found a way to make it all work and carefully weave it together. The cases, the people – every little bit. It’s a wild roller coaster of a reader.

There were a few suspects I had my eye on, but was honestly surprised at where the writer took it. I had at least two different suspects, none of those panned out. In looking back, there is a “warning” about one of the suspects.

While this is distributed by Christian publisher Thomas Nelson’s TNZ Fiction line, the references to God and faith were not overwhelming or glaring. I found them minimal, yet quite relevant to the story’s pace and setting. It is a clean read with no sexual encounters or foul language.

There is some violence, and perhaps some “gruesomeness” to it due to the violence.

This is part one (1) of the “Pelican Harbor Series”. And, while most first books are easily standalone reads – this isn’t. While the main cases are concluded, there are a few personal issues that are not concluded at the end. Some of which will carry over to part two (2); “Two Reasons to Run”; which is due out September 2020.

The synopsis of the second book will have some spoilers.


4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐– Goodreads

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐– Bookbub

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐– Personal Rating (see rating explanation in this blog: https://readingexcursions.blogspot.com/2020/01/rating-system-2020-changes.html)

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