The Secrets of the Montebellis - Cheryl Colwell

Lisa Richards is caught in an abusive relationship and devises a clandestine plan to escape. In league with the secretive Montebelli Corporation, she grasps her one chance to gain financial freedom and fulfill her dream to help revive the town her ancestors helped settle in the Pacific Northwest. Imminent threats, at work to crush her efforts, thrust her to the edge of destruction.





I needed to pick this book up because I was recently sent its sequel for review and I hate starting series in the middle. Gotta say, for a book that's only just over 250 pages, this story moved SO SLOOOOW for me. It picked up some 4-5 chapters in, and it did get more interesting near the end when Lisa has the final big confrontation with her enemies and reveals big family history and secrets to people close to her but for the most the pace just felt bogged down by might have just been the fact that nothing particularly gripping seemed to be going on. 


Thomas, Lisa's husband, is described as abusive, but I didn't find him nearly as dark and scary as he could have been written. His behavior seemed to be largely made up of scowling at his wife, interrupting her or loudly talking over her and acting unfaithfully. He struck me as being more of a tool with with a modicum amount of influence from his money and connections than an actual major threat, but that's just me. 


I also felt that the romance between Jesse and Asia suffered from a case of Insta-Love and the romance between Lisa (Jesse's mom) and Taylor (Asia's father) got SO sappy at times I was actually cringing and groaning.


I DID like the history written for the town of Tangle Creek and Lisa's family background, and I found the character of Lisa's father a really sweet and generous soul. As a whole though, I found this one a little lackluster. Hoping the pace picks up in the sequel.