I received this book for free from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Murder at Sunrise Lake by Christine Feehan
Published by Berkley on June 29, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Thriller
Source: Berkley Publishing Group
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan reaches new heights of passion and suspense in this thrilling novel that takes readers deep into the California backcountry, where a woman is tormented by visions of a killer.
It starts in her dreams. Hideous flashes from a nightmare only she can stop. Images of a murderer stalking the ones she cares about most...
Stella Harrison thought she got away from the traumas of her past. Running the Sunrise Lake resort high in the Sierra Nevada mountains has brought her peace, even though she doesn't truly share her quiet life with anyone. Not even Sam, the hired handyman that notices everything and always seems to know exactly what she needs.
Stella doesn't know anything about Sam's past, but somehow over the last two years his slow, steady presence has slipped past her defenses. Still, she knows she can't tell him about her recent premonitions. So far there's been no murder. No body. No way to prove what's about to happen without destroying the life she's built for herself.
But a killer is out there. And Stella knows that this time she'll do whatever it takes to stop him.
Murder at Sunrise Lake is the most recent release from Christine Feehan, and this is a novel I think I was having mixed feelings on whether I wanted to read it or not. I wasn’t sure if this would be typical Christine Feehan style or if she going into another genre of writing like I have seen from other authors. But I also trust this author and so I was able to go into this book with an open mind. And while I did enjoy this one, it was vastly different from anything I have read from her previously. This is a story that does contain a romance, but its not a full-frontal seat like what I expected to find from her, as the mystery thriller plotline is what became the driving force of the story.
Murder at Sunrise Lake begins with our heroine, Stella Harrison, who is having psychic dreams to a serial killer. Stella has had these “gifts” since she was little, but she has in her own way found her way to peace in a lake mountain town up in the Sierra’s. For two years, she has been drawn to her handyman, Sam, but they have remained friends, until a full trust is formed and now Sam is pursuing her in his gentle but firm way. There is a sense of mystery surrounding Sam and his abilities, she knows he has a past, but he has been her biggest support and when he is almost killed from the killer she is having psychic visions of, she is more determined than ever to find this man before he hurts anyone else. But as she gets closer and closer, the attacks get closer to home, threatening all those she loves, and the reveal of the killer will be someone she least suspects and only working in unity with each other will she and Sam take down this threat to everything and everyone they hold most dear.
I found Murder at Sunrise Lake to be such an interesting story. I will say that the first half of the story I was much more drawn to, the romance between Sam and Stella seemed to be much more focused than in the later half. So I have a feeling that is why the first half of the story kept me more in tune than the later half. Sam was such a different hero. He does have a past in the military, and has familial connections to the mafia, but he is also a stong and steady male who will do anything to stand for and protect his woman. He definitely is an alpha male but with plenty of soft and tender spots which I found endearing. The heroine Stella, is a character that my heart just broke for. I absolutely adored her in many ways, but I also wanted so much more for her. She has suffered so much over the years and wanted her to find her HEA with Sam. You see what a fighter that she is for her friends and how tormented she becomes over the victims of the serial killer. I am very curious if this will just be a standalone or if this is a new series that Christine Feehan will be cultivating. It should prove interesting to see how it all plays out in the end. I still have some mixed feelings about this book in some ways. I did find the plot so richly packed in unique elements, and I did enjoy seeing one of my favorite authors delve into a different genre, but the writing did feel a bit different. It has the Feehan style in some ways, in another way, it had a unique touch that I don’t think I have ever seen from her.
Overall I found Murder at Sunrise Lake to be a thrilling penned novel, it has its own beauty in its moments, a intense but secure romance, lighter on the heat but found a stronger play on the plot, a story that will leave you on edge in its development of mystery and edgy suspense. Its a story that is steady and sure in its intricate play of plot points and one which will stun you in the least suspecting of ways.