I enjoy a book that takes me by surprise, and Her Deception by M.M. Mayfield fits the bill. From the first page when Patrice Strickland overhears her husband, Hugh, order a “hit” the story takes off, and the action and suspense continue throughout.
Patrice wasn’t always the prim and proper wife of philanthropist Hugh Strickland. In order to work her way through college, she worked as a stripper, something her husband does not know. But Hugh has some secrets of his own.
Stunned by her husband’s phone conversation and afraid he will find out she heard his orders, she decides to leave him. Before she packs up to go, she does some preliminary investigating. Learning there is a great deal more to Hugh than she ever imagined, she plans to expose him and his criminal activities. Returning to her career as a stripper, she engages the assistance of her new landlady, herself a former stripper. Creating a new identity along with a disguise, Patrice becomes Angel White. A chance meeting with a childhood friend, Gil Johnson, adds an extra spicy dimension to the story. Gil is a sexy, motorcycle riding, private investigator who jumps in to help Patrice/Angel.
Mayfield takes us through detailed and colorful stripper costumes and routines. The author must have done some serious research to write these parts of the book. I could almost see Angel dance, and I admit to envying her costumes. While Patrice/Angel may have been a pampered, eye candy wife, she has some unique skills that stand her in good stead when it comes to defending herself. Coupled with Gil’s PI experience, they make a formidable team.
As with any good romance, there is the spark of sexiness that foretells a possible relationship. I like that the author gives her characters a sense of morality; both Angel and Gil are aware she is still married to Hugh. It would have been easy and trite to have them jumping into a sexual relationship right off the bat. Instead, Mayfield teases the reader with the possibilities and focuses on the matter at hand; saving Hugh’s murder target and exposing his criminal connections.
I love Angel because she is a strong and intelligent woman who has no reservations about handling her business. She appreciates Gil’s and Chantel’s help, but she can take care of herself.