Deadly Identity

Deadly IdentityBy Lindsay McKenna

Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: November 28, 2010
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Netgalley

One tragic decision dashed Rachel Carson’s plans and made her scared of her own shadow. Now on the run, she must forever give up the hope of love–or a baby. But with her new identity, she can help care for a motherless little girl, left in the protection of handsome Sheriff Cade Garner.

As tough as his Wyoming mountains, Cade takes his responsibilities seriously. He will do whatever is necessary to protect baby Jenny and give her the life she should have had. But his sharp instincts tell him something is up with the mysterious nanny who swept into their lives. The alluring blonde has roused his senses…and his heart. As a lawman, he seeks to uncover her secrets. He knows he can protect her and the baby, if only she will dare to trust again.

Goodreads Summary

Abusive drug dealer Dirk Payson beats up his young pregnant wife one too many times, sending Susan into the arms of the FBI.  Having lost her baby, her home and living in fear of her husband, she turns state’s evidence against him and enters the Federal Witness Protection program.  Five years later, Dirk’s escaped from prison in a laundry cart and Susan’s life is in jeopardy again; her handler decides she has to be moved, this time to Wyoming, where she’ll assume the name Rachel Carson.

Sheriff Deputy Cade Garner lost his wife and daughter two years ago and still hasn’t quite gotten over it.  Out on patrol, he comes across a horrific car wreck: he sees a strange woman frantically trying to get to the occupants of a crumpled familiar SUV.  Inside is a dead woman, a friend of Cade’s, as well as her very much alive daughter Jenny.  Cade can’t quite decide which emotion wins out: horror at the death of his friend, trepidation over the baby (he was the choice of guardian should anything happen to the woman) or interest in the stranger, who happens to be Rachel.  When Rachel announces she’s a nanny who happens to be staying on his parents’ ranch, all the pieces seem to click into place.

It would be an understatement to say that this contains romantic suspense clichés.  Cade is the strong silent type, aching for a woman who’ll stay home and be a wife and mom to his babies.  He’s a cop with a big ranch and a set of homey, loving parents with a mom who cooks a mean pot roast and good pies and a dad who owns guns, loves his wife to pieces and gets gruff a lot.  Rachel’s the sweet, loving type, aching for a strong supportive man who’ll take care of her while she stays home and takes care of him and their babies.  I suppose the twist is that she’s got a family.

There is one area that was noticeably different; I’m not sure if the author is a quilter or if she researched it thoroughly, but Cade’s mother owns a quilt store, so a section of the story deals with it and some of it goes into incredible detail.  It’s wonderful, but it’s also really too much compared to the rest of the story.  I quilt as well, so I know that the information is accurate, but I’m not sure including things like comparing thread tightness between the first and second runs of fabric and talk about taking Bernina classes fit in with the rest of the story.  If other sections of the story had included similarly specific information, such as the titles of the songs that were playing at the dance Cade and Rachel attended or the makes of the vehicles in the story, it might have felt like a better fit.

This has a relatively low romantic element (lots of very tame yearning for kisses) and only one scene of sexual contact, so from my personal perspective, I don’t think this would end up very far into the romantic end of the romantic suspense category; there isn’t that much action, adventure, mystery or suspense either.  I also have to say, I put this down several times and very nearly put it down for good twice.  It’s difficult to get past the extremely, “been there, read that,” beginning.

My Rating: D



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