Book Review – Ring of Lies – Victoria Howard

A Romance with Dimension

Ring of Lies is a suspenseful romance with strong character development and an engaging plot, making this a very satisfying read.

We start the story with Grace as she says her final goodbyes to her husband, Daniel. What she doesn’t know, however, is she is also saying her final goodbyes to the illusion she was living. Her life was based on lies created by Daniel, and on his death, the lies fall away like a house of cards.

Until this point, Grace has led a simple life, although not necessarily a happy one. Her husband was a controlling man, making her doubt her own ability to function. Despite this, she is pushed out of her comfort zone as an intimidating stranger begins to harass her and new facts come to light (such as the fact her husband bought an expensive vacation home without her knowledge). Grace decides she must unearth the truth. Frightened and still suffering from a damage ego (again, thanks to her controlling husband), she reaches out to a man she met who works for the FBI, Jack. The two met when she was on vacation, and they very nearly ended up having an affair. Grace was unhappy at the time, but being a highly ethical person, she did not follow her desires.

As you can imagine, being forced to go out in the world and face many unsettling and frightening things, she begins to grow as a person and learns to trust herself more and more. But one of the most intriguing things I found about this character was what did not change: her strong moral compass. This is why she did not have the affair, this is what drives her to search for the truth when her life falls apart, and this is why her husband despised her. The man had controlled every part of her life except this one thing, which also happened to be the one thing he lacked himself. In my opinion, this made Grace remarkably strong, even though she did not know it; as much as she loved her husband, as much as she handed over so much of her life to him, she never let that part of her be altered or even touched. And this core strength comes in handy, because Grace soon learns her problems are bigger and more complicated than she ever imagined. I’ll let you read the book to see what I mean by this, but my main point here is that it is this contrast between being weak, yet not weak that made her one of my favorite characters.

Her love interest, the FBI agent Jack, was also a very likeable and complex character. His life is a bit screwed up when Grace asks for his help. He has a girlfriend who has recently given birth to a daughter. Jack is trying to do the right thing, providing for his girlfriend and his child, but he has a HUGE problem: The girlfriend hates the baby. What a terrible problem to deal with when you are trying to work a day job as an FBI agent. And then here comes Grace, the woman he’s still in love with. He’s having one heck of a week.

Another aspect of this book that I loved was the setting (once the investigation begins): Florida. It felt almost like going on a tropical vacation. The backdrop just added another satisfying layer to a highly enjoyable read.

Bottom line, this book was top-notch, and I highly recommend it.

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© The Literary Librarian 2018