Title: Murder at Sunrise Lake
Author: Christine Feehan
Genre: Romance, Mystery, Fantasy, Suspense, Paranormal
Triggers: Racism, abuse, forced marriages, murder
Originally published: June 29, 2021
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.
I’ve been in a reading slump for like the last month. I refrained from talking about it because I feel like those slumps having become more and more frequent. I knew I needed to read and soon. Reading is one of my escapes. It’s one of my comforts, and if I go too long without doing either, I start to lose it. I say all of this to say I was in no way prepared for what this novel gave.
Contemporary romance really isn’t my thing, and when I do read it, I have to be in a mood, ya know. I wasn’t in a mood, but I was determined to pop open a book at midnight and fight my way out of this slump. It worked…sort of.
Murder at Sunrise Lake was everything I expected it to be and more. I knew if all else failed, I would enjoy it to some extent because it was a Christine Feehan novel, but I never expected to love it. I fell in love with Sierra. The landscapes and the sunrises. The color of the leaves and the mountain tops. I fell madly in love with the characters and the found family they made.
Sam utterly stole my soul with his dominant demeanor and calm resolve. The way his eyes always focused on Stella. He was so attentive and always knew what she sometimes needed, even before she did. Some may see that as creepy, but I thought it was enduring as all get out.
Stella, what a name. I love everything about this woman, from her steel spine to her heart of gold. Stella is one of the characters who come up from the mud. Meaning she went through hell to get to where she’s at and still remained graceful. You can’t help but admire a person like that. She’s fearful and fearless at the same time, especially when it comes to her friends.
Stella’s friends, those girls made so much of the book for me. Every single one of them has a backstory. They’re all different from their nationalities to their career choices. These ladies give the novel so much flavor. It made the story that much more memorable. I can’t help, but wonder will become a series because I have questions. I want to read their stories, and I damn sure want them to all have happy endings.
The murder mystery in itself was good. It wasn’t scary; it was intriguing. It was like waiting for the other shoe to drop but having no idea who had the shoe, what the shoe looked like, or how hard it would hit the floor. But you knew that it was going to happen, and just knowing leaves you on edge. Everyone was a suspect at one point. In the book and in my mind. Which was hard for me because I questioned everyone. I judge every interaction, even Sam, who I love with my whole heart. I had no real idea of who it was. I had some theories primarily based off of who I wanted them to be. Spoiler: It wasn’t who I thought it was!
These characters have so many layers. There are many events (past and present) that come into play. To adequately discuss the murder, I would need a corkboard on wheels, pictures of every character, yarn, and push pins.
In conclusion, this was a love story and murder mystery. While both of those aspects of the novel are great, The highlight for me was the character development. It’s rare to read a book where every character in the story has depth. I lived vicariously through these characters, and maybe I have an overactive imagination. Still, I felt like I saw those Sierra sunrises and felt peace.
Until the next page,