"NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS," by Victorine E. Lieske, $14.95, 324 pages (f)
Young and dashing Steven Ashton, fed up with living in the spotlight and exhausted by the throngs of women coveting his wealth, flees his high-society life for a small Nebraska town, where he meets the beautiful, puzzling and sometimes evasive Emily. Emily sees the interested Steven as a man she might potentially love under different circumstances but more importantly an easily manipulated means by which she may loosen the controlling bonds that tie her and her 4-year-old son, Conner, to Richard, an uncompromising acquaintance from her past.
Emily’s carefully crafted getaway plan ultimately forces her to come face to face with a haunting past.
The smitten Steven chooses to aid this puzzling woman, attempting to utilize his resources to help remove the shackles that have been trapping Emily and her son for five years. Steven’s help continually pricks Emily’s conscience and pinches her heart as she discerns her growing feelings for this real-life Prince Charming.
Through a journey of survival and self-actualization, Emily moves toward a new beginning, but not without the terrifying villain, Richard, creating barricades to block her roadway to freedom. Although the writing draws the reader in with heartfelt and at times captivating emotion, the ending feels rushed and leaves the reader wanting additional closure; however, Victorine E. Lieske’s self-published novel "Not What She Seems" provides a comfortable read for a lazy afternoon.
"Not What She Seems" spent several weeks on the New York Times e-book fiction best-seller list, reaching No. 16 in March.
Lieske, of the Seward Ward, Lincoln Nebraska Stake, lives with her family in Nebraska, where she and her husband raise their four young children.
Marci Briggs grew up in in Salt Lake. She now resides in the Salt Lake Valley, where she spends her days taking care of her children and her nights reading, writing and working as a hair stylist.