Drawn by Carsen Taite is a compelling mystery and romantic suspense novel that will keep you glued to your couch or wherever the reading frenzy catches you.

Riley Flynn is an urban artist in every sense of the word. She enjoys roaming the streets of Dallas and sketching lovely areas or monuments that grab her attention. Things were going pretty well for Riley until dead bodies started showing up in the same places where she had recently sketched and now the police are watching every move she makes. Riley’s got ninety-nine reasons to be wary of cops. She doesn’t even want to help the stunning detective who is in charge of the case because she knows that she had nothing to do with the murders but the police are treating her like a suspect. She struggles with the need to protect herself from being falsely accused of murdering innocent people and her uncontrollable attraction to Detective Claire Hanlon.

What you see is what you will get with Detective Claire Hanlon because she is all about solving cases and earning well-deserved promotions. In order for her to get promoted, she has to capture the serial killer who has been running wild in the city. But here’s the catch, Claire needs Riley’s cooperation but Riley doesn’t want to be a part of this whole mess. Claire doesn’t understand why on earth she is drawn to such an infuriating and alluring woman. Plus, Riley’s totally off limits because she just might be the killer after all.

Will Claire be able to catch the murderer before another body turns up? Will she continue to put her career first or will she take a chance on love?

The Characters

Riley Flynn is an artist to the core and she loves to sketch images of her beloved city. Detective Claire Hanlon is only interested in bringing criminals to justice and advancing her career. These awesome women couldn’t be more different than oil and water yet they share similar traits that I adore. Riley thoroughly enjoys her alone time just as much as I do. She loves to immortalize her artwork by putting her sketches onto canvases and she gets so much pleasure from teaching her students how to create beautiful drawings. Claire is a loner as well and she’s married to her job. She has a one-track mind when it comes to apprehending murderers. I just wanted to give Riley and Claire the biggest hugs ever because they had to contend with their fears, family drama and deep-seated issues while they were trying their best to rein in their intense desire for each other.

The Writing Style

This author has never let me down because she has always given me fast-paced and riveting mysteries with a healthy dose of romance thrown in for good measure. Carsen Taite has done a brilliant job of giving me beautiful descriptions of Dallas and she’s also given me a front row seat to the undeniable attraction that was brewing between Riley and Claire. I love the fact that this story was told through Riley and Claire’s points of view because I could easily relate to their conflicting emotions and the circumstances that have shaped their lives.

My Favourite Parts

Besides being a die-hard fan of Carsen Taite’s books, I enjoyed every moment of the intense pull and tug of mutual attraction between Riley and Claire. I can’t draw two stick figures to save my life but it was a joy indeed to tag along with Riley while she was caught up with bringing her sketches to life and landing her first gallery show to portray her awesome talent. Plus, I also became the shortest armchair investigating sidekick ever because I got to live vicariously through Claire as she worked feverishly to find out who the killer was. I don’t know about you but who-done-it stories are the beginning and end all for me!

Heads Up

To be completely honest, I thought the lead up to the ending was a bit rushed and it could have been expanded so that the story would’ve had a smoother conclusion.

The Conclusion

aprils favourite booksIf you’re a huge fan of stories that feature determined cops, gorgeous artists and breathtaking sketches coupled with bizarre murders, then this is certainly the story for you! This novel is so much more than a mystery and romance because it deals with family relationships, heartbreaking internal struggles and emotional baggage that many people have to deal with. There’s no doubt about it, Carsen Taite definitely deserves the highest of fives for bringing this story to life for me!

Excerpt from Drawn by Carsen Taite

“Hi,” she said when she reached the booth, her eyes still trained on the trim and muscular androgynous woman who’d been watching her since they’d locked eyes. Her job now was to keep from being distracted by the stirring of attraction. Based on Lila Henry’s description, this was the woman who’d stayed after the rest of the group had left the night before, but Lila’s description hadn’t prepared Claire for the captivating allure of her dark brown eyes.

“I’m sorry to interrupt your meal, but I’m hoping you could help us out.” She waited to gauge their reaction, not wanting to pull out her badge in the middle of the rowdy bar and scare off any of the intoxicated patrons. Everyone had a right to burn off some steam, and she didn’t want to piss off the owners since she knew plenty of cops hung out here when they were off duty.

“What can we do for you?” the other woman at the table asked.

“They’re cops,” Brown Eyes said, an edge of distaste in her voice.

Claire nodded and stuck out a hand which Brown Eyes ignored. “We are. I’m Detective Hanlon and this is Detective Redding.” No sense being roundabout now. “We’re investigating a death that occurred in Deep Ellum Saturday night. We understand your sketch group was down there early in the evening.”

The man at the table reached for her outstretched hand. “I’m Buster Creel. This is Natalie and Riley. Yes, we were down there, but none of us saw anything suspicious.”

“What time did you leave?” Nick asked.

Buster looked at Natalie and shrugged. “Not too long after five. We came here to celebrate my birthday.”

Claire smiled. “Happy late birthday. You have a big crowd?”

“About a dozen.”

“And you’re sure no one in your group saw anything suspicious while you were in Deep Ellum Saturday?”

“Seems like they would’ve mentioned it if they had,” Buster said. “I can get you a list of names if you want to ask them yourselves.”

“That would be great.” Claire handed him her business card. She spotted Riley shoot Buster a warning look, but he was busy examining her card. “My email address is there at the bottom. Let me know if you think of anything else. Thanks for your help.” She started to walk away, but a few steps in she turned around. “Did everyone leave at the same time to head back to the bar that night?”

She directed the question at Buster but kept a careful watch on the reaction from the other two. Natalie didn’t flinch, but Riley clenched her fist on the table, and Claire was certain she’d struck a nerve.

“I’m not sure, to be honest,” Buster said, clearing his throat and avoiding her eyes. “I left a little early because I had to run home to let my new puppy out to pee, but I seem to remember everyone was at the bar when I arrived.”

He was lying and Claire wondered why. She’d figure it out eventually, but the best thing she could do right now was to let him think he’d gotten away with it. “Thanks very much. I appreciate you talking to us.”

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About the author

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My name is April Adams and I am an accountant at a civil service office. Even though I read a wide variety of lesbian fiction, I enjoy mystery and thriller books the most because I love the state of suspense the stories have me in until the end and I find out “who’s done it.”