"LACED IN LIES," by Colleen Helme, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $12.99, 314 pages (f)
In "Laced in Lies," Volume 10 of Colleen Helme's Shelby Nichols Adventure series, soccer mom Shelby Nichols' mind reading keeps getting her into trouble.
Ever since a bullet grazed her head, leaving Shelby with the ability to read minds, she has worked for "Uncle" Joey Manetto, a mob boss. Now, working for Manetto longer than she intended, Shelby realizes she needs to confess to her family that Manetto is not the uncle they think he is.
Meanwhile, she's trying to help a friend discover what her husband has been up to and find out who has been telling the police the truth about a drug operation at the local schools.
And if that's not enough for one woman, Shelby also has to go to New York City to ensure that Manetto's newfound son, Miguel, does well in a Broadway audition. He's up for the lead in "Aladdin" after a successful run in his high school play, although he's never performed on Broadway.
Complicating matters, Shelby's daughter has a crush on Miguel, making it difficult for the mind reader to keep the truth about the Manettos' fake family connections under wraps.
It's also tricky to keep herself safe as the situations intensify.
Fortunately, Helme's light touch keeps everything moving along at a steady pace.
Just don't take the book too seriously.
As readers would expect, the crooks get found out and Shelby somehow manages to stay faithful to her husband, do her job and even make dinner for her family now and then.
The Shelby Nichols Adventures are pleasant reads with nothing offensive. There is sexual tension between her and her bodyguard, but it doesn't go beyond a quickened heartbeat and an acknowledgment of interest. (It is a dangerous game she's playing, though. In the real world, their relationship could be interpreted as an emotional affair.)
The violence is fairly bloodless with some gunshots, some people tied up and some ruthless intent.
Through it all, Shelby is well dressed (usually in black lace in this book) and trying to do the right thing.
It makes for a likable heroine and mildly entertaining reading.
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 40 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.