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Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
In A Picture of Pretense by Christine Noyes, we meet a group on the Perth cruise ship and immediately wish we were on board with them. Holly and her dad Mike; Cate and her sister Sheila; Lynn, her husband Doug and wheelchair-bound son Bradley; and the intriguing Derek all find themselves at the same dinner table. They very quickly become friends and spend most of their time together sharing meals, going on outings, sunning at the pool, and trying to figure out who and what Derek is really doing aboard the ship. As the group watches and figures out more than Derek would have liked, the plot thickens and they realize he is not on vacation but has a very different mission.
I loved this book! A Picture of Pretense has so much going for it – romance, intrigue, suspense, friendship, family dynamics and so much more. As we get to know each of the tablemates, we share the surprises that face them. Holly realizes she is not really that shy frightened girl but ready for excitement and romance. Sheila realizes why her marriage is on the rocks. Lynn and Doug realize that Bradley is now growing up and ready for some independent decisions. Derek is busy trying to do his job, keep his new friends out of harm's way, and just may be falling in love. The characters are well presented and the plot is fast-moving with touches of both fiction and realism. Christine Noyes is a skilled author in creating a story that makes for so much enjoyable reading. I highly recommend A Picture of Pretense for young and older readers and my hope is to see this as a made-for-TV movie.