Living Lies (Harbored Secrets)

by Natalie Walters

Paperback, 2019



Call number



Revell (2019), 336 pages

Original publication date



"When Lane Kent stumbles across a body in the Georgia woods, she must team up with the town's newest deputy and decide if revealing her darkest secret is worth saving the life of another"--


Original language


Physical description

336 p.; 8.5 inches


0800735323 / 9780800735326

User reviews

LibraryThing member gincam
Debut author Natalie Walters is off to a great start with "Living Lies", the first book in her "Harbored Secrets Series". An intriguing romantic suspense story line touched with poignant human drama will keep readers turning the page. Widowed at twenty-eight, Lane Walton journeys back to her
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hometown in hopes of a new start for herself and her young son, Noah. The small Southern town of Walton, Georgia would seem like the place to begin again. However, trying to shake off the troubles of her past gets even more complicated when Lane becomes involved in the mysterious discovery of a dead body. As Lane and Charlie Lynch, a new deputy in the area, join forces to solve the case, an attraction grows between them. Thoughts of possible future happiness turn to doubt when Lane realizes that unmasking the killer may reveal more than she wants anyone to know. Is bringing a murderer to justice worth the personal cost she may have to pay? I enjoyed "Living Lies", and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, "Deadly Deceit".

Book Copy Gratis Revell Books via Library Thing
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LibraryThing member fcplcataloger
PTSD, depression, anxiety and suicidal urges are some of the serious issues in Living Lies and the author suggests that our society can harshly judge people who suffer from these illnesses. In this new book Natalie Walters has created several characters with mental health problems who become part
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of a serious crime. The suspense revolves around the unsolved murder of a teenage girl in Walton, Georgia and the assumption that she was killed by a former soldier who had served in Vietnam. Lane Kent has just come back to her hometown and she is quick to defend this ex-soldier because she believes that, even though he suffers from PTSD, he cannot be capable of murder. Lane understands emotional problems because she herself suffers from anxiety and depression and she has always felt like she was unworthy, flawed, and an unlovable mistake. She feels responsible for her husband's death and she believes that doesn't deserve to have that kind of love again. Until....Charlie Lynch becomes the new deputy in Walton, Georgia and feelings of love begin to blossom and to take root.
It is when Lane continues to question her purpose for living that she is told by her very wise older friend "Honey, God never makes mistakes. You are here on purpose, Lane. With purpose."
Natalie Wells has been able to shine a light on mental health problems and still create a mystery that will keep readers guessing. There are many twists and turns throughout her story and there are several occurences that kept me baffled until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed Living Lies and I recommend it to all who love romantic suspense novels.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and this is my honest review.
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LibraryThing member wearylibrarian
It didn't take long for me to fall into this book. Even when I figured out whodunit, I was still enthralled, waiting to see what happened next.
LibraryThing member croknot1
I loved it. I'm waiting in anticipation for the sequel. There will be one, won't there?
LibraryThing member SarahGraceGrzy
Living Lies, book one in the Harbored Secrets series by debut author, Natalie Walters, instantly grabs your attention and, like a good suspense book, doesn’t let go. I became so attached to these characters that even after the story was over I still wanted to keep reading.

In her debut novel,
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Walters tackles a subject that I haven’t seen many fiction authors take on: depressionsuicide. And she does so with great diplomacy and eye-opening realisticity. Lane Kent is just struggling for a ray of hope after her husband’s traumatic death, but instead, she finds herself tangled up in a web of deadly deceit. The “new guy in town,” former Marine-turned-sheriff’s-deputy Charlie Lynch is tasked with discovering the truth behind the murder that has rocked the small town of Walton, Georgia. Both of these characters are struggling with their own demons, and are so real you can’t help but relate to them. The addition of 5-year-old Noah, Lane’s son, was very sweet, and I loved seeing his interactions with Charlie as he and Lane find themselves drawn to each other.

There isn’t boatloads of action throughout most of this story, but the twisty plot definitely keeps your attention. I had a few guesses as to how the story would play out, but for the most part, I was surprised. I greatly enjoyed Walters’ writing style; it’s not overly wordy, but it smoothly draws you into the story, and you can’t stop reading.

All in all, I think Natalie Walters is an author to watch. I look forward to reading book two of the Harbored Secrets series in November! I highly recommend this novel to fans of suspense with a touch of romance.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for promotional purposes from LibraryThing and NetGalley. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
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LibraryThing member sherripo
This book kept my attention throughout. It had a lot of twists and turns and some surprises. Some things I figured out before they happened in the book but other things I didn't. I enjoyed this debut novel by Natalie Walters and will definitely be reading the next book in this series when it is
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LibraryThing member lamb521
Title: Living Lies (Harbored Secrets #1)
Author: Natalie Walters
Pages: 336
Year: 2019
Publisher: Revell
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Wow! The title and cover give viewers looking for a good story just a glimpse into the meaning behind what is seen. The tale is a real heart-grabber and I cannot wait for
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the second book titled, Deadly Deceit, slated to be published November of 2019!
The main character is Lane Kent. She has secrets along with heart break. One little boy named Noah brings her delight every day. He is her son and together they do life since Lane lost her husband two years prior. Lane lives in an apartment upstairs above a café she runs in a small town. Readers will enjoy seeing how Lane and others care for the vets in that town each Friday night with a home cooked meal. Lane though struggles with guilt, depression and more and wonders each day if life is worth living.
Charlie has returned from service as a Marine and now he is a deputy in the same town as Lane. Their meeting is fortuitous. As the story develops, audiences will find themselves trying to figure out the mystery imbedded in the pages as well as having their heart touched by the personal battle of depression Lane faces each new day. The supporting characters are examples to Lane of love, acceptance and not allowing herself to be defined or hemmed in by depression.
I thought the author did a masterful job of blending elements of mental health, veterans’ issues, mystery, romance, faith and more in the book. I don’t normally read books that deal so compassionately with those who suffer from depression or PTSD, so this was refreshing. The mystery was well developed and brought some unforeseen twists to the novel; it kept me turning the pages!
Don’t think this book is a downer because it deals with real issues because it isn’t. The book brings hope and light to some areas of life that aren’t easy but not necessarily confining either. Readers will enjoy the tale, character and plot of this book. I can’t wait for the second book to come out!
Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.
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LibraryThing member CKGS
Lane Kent is having a difficult time moving past the death of her husband. Deputy Charlie Lynch has left the military and become a deputy in Walton,Georgia. When they meet, Charlie is concerned. Lane looked like she was getting ready to jump off a bridge.
Quickly coming to her senses, she gets down
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and takes the wooded path. However, on her walk back to her car, she comes across a body. Her scream brings the deputy running.
Two people are brought together in a small town by mutual need and attraction. Together they deal with depression, PTSD and murder with the help of spiritual faith and family.
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LibraryThing member alekee
What a great debut novel this author has given us, with non-stop action and dealing with some tough subjects, I was quickly page-turning.
From beginning to the end, you really don’t know how this will all turn out, or whom is really the evil? With a young girl murdered, and a town wanting answers,
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with peeking toms and other dangerous threats, we keep looking!
We are offered a bit of romance, but deep problems threaten all, and you need to wait to the very end for answers!

I received this book through the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review
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LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
3.5-4 stars (rating may vary depending on whether site allows half stars). I received and ARC of this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Harbored Secrets series by Natalie Walters. It's also the first book by this author
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that I have read.

There are at least three plots in this book: figuring out who killed the girl Lane finds in the woods; the romance between Charlie and Lane; and the harbored secrets--which in this case are the taboo subjects of mental illness/depression and PTSD/how the treatment of Vietnam Vets after they returned affected their lives afterward.

I figured out early on that the paintings had a greater meaning than just being paintings, but I didn't put all the pieces together for a while after that--though we, as readers, are shown some relationships sooner than the police figure them out.

I liked Charlie. I think most women would be lucky to have a man like him interested in them. I was also glad to see that Charlie and his father patched up some of their differences near the end of the book.

It took me a while to figure out Lane and the secret she was harboring--and what her father held over her to get her to come to family events etc.
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LibraryThing member Mizroady
Natalie Walters hit a home run with her first book! The characters and the plot were amazing, but the author skillfully included serious issues in the forefront of society today: PTSD, depression and anxiety. The story immediately grabbed my attention from the first paragraph and didn’t let go. I
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was hooked into the old readers’ syndrome, “I am just going to read one more chapter to see what happens”.
It is late at night and a young woman (Lane) is standing near the edge of bridge on the verge of jumping to her death. The town’s new deputy (Charlie) happens by and finds her. She attempts to explain she is just taking pictures but Charlie can see through the facade. Ashamed and frightened she bolts into the woods but in the darkness she trips over something and falls. That something was a dead body! Very quickly a troubled war veteran with PTSD is suspected and the small town wants justice! Lane knows in her heart he is innocent and courageously takes a stand for him.
Lane is a widow and mother who had moved back to her hometown and start a new life leaving her guilt, grief and secrets behind. Charlie, a war veteran has moved there to work with his uncle, the sheriff. Both are sure they want no part of romance or marriage but God has other plans. Lane suffers from severe depression and anxiety. Due her family’s attitude toward her struggle, lack of support and understanding she sees herself as broken and undeserving of love. Charlie also faces family disapproval for leaving a career in the military. The story moves so smoothly as clues to the murderer’s identity is sought.
The author does a beautiful job of showing the minds and hearts of those with mental illness. I feel it gives the reader a greater understanding of how those afflicted suffer, needing our compassion and understanding, not disapproval. They are often hindered in forgiving and accepting themselves by the harsh judgement of others. Ms. Walters shows throughout the book that the true source of overcoming and moving on is trust in God. I cannot wait to read the next book!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.
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LibraryThing member Harley0326
The book is sure to please mystery buffs with secrets, lies and a murder. The author does a great job in keeping the story moving at a fast pace. I loved learning about paintings and all that is involved in an art gallery.

Lane is a good character who comes from a very influential family. It was
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hard for Lane to pretend everything was grand when she suffers from depression. I appreciate how the author writes about anxiety and depression with honesty and compassion. So many people suffer from depression and it is hard to find the right treatment. I loved Lane'swill power to deal with it in a positive manor. Her family seems to want to hide it from the world, which puts Lane in a difficult position at times.

The story is dark at times with realistic views of PTSD and depression which I think enhanced the story line. The last thing Lane needs in her life is to stumble upon the body of a young girl in the woods. This is where we meet the charismatic Deputy Charlie Lynch. He is fierce with a background in the military. He takes to Lane right away and has compassion for her and her adorable son. His intelligence is obvious when he realizes Lane is hiding something. Will she trust him with her secret?

I loved the setting of a small town and how neighbors look out for each other. The mystery of a painting really increases the speculation of who is involved with the murder and how it ties into a possible drug problem. Who is Miguel and why does he feel that Lane needs protecting? I found Miguel to be a lost soul tossed aside by society due to PTSD. My heart went out to him and I wanted someone to give him a helping hand.

I was impressed with the details of drug smuggling and new ways they are able to transport drugs undetected. The town is in an uproar when someone lets slip who they think killed the young girl. You could feel the chaos and rumors as the crowd gathers at what they think is the killer's home. The author brings us a story that keeps you guessing right up to the end. I have found a new author to add to my list who writes with intensity, honesty and an element of faith.

I received a copy of this book from Revel Publishing. The review is my own opinion.
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LibraryThing member Virginia51
This was the first book I have ever read by this author and it will not be my last. I loved all the suspense in the story. There were many twists and turns. I am looking forward to many more stories by this author. The characters have many secrets and it is fun learning each one. I received a copy
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of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
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LibraryThing member jjnaaucoin
I seem to be in the minority here, I just can’t get into this book. I have tried 5 or 6 times to read it all becoming a chore. I have skipped ahead because sometimes a book just takes a while to grab me, this one is just not for me. I am going to not rate it because obviously others love the book
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and it just may not be my style...sometimes a plot is fabulous but the style of writing for me is a killer. So I will leave my honest review, I just couldn’t get into the book to tell another reader what kind of a book it was. Thank you for offering the book to me and I wish I could have left more of a review.
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LibraryThing member jumbler
This is a story that is a mystery as well as a glimpse into depression and PTSD. The author handles both of these topics with honesty. Lane, the main character suffers from depression, and guilt over the death of her husband. Her little boy Noah brings her joy and a reason to keep going. The
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mystery was a good one, kept me guessing. I liked the character development in the story. Even the secondary characters were interesting and added to the story. This was a good read.
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LibraryThing member starbritejan
This book got my attention on the first page! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole book. Lots of action, romance and suspense! A very good read!
LibraryThing member MissYvonnee
A well written book that captured my attention from the beginning. I look forward to reading more by this author.
LibraryThing member medwards429
Thank you to Just Read Tours and Revell Books (division of Baker Books) for a review copy of this book which was given without payment or exchange for a positive review.

“Living Lies” is Natalie Walters’ first novel in the romance/suspense “Harbored Secrets” series and is also her debut
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novel. It is about a young widow, Lane Kent, who has returned to her hometown of Walton, Georgia. A widow with a little boy, Lane also harbors a dark secret – one that continues to haunt her. It is because of that secret she meets one of Walton Police Department’s newest deputies – Charlie Lynch, who has his own secrets as well.

When Lane discovers the body of a young girl, she has to not only suppress her secret even deeper, but work to uncover the truth behind the murder.

While Lane struggles with her secret past, she finds herself feeling more normal around Charlie, almost as if she’s being given a second chance. But, after her husband’s death, Lane can’t or won’t take another chance. It takes everything she has to just keep going, especially with her father’s Senate election coming up.

As the investigation into the young girl’s murder progresses, Lane is not only in danger from her past, but someone else. Someone, who is also trying to keep their secret as well. The investigation isn’t the only thing progressing – Charlie and Lane’s friendship begins to progress as well. But, Lane still wonders if she is worth saving and if life is worth fighting for.

As I read this, it was (for me), more of a suspense story with the romance woven into it naturally and not “forced”. There were multiple plots and sub-plots that worked together without seeming to overwhelm the reader:

** Grisly murder (of a teenager)
** Depression
** Suicide
** Treatment of Vietnam War Vets post-return

Walters weaves a story that is not only entertaining, engaging, thrilling – but compassionate and informative as seen from Lane’s point of view (POV). The writer also constructs multiple viewpoints from those with depression, to the denial of the family, and the misunderstanding of strangers. Adequately represented are the views of the grieving family, the community’s reaction, and the (near-accurate) media sensationalizing the murder.

I was conflicted while reading this book – I wanted to take my time reading it, but I also couldn’t put it down and wanted to keep reading straight to the end.

I’m very much looking forward to the author’s second title in this series.
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LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
Living Lies, the first book in Natalie Walter’s Harbored Secrets series, takes the reader to a small Georgia town where deceit, murder, and despair lay just below the surface. My book club chose this novel because we love suspense that keeps the pages turning. This one did just that. We all like
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and recommend it.

Walton is a typical sleepy southern town — close-knit community, quaint businesses, and low crime — that is until there is a murder of a teenaged girl. The murder peels away what the veneer hides. Walton is not immune to the dark underside of criminal activity. Nor is it immune to the very real struggles of those with depression and PTSD. Walters honestly explores the often stigmatized subject. The mystery keeps the reader on his/her toes, but the characters are what engage the heart. I really liked main character Lane Kent. Her vulnerabliity makes her very credible. Her love interest, hunky Charlie Lynch, also has some baggage that he strives to overcome. Both rely on God to give them strength to get through the day-to-day and the danger that they face. The two’s relationship gets equal billing with the murder investigation, making this one a great choice for fans of the romantic suspense genre.

There are 3 books in the Harbored Secrets series — all currently available. I have already read book 2, Deadly Deceit, so just one left to go, and I am looking forward to it.


Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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LibraryThing member TCJRogers
Living Lies is the story of Lane, a widowed mother who struggles with depression, and her battle to find self-acceptance, self-worth, and forgiveness for herself so she can allow herself to be loved and move forward with her life. When Lane stumbles upon a dead body in the woods, she is caught up
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in an intense murder investigation led by Charlie, a handsome deputy who just moved to town. Lane finds herself fighting to defend a Vietnam Vet who suffers from PTSD, certain that his condition is just as misunderstood as hers.

I really enjoyed Living Lies. I appreciate the light it sheds on depression and how misunderstood it and those suffering with it often are. I found the emotions and fears that Lane struggled with to be true to life for those who struggle with depression. I really liked Charlie’s character — how he was so encouraging and wanted to help and not shaming at all, in contrast to her parents. The story line was exciting, unpredictable, and moved at a good speed. It kept me wanting to read more. I would definitely recommend this book.

*My thanks to the publisher and author for sending me an early reviewers copy of Living Lies. I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a positive review, and all opinions expressed are my own.
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