Still Life (Chesapeake Valor #2) by Dani Pettrey

still-lifeGenre: Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: January 2017

When a controversial shot turned Avery Tate into a persona non grata in the photography world, she applied for a position as a crime scene photographer. To her surprise, the crime scene analyst, Parker Mitchell, hired her. But when feelings toward the man started to grow, she bolted.

Now, in order to support a friend who modeled for a photography exhibit, Avery must face the very community who rejected her. But when Skylar doesn’t appear and the photographer insists he didn’t take the only shot of her posing dead, the evening takes a macabre turn.

With Skylar missing, Avery has no option but to turn to Parker for help. However, working with him could prove more dangerous than she ever imagined. Not only is she falling harder for someone whose heart belongs to another, their investigation also leads to a twisted individual — one who now has his sights set on Avery.

The guys are back! Longtime friends Parker, Griffin, and Declan tackle another case in the second installment of Dani Pettrey’s Chesapeake Valor series. A story of second chances, Still Life centers on Parker and Avery.

Darker than her previous novels, due to Avery’s broken past and one very disturbed man’s obsession with death, the author still manages to find the balance of showing sin and evil without going overboard with gory details.

The romance aspect differs from the typical path so many stories follow in that Parker and Avery are already in love with each other by the time the reader joins them. This allows us to see some struggles they faced as a couple and how their pasts colored their new relationship. Given her history, I could sympathize with Avery’s fear of rejection. She did too well as it was, considering all she had experienced.

While I love Pettrey’s style and writing, this book didn’t rank as high for me as her previous novels. I found the mystery too predictable. Despite the presence of red-herrings, I easily saw through them as characters and events that were only meant to mislead. Also, the thread of faith didn’t flow as naturally. Nonetheless, I enjoyed getting to know Parker and Avery, and more than ever, I can’t wait to find out more about the missing fourth friend — Luke.

I recommend Still Life to Pettrey’s fans and romantic suspense readers, though I would suggest starting with Cold Shot if you haven’t read it yet.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Fiction Addict.


Top Ten Tuesday: Places to Find Love

Love can flourish anytime, anywhere. But everyone knows, especially readers, that the right setting can go a long way toward welding two hearts together. For today’s Top Ten Tuesday, I asked friends and fellow readers to help me compile a list of romantic settings.



1) Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano — With a the rugged, blue-eyed Scotsman (who can cook no less!) vying for her heart against the backdrop of the Scottish landscape, Andrea never really stood a chance. Love was inevitable.pei



2) The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson — A quaint little inn, beautiful sandy beaches, the home of Anne of Green Gables, how can one not fall in love on Prince Edward Island? chapel-springsdancingwithfireflies


3) Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter — In the Chapel Springs series, I probably fell as much in love with the small, fictional river town as I did its characters. Though Daniel Dawson takes the cake, three years later and I still get butterflies — err … fireflies? — in my stomach.




4) The Memory of You by Catherine West — Something can be said for moonlit strolls in a vineyard. Not only do they cleanse the soul, they also spark the embers of love. lighthouseUndaunted-Hope


5) Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund — Hedlund’s Beacon of Hope series show that lighthouses not only guide ships home, they are also a great place to fall in


6) The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate — Drawn back to the place she thought she’d left for good, Jennia-Beth was bound to find herself and love in the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham — My fair lady has never sounded better than when retold with an Appalachian twist. No wonder, Adelina fell in love with the rugged mountains and the cattle farmer who taught her how to appreciate them. (Psst, It’s free for the Kindle right now, so don’t miss out!)chocolate-shopsweetmisfortune


7) Sweet Misfortune by Kevin Alan Milne — There’s something about chocolate that seems to bring out the romantic in everyone. So what better place to find love than in a chocolate shop?alaska

alaskan-courage8) The Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey — Alaska? Who would have thought? Yet, Pettrey’s characters prove that romance can be found even in the coldest places. (Submerged, #1 in the series, is currently free for the Kindle!)



9) Bon Appetit by Sandra Byrd — They don’t call Paris the city of love for nothing, and Lexi finds out why when she travels to France to fulfill her life dream of becoming a pastry chef.glenbrooke



10) Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn — Sometimes a small town is the best place to find healing … and love.



What romantic places would you add to this list?


Free Friday: Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann


Secrets (The Michelli Family Series Book #1) by Kristen Heitzmannsecrets


Lance Michelli is on a quest to discover the secrets his grandmother cannot tell. What happened all those years ago, and what is it she so desperately needs him to find? The old villa in Sonoma holds the answers, but it is now owned by a young woman who neither knows nor cares about his mission. But Rese Barret is a force to contend with, and her own impending storm could sweep him up as their sparring creates a fierce and uncomfortable attraction.

eli-signature**Disclaimer: Unfortunately, time doesn’t allow me to read every book I share on Free Friday, so I can’t guarantee they’ll all be good. But I’ll do my best to find authors/books I know, know of, or sound good. If I have read it, I’ll make sure to include the link to my review as well.

Character Spotlight: Dani Pettrey’s Parker and Avery

The Story:

still-lifeBlacklisted in the photography business when one of her shots causes a scandal, but desperate to somehow continue in the profession, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She fully expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright–taking time to teach her the trade. Now she’s half in love with the man, half terrified to even acknowledge her feelings, and completely hooked on the job–until the next crime hits too close to home.

Avery attends the gallery opening of a new photography exhibit to support her best friend who modeled for the show. The only image of her, though, is a chilling photo of her posing dead. Only the photographer insists he didn’t take the shot, and Avery’s friend can’t be found.

As Avery and Parker, along with Parker’s brilliant friends, begin to dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a dangerous, relentless, and deadly threat which could endanger them all.

Meet Parker and Avery:


Explore the world of Still Life:

About the Author:


Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the brand new romantic suspense Chesapeake Valor series, as well as the well-loved Alaskan Courage series which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their daughters, son-in-law, and super-adorable grandson.

Connect with Dani through her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.