Buried Truth

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Feb 2018

Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It took me a while to get into this story but it was worth it. Buried Truth is a romantic suspense with a second chance at love for Leah Grayson and Ryan Alexander, who were high school sweethearts. As per the book synopsis,  when Leah organizes a reunion for her fifth-grade classmates to open their time capsule, they discover a roll of film no one remembers saving. Afterward, strange incidents begin happening. Warnings. Accidents. Random acts of vandalism. Ryan comes back to town to take care of his mother after she breaks her arm and the two of them start a fling which turns into something more. 
Good romantic suspense that is worth the read.  
3.5 Stars
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I've read several of Jannine Gallant's novels before and enjoyed them, so when I saw the opportunity to request an advanced reader copy of the first novel in her new series, I jumped at the chance, and am happy that I did, because this was a very good novel of romantic suspense, combined with a second chance at love trope, and it gets 4 stars from this reader/reviewer. 

The novel centers on fifth grade teacher, Leah Grayson, who is trying to get her life back on track after her divorce. Back in high school, she was in love with Ryan Alexander, a total nerd, but in their senior year she broke off their relationship because she thought they were just too different to make it work. Instead, she married another classmate, Brock, who turned out to be a serial cheater. In her attempt to move on with her life, she remembers that 20 years earlier, her fifth grade class filled and buried a time capsule, and what better way to engage her own fifth graders than to unearth it and share it with them, and wouldn't it be great to also gather her former fifth grade classmates for a reunion as the time capsule is opened?

Nerdy Ryan Alexander left town after high school with a broken heart after Leah dumped him without warning, but went on to found an enormously successful social media site, Crossroads, much like Facebook, and he is now, in this novel, the fictional version of Mark Zuckerberg. After Leah dumped him and broke his young heart, he's avoided getting too involved in any relationship, choosing to date a number of women, but keeping his emotions out of it. Adding to his trust issues is the fact that Jay, his former friend and business partner, also betrayed him, adding to his emotional distrust of others. Ryan's mother, who still lives in his hometown, recently broke her arm, and so he's returned home to care for her while she heals, and has been asked to join the reunion and time capsule event, and in doing so, finds that rather than his attraction to Leah making him wonder what he once saw in her, he finds himself more attracted to her than ever, and it appears that the feeling is mutual.

When the time capsule is opened, and the contents examined by all present, there's a mysterious roll of film found that Leah doesn't recall being put there 20 years earlier, and she and Ryan decide to see if the film can be developed, and perhaps find out who added it to the time capsule, and learn the reason why. That decision forms the background mystery/suspense that fuels the rest of the novel, because while not all the film was in good shape, the photos they do manage to develop aren't a child's contribution to a time capsule--they were clearly taken by an adult, and seem to show some sort of ritual with unidentifiable robed figures gathered around what appears to be a naked woman, and suddenly Leah's house and car are broken into, she's attacked, it's clear that someone doesn't want anyone to see those photos. There more than a few viable suspects, and to top it all off, there are other crimes against seniors occurring, including Leah's own mother, so we have two mysteries to solve in this novel. The reason I generally don't read mystery novels is that I can usually guess who the guilty party is early on, but not so in this novel, and I must commend the author for keeping me guessing until the very end.

The only down side for me in this novel was Leah, the heroine, who at times seems too naive for words, and at other times comes off as rather bitchy and quick to fly off the handle at Ryan, who was an excellent hero, always trying to protect and defend Leah, always there for her, always ready to support her and her decisions, and certainly ready to rekindle their former relationship. Yes, his trust issues do get in the way a bit, but I certainly found him more likable than I found Leah. 

So, who is/are the people in those photographs? Who is ready to commit murder to make those photos disappear? What was that ritual, and why does it seem that history is about to repeat itself? Who's been ripping off the senior citizens' life savings? Who is responsible for the break-ins and threats against Leah? Will Ryan and Leah finally manage to iron out their differences and make their relationship work? As the danger escalates, will Ryan be able to keep Leah safe from harm? For answers to these questions, you'll have to read this enjoyable, puzzling, intriguing and emotional novel for yourself, and I recommend you do so, as it's a very good read.

I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions expressed are my own.
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I love a second chance romance add some suspense and I am in book heaven this was a really good read mostly but at a couple of points it really did drag a bit but don't give up it does get better I really liked both Leah and Alex and really enjoyed watching their relationship develop.A good start to a new series looking forward to the next book.
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Leah Grayson is determined to move on with her life after her divorce and opening the time capsule she and her fifth-grade classmates buried years ago is on her agenda. However, soon after Leah finds herself targeted by a madman and strange incidents she thought were just pranks turn out to be something more sinister. Luckily, she has Ryan Alexander -- the first man she ever loved on her side -- as they try to unravel why someone is out to get her. Will the pair be able to overcome the danger they face, or will they lose their second chance at happy ever after because someone wants secrets long buried to stay that way?

Although this story started off a little slow, I found that once the hero and heroine came face-to-face for the first time and then when they finally get the time-capsule unburied that this story really takes off, and takes readers on an exciting and captivating story encompassing a dark secret that needs to finally come out in order to see people pay for their crimes. Yet, what I liked most of all about this story is that I couldn't figure out who was a bad guy and who wasn't. 

As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories, their past history that had them going their separate ways; and the incidents that put the heroine's life at risk. Will she be able to escape the danger? Will Ryan be able to protect her? Moreover, the heroine seems a little naïve when it comes to who she believes is causing the incidents. However, in saying that, she's also resilient and courageous with everything she goes through. I also liked how determined she was to discover the truth of what had been going on over the years, despite the danger it puts her in. Luckily, she has Ryan on her side. While the hero, he's worked hard to get to where he is in his life and I liked that he was determined to make things right between him and Leah because they're good together. I also liked how protective Ryan was of the heroine until they figured out what was going on and who was after her. Will they discover the truth before it's too late?

Overall, Ms. Gallant has delivered a really good read in this first book of her Siren Cove series where the chemistry between this couple is still as strong as it was in the past; the romance was delightful and had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after; and the ending had me on the edge-of-my-seat because of the dangerous situation the hero and heroine find themselves in. Furthermore, I loved how things worked out for the best between Ryan and Leah because after everything they go through and have been through they both deserve happiness. I would recommend Buried Truth by Jannine Gallant, if you enjoy romantic suspense, the second chance romance, the friends to lovers trope, or books by authors Rita Herron, Pamela Clare, Cynthia Eden and Kat Martin.
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I like my female leads to be strong and courageous, or at least grow in character as the book moves forward. Leah, as the main lead, was really iffy, she went back and forth so many times, that I went back and forth with my decision 

To read or not to read, is the question... 

To avoid DNF, I ploughed on. It took me 4 days to read the book in bits and pieces. I hated the main character. Though 80% of the book, I felt she is just using the male character, Ryan, just for her own fun. 

Story is simple, Leah liked Ryan in high school but breaks off from him as he was too different (read it as slim, intelligent, and nerdy). They buried a time capsule then, now 20 years hence, they want to escavate that and put in a new one. There is a hitch, someone has put a camera roll in the time capsule and wants that truth to be buried. By the way, Leah does like Ryan now (read: rich, successful, drool worthy body) 

The book by Jannine Gallant, at 368 pages, is too long and feels longer as the plot is too loopy and has no substance. The author has made an attempt to generate suspense, but unfortunately, it falls flatter than a pancake. 

The only character I liked and kind of pitied was the male lead, Ryan Alexander; he is sweet and kind. Too bad, he makes the same poor choices yet again 20 years hence: liking Leah!! 

The book goes on at snail pace, with the voice of the villains, making their appearance suddenly in the midst of 'love story' (read: neither love nor a story) 

On the whole, an okay read (aka boring) 

I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher, Lyrical Press, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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Ryan and Paige have known each other and loved each other. What happens when you see your life going in one direction and it ends up in a completely different direction? Paige was not sure how her life ended up how it did, but will second chances make things better or worse. This book had some suspense, romance, and surprise. Thank you for allowing me to read this and write about it.
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Buried Truth by Jannine Gallant
Siren Cove #1

Romantic suspense with a second chance at love for Leah Grayson and Ryan Alexander was a fun book to read…I stayed up late eager to see how the book would end. I enjoyed this introduction to Siren Cove and wonder who will have their story told next. 

Leah and Ryan were high school sweethearts who broke up after high school because Leah thought they were too dissimilar to make it for the long haul. Ryan has moved on from being the nerdy geek to a rather hunky wealthy young man while Leah is a fifth grade teacher that is a bit more of a hippy throwback than a modern woman. When Leah’s class digs up a time capsule from twenty years ago someone desperately wants to retrieve what was hidden inside it as it holds incriminating evidence that must not get out. With a class reunion, desperate people wanting what Leah has and willing to do anything to get it and Ryan and Leah getting back together this is an action-packed story. I really liked Leah’s grandmother – what a pip! 

I am eager to read the next book in the series and want to thank NetGalley and Kensington Book-Lyrical Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

4 Stars
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Buried Truth by Jannine Gallant is a bit different from the other books that I have read written by her. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, I did immensely. However, the characters are everyday people that you might know in your own town. Leah, an elementary teacher and Ryan, a successful businessman are at the heart of this romantic suspense book. 

Lies and deception nearly bring the entire good citizens of the small-town. Like a Miss Marple but with a younger heroine and a hot hero this story reminds us that much evil can hide even in small towns. Good prevails in the end along with love that will last a lifetime, but there is more than one close call, making Buried Truth an exciting suspense and a wonderful romance.
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Buried Truth by Jannine Gallant is the first book in the new romantic suspense series Siren Cove. The story introduces Leah Grayson who is a teacher in Siren Cove that has decided as a learning experience for her fifth grade class that it is time to organize a reunion of her own fifth grade class that buried a time capsule in order to unearth the capsule and share what had been in it.

Ryan Alexander had known Leah all his life and the pair at one point had been deeply in love but Leah had broken it off stating that they were just too different from one another. Ryan hadn’t planned on attending the reunion but when his mother has an accident he finds himself back in Siren Cove and back in Leah’s life.

There are times when the story switches the point of view to an unknown narrator who seems to have left something in the time capsule that they do not want discovered. This leads to a lot of action as attempts are made to stop Leah from finding the evidence that would lead to crimes committed long ago when the capsule was buried.

Buried Truth is one of those books that no matter how much I wanted to like the story and what was going on there were little details that just kept nagging at me. The first thing I noticed and was a little iffy on was rushing Leah and Ryan back together. Of course this is a romantic suspense so you know it’s coming but a little build up would have been nice.

As the story went on I also thought that the unknown voice almost got a bit comical instead of menacing or scary like it should be. When the bad guys behind the scenes start conjuring images of Larry, Moe and Curly Joe it’s not a good thing at all. But the real kicker on this book was the ending itself. I thought maybe, just maybe my overall rating would be around 3 stars until the final chapters where as soon as the climatic moments came it felt the author skipped a chapter and just dropped all the action midway. I just found it all rather odd at that point and decided that no, this was not the book for me.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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Second chance romance with a little mystery thrown in.  Leah has decided to open a time capsule her class buried in fifth grade.  You wouldn't think this would lead to problems today (it was fifth grade!) but it does, as all sorts of bad stuff begins to happen EXCEPT that Ryan, who Leah had a thing for as a teen is back in town.  The mystery isn't really mysterious and you know where the Leah-Ryan relationship is going.  It's well written but just a tad too light for me.  Thanks to net galley for the ARC.
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This is a sweet romance full of twists and turns that will have you guessing until the very end. Ryan and Paige are incredibly likeable characters and you can't help but root for their second chance at love. I can't wait for the other ladies to get their stories!!!
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Leah Grayson is a fifth grade teacher in the small town she grew up in. She decides to dig up the time capsule that she and her classmates buried 20 years ago when they were in fifth grade. An undeveloped role of film is discovered in the capsule. Soon after, Leah’s house and car are torn apart and she finds herself in danger.

Ryan Alexander is back in town to take care of his mother since she broke her arm. Ryan is the guy Leah dumped at 18 and moved on. He has become a very successful Internet guy. 

Ryan and Leah run into each other and old feelings stir up. Ryan is understandably cautious. He’s been burned by more than one person he thought he could trust. Having said that, these two fall into bed rather quickly and easily, and pick up where they left off despite all the unresolved issues. There wasn’t any chemistry. It felt perfunctory and rote. 

The suspense wasn’t very engaging. I guessed most of the criminals early on despite the attempts to talk in circles and have conversations with no names attached. The story line is predictable and I didn’t connect with it. 

I loved Leah’s grandma, an 82 year old spitfire. 

Overall an uninspiring read.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher.
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The following review will be posted on my blog, Goodreads, and associated social media pages on January 22nd

I have read quite a bit of Gallant's work so I did not hesitate to try this story.  It delivered exactly as expectations would of a romantic suspense.  A little heavier on the romance and a little lighter on the suspense.

I liked how the reader is pretty much given the short list of who the possible "bad guys" are and tries to decipher it from there.  While the amount of close calls and near death experiences Leah experienced could be described as far fetched, I was still along for the ride.

It is evident in Gallants work that she is a huge fan of nature and the outdoors as a lot of this story takes place there.  It almost made me want to be a rock climber like Ryan, ok maybe not, but I will take the nice hiking trails minus the creepy stone.

I have two pieces of constructive criticism.  

The first is the reader reads about Leah's upturned lips a couple too many times.  I don't know why but every time it came up I visualized her lips bigger and bigger until they were the fish lips that are all over social media.  

The second one may just be me.  I had a hard time reconciling Leah the character with her description.  I was stuck on the fact that she had hair to her butt.  I can't say I know or have known anyone with hair that long at that age demographic.  I am laughing at how petty it is but it really bothered me.  So this one is my issue.

Overall, I would tell readers to set your expectations.  This story is a romantic suspense and therefore is a little on the lighter side than say a thriller novel would be.  If you go in knowing what to expect, you will have a good time with this story.
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A seemingly harmless time capsule buried by fifth graders twenty years ago, starts a series of events that involves reuniting old friends, suspicion, fear and worse. But it does offer a second chance to Leah and Ryan to make their life together work this time.

Leah Grayson and her two best friends still happily live in Siren’s Cove. Leah teaches fifth grade at their old elementary school, Nina and Paige own small businesses. They’re all promoting the reunion and time capsule opening. Ryan, her high school love is a millionaire starter of a social media company, who returns home after his mom is injured in an accident, and agrees to help with the reunion. All plans seem to be going smoothly until a series of suspicious events occurs. The area where the capsule was first buried is dug up in the middle of the night, Leah starts getting threatening phone calls, Ryan’s Jeep is broken into, and despite Leah’s bag inside, nothing is taken. Plus, the time capsule reveals an interesting object no one remembers putting in there.

Ryan Alexander never got over Leah breaking up with him and her ending up married to the loser Brock. The marriage ended quickly and Leah wishes she had listened to Ryan’s advice. But, with him back in town, maybe they have second chance. 

The danger escalates and soon you don’t know who is innocent and who is guilty. The sparks between Leah and Ryan really smolder, and they’re suspicions start to add up. I was stumped till the end. Great first book in the series, can’t wait for more in Siren Cove. 

I requested this book from the publisher and Netgalley for review.
Pat Fordyce
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1.5 Stars

I’m always looking for a good romantic suspense, but it seems I rarely find one. Unfortunately I did not find Buried Truth to my liking. The second chance romance was flat and had zero chemistry while the suspense and bad guys were almost caricatural in its/their portrayal.
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