Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Spent Identity by Marlene M. Bell (VBT: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Vitual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Spent Identity by author Marlene M. Bell!

Book Review

Spent Identity by Marlene M. Bell
Book 2: Annalise Series
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Publication Date: December 11, 2019
Format: PB - 378 pages
               Kindle - 2624 KB 
               Nook - 2 MB
               Audible Audio Book: 9 Hours 43 Minutes
ISBN: 978-0999539422
ASIN (Audio Book): B088HFXJ3G
BNID: 2940160958798
Genre: Mystery / Romantic Suspense

Buy The Book:

Buy The Series: Annalise Series
Book 1: Stolen Obsession
Book 2: Spent Identity

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Farm For Sale. 360-acre lot with ranch-style home. Refurbished barn. Corpse not included.
To find her missing aunt, she has to unearth the secrets of the past. But lies and deceit run through the very heart of their town…

What started out as a promising relationship with adventurer and tycoon Alec Zavos has fizzled into an uncertain future for antiquities expert Annalisse Drury. Returning to Walker Farm in Upstate New York to see her Aunt Kate should have been a welcome homecoming and distraction. Instead, she finds the childhood home she expected to inherit is for sale, without her permission. What’s worse, Kate’s ranch manager makes a gruesome discovery in the barn: the body of an unidentified man, dead by foul play.

Annalisse turns to Alec for help. She and her aunt shelter on his estate in the Catskills while the authorities canvass the scene. But when Kate herself disappears without a trace, Annalisse fears the worst: that one of the many secrets of her hometown has ensnared her family—a secret someone is willing to kill for to keep hidden.

Book Excerpt:

(Spent Identity from chapter fifteen.)
She caught a glimpse of Bill’s scarred neck and considered prying. “May I ask a personal question?”
“Sure.” He steered the next turn. “I’ll answer if I can.”
“Did you get burned?”
He rubbed the side of his neck as if to soothe a haunting memory. “I used to be a fireman. Got caught in a seven-story roof collapse. Almost bought it.” He tapped cruise control and slid his shoe off the accelerator.
An injured fireman with a near-death experience turned private investigator made more sense to her now. Bill didn’t fit the cookie-cutter-investigator type.
They hit smooth asphalt in the cross into Sullivan County. Annalisse relished the soothing hum from the roadway. At the county border, they passed a renovated eighteenth-century church refurbished into a modern brick farmhouse. The original belfry and bell sat atop the gable roof at the midpoint, with a new masonry chimney erected on one side near the redwood decking. She hadn’t noticed it the first time with Woody.
“What a horrible experience for you, Bill. I’m sorry. Alec didn’t mention it.”
“We don’t talk about it much. For a bunch of reasons.” Bill fiddled with a tabloid-size newspaper wedged next to the console. “My hours are better now anyway.” He chuckled, rolling the newsprint into a tube and blowing into it.
“A gossip rag? Haven’t read any juicy dirt in a while. I could use a laugh.” She reached for the paper, expecting him to hand it to her.
“Boring issue.” Bill tossed the roll over the headrest, wiping newsprint from his fingers to the seat.
That was strange.
She tried to grab it, but it landed just out of her reach.
Annalisse unbuckled and twisted for a closer look at the huge headline, reading aloud, “THE HOUND CHASES ANOTHER FOX. Please people. Such original journalism. Who this time?” She laughed as she lunged for the paper.
Bill’s arm moved in like a slingshot and bumped her sore cheek, blocking her.
“Ow. Watch the road,” she exclaimed and bounced backward. “Walking wounded here. Just drive, Bill. Allow me to revel in someone else’s grief for a while.”
He touched her elbow. “Please don’t.”
Bill wasn’t smiling, and his skin had morphed to ashen of the dead. He had the look of a man who’d just lost his best friend and was about to lose his faithful dog too.
It clicked. “What don’t you want me to see what thousands of other people have already seen?”
“Wait till we get to Brookehaven so he can—”
“Who can?” Annalisse hung over the seat and stretched her sore body far enough to snag the tabloid with her fingertips. She braced herself—the photo had to be disturbing.
“The timing is bad. Really bad.” Bill stared at the road and in a low voice added, “I’m so sorry.”
The pang of the unknown boomeranged through her heart, and she looked down at the front page of Reveal Reality.
A couple with their backs to the camera, overlooking an ocean at sunset at some kind of event. She wasn’t sure where but expected the piece would say. The paparazzi photographer had zoomed in on a brunette in a skimpy, backless sundress leaning into a man with his elegant hand cupping her barely covered butt cheek. His chiseled profile and windblown curls were unmistakable.
Say bye-bye to the mysterious, green-eyed Annalisse! Italian starlet Monica Corsetti on Italy’s Riviera with Greek magnate, Alec Zavos of the Signorile Corporation. They were…
She covered her mouth.
“Pull over, Bill. I’m gonna throw up.”

Book Trailer:

My Book Review:

In Spent Identity, book two of the Annalise Series, author Marlene M. Bell transports the reader to Goshen in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate NY for antiquities appraiser Annalise Drury's latest mystery adventure.

After a life changing trip to Greece, and a romantic connection with Greek tycoon Alec Zavos that has turned confusing, Annalise Drury sets out for a weekend visit with Aunt Kate at Walker Farm, the family farm, to do something thinking. But the visit becomes anything but peaceful when a dead body is found in the stable, so Annalise and Aunt Kate go stay at Alec's Brookehaven estate during the murder investigation, only to have Aunt Kate go missing! Annalise turns to Alec for help in finding Aunt Kate, only to find themselves caught up in two investigations where everyone's a suspect!

Author Marlene M. Bell weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale written in the third person narrative that follows Annalise and Alec's dangerous adventure to find Aunt Kate, and uncover the long hidden truths behind Annalise's family secrets.

I loved reading this action-packed story. Annalise and Alec kept me intrigued as their investigative teamwork was put to the test, and how they were able to romantically reconnect, and work well as a team to uncover Annalise's hidden family secrets.

The reader will be easily drawn into this well written story with its richly descriptive plot that will keep them guessing as secrets, possible motives, and clues are uncovered, while unexpected twists and turns, and a surprising conclusion will leave the reader simply stunned.

Spent Identity has enough drama, tension, action, dark family secrets, intrigue, a touch of romance, and unexpected twists and turns that will take the reader on one heck of a thrilling roller coaster ride.


About The Author

Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer and acclaimed artist as well as a photographer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living, and Sheep Industry News, to name a few.

Her catalog venture, Ewephoric, began in 1985 out of her desire to locate personalized sheep stationery. She rarely found sheep products through catalogs and set out to design them herself. Order Ewephoric gifts online or request a catalog at

Marlene and her husband, Gregg, reside in beautiful East Texas on a wooded ranch with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, along with Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats that believe they rule the household—and do.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Win $100 Amazon Gift Card
More Goodies

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Marlene M. Bell. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a set of autographed books, a notebook, and silver jewelry. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020 and runs through September 2, 2020. Open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Event

Tour Participants:

08/01 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

08/03 Interview @ BooksChatter

08/05 Showcase @ Im All About Books

08/06 Review @ The World As I See It

08/07 Review @ Lynchburg Mama

08/08 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads

08/09 Showcase @ EienCafe

08/10 Review @ sunny island breezes

08/11 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books

08/12 Guest post @ Reading A Page Turner

08/16 Review/showcase @ Our Town Book Reviews

08/17 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

08/19 Interview @ CMash Reads

08/23 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods

08/24 Review @ Nesies Place


08/27 Review @ Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

08/28 Review @ noorthebookworm

08/28 Review/showcase @ Just 4 My Books

08/29 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty

08/30 Review @ Celticladys Reviews

08/31 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews


  1. I need to find more reading time since this is another book going on my list.

    1. Hi Cheryl! I hear ya, my TBR list keeps growing daily. lol :p