Michelle Sutton's In Sheep's Clothing was a delight to read. I loved it. The novel begins with a nice balance of humor, which made me want to sit back and join the characters. Sutton layers her characters well. By the novel's halfway point, through a blend of romance and suspense, she had drawn me into such a well-crafted web that I found myself racing through the pages. I tend to read slowly to absorb everything, but I flew through this book in about five hours.
The novel centers around Stephanie and Jacob in the early stages of their relationship, and a deceptive friend, Brittny, who seeks to gain the upper hand. It's a story of deception and trust. As the story progresses, Stephanie must sort through each. Too often, I find such novels predictable. The author must have had a reader like me in mind as she crafted the book. Perhaps the strongest quality of In Sheep's Clothing is in how the author plants seeds of deception. Sutton does an excellent job of planting coincidental seeds early in the book to keep the reader guessing between truth and misinterpretation. In so doing, she draws the reader into the same confusion and search for facts in which Stephanie finds herself. If I had to find a weakness, I would have desired a little more perspective on Brittny's psyche, but the author even covered that base to some extent with the featured presentation on the "movie night." The book's earlier half seems stronger than its latter half, but Sutton provides a roller-coaster finish.
Just like Stephanie and Jacob's relationship, the book begins with innocent effervescence and morphs into a web of suspicion. Sutton also weaves in another interesting parallel: The circumstances in which Stephanie "meets" Jacob are similar to how Stephanie's nemesis "meets" Stephanie, yet their motives are completely opposite.
And, in true Sutton style, she doesn't shy away from the passion of romance.
Bold, fresh and addictive. Although classified as Christian fiction, it's a heated love story and creepy thriller. Michelle Sutton has crafted a winner with In Sheep's Clothing.