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Samar Reine
She Died Then Showed Me
Samar Reine, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

She Died Then Showed Me, Book One of The Pioneer Ranch Saga, immerses readers in a world of art, mystery, self-discovery, and the complexities of family rivalries. The story follows Peyton Chase, an unwilling heiress burdened by her father's debts, as she embarks on a journey to unravel the secrets of her illustrious family. Devastated by the revelation that her father secretly sold her mother's renowned paintings, Peyton is determined to salvage her family's estate. To reclaim what was lost and uncover the truth behind her mother's artistic legacy, she must decipher the enigmatic clues hidden within the brushstrokes of her mother's masterpieces. Amidst the chaos, Peyton's personal life becomes entangled with unexpected twists. Her ex-lover resurfaces, reigniting a spark from the past, just as she crosses paths with a captivating new man who stirs her heart. Overshadowed by her mother's prodigious talent and wrestling with her own insecurities, Peyton grapples with her hidden passion for painting, yearning to break free from the shadows of self-doubt. As Peyton delves deeper into her family's secrets and confronts her deepest fears, she must summon the courage to step out of the shadows and embrace her true artistic potential. Through triumphs and adversity, Peyton's journey intertwines with the enchanting power of art, revealing the extraordinary strength of the human spirit and the enduring legacy of love, resilience, and self-discovery. Ultimately, Peyton Chase finds that the journey of self-discovery is a lifelong love story filled with profound hurdles and selfless sacrifices.
In Reine’s first installment of the Pioneer Ranch Saga, Peyton Chase discovers, in the aftermath of her father’s death, an exorbitant debt is threatening her family home. Facing an impending lawsuit from her jealous half-sister Lexi as well, Peyton finds herself the sole defender of her family’s legacy, while feeling trapped in the shadow of her late mother, a famous artist. In a last-ditch effort to save the family ranch, Peyton enlists the help of local survivalist Blake Adler to head a commercial hunt on the property. But Blake’s sights soon become set on the troubled heiress instead, and in the midst of her financial sorrows an old flame resurfaces, while cryptic messages in her mother’s paintings spark Peyton’s own hunt to discover her family’s secrets.

Peyton’s crusade to save her family estate is as stirring as is her quest for self-actualization, marked by complex family dynamics that muddy even the clearest waters. Burdened by evidence that her mother suffered heavily from bipolar disorder before ending her own life, Peyton sees similar struggles in her niece, Margot—though she’s unable to help much, given Margot’s mother, Lexi, is overprotective and envious of Peyton as the “privileged” half-sister. Peyton soon finds herself beset on all sides by malicious forces, but there’s plenty of friends onboard, too, most notably Blake—who offers up wisdom to combat Peyton’s self-esteem issues: “Dreaming points out possibilities a man might not have considered before.”

A fine cast of supporting characters adds to the budding romance between Peyton and Blake, and Reine’s rich descriptions of New Mexico’s architecture and natural landscape bring the setting to vivid life. Peyton’s own artistic style, which took a backseat to her mother’s rising star, in some ways parallels her journey of self-worth, as do the clues left in her mother’s paintings, eventually prompting her realization that “I’m worthy. An original. Not a copy.”

Takeaway: A troubled heiress fights to save her family ranch, rediscovering herself in the process.

Comparable Titles: Barbara O’Neal’s The Starfish Sisters, Adrienne Brodeur’s Little Monsters.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: B+
Illustrations: NA
Editing: B-
Marketing copy: B