Exposed: A Circle of the Red Lily Novel Book 1 by Anna J. Stewart Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A Hollywood photographer with trust issues in authority and a detective who happens to be the police commissioner’s son stumbles upon a mystery involving photos of a dead woman, a notorious murder conviction, and a secret society that will do anything to maintain its deadly control over the Hollywood Elite in author Anna J. Stewart’s “Exposed: A Circle of the Red Lily Novel”. 


The Synopsis

Working as a Hollywood photographer means Riley Temple has seen it all. But then she finds herself staring at the chilling image of a dead woman. When her questions about the film lead to violence, she reluctantly turns to the only person who can help. Detective Quinn Burton, the police commissioner’s son. Her history with the LAPD is complicated, her trust in authority, tenuous. But to find those responsible and protect those closest to her, she’s willing to do anything. Even trust a cop.

After more than a decade on the job, Quinn knows a dangerous situation when he sees it and Riley Temple is up to her ears in trouble. But not for the reason she thinks. The pictures she’s stumbled on call into a question a notorious murder conviction—one that powerful people have a vested interest in keeping in place. Seeing this case through means betraying someone: his job, his family, or the woman he’s falling in love with.

As old secrets are revealed, Quinn and Riley find themselves targeted by members of a secret society that has long maintained violent control over Hollywood’s powerful elite. A society that, until now, has remained hidden in the shadows. A society that will stop at nothing to keep their secrets buried.

The Review

I was instantly enthralled by this novel. The author does an incredible job of balancing out the romance with the suspense thriller aspect of the narrative. The way the author delves into the fabric of old Hollywood meeting a modern-day setting was so fascinating, as it allowed the characters to get lost in the glitz and glamor that was old Hollywood while confronting the seedy underbelly of the powerful elite that has always ruled the town. 

The chilling and haunting nature of the narrative and the people behind the horrific murders that the story all elevated the rich character dynamics at play between the protagonists and the atmosphere that was built up. The way the author explores a modern-day Hollywood photographer in a way that adds heart and depth to their backstory and their personality as a whole was refreshing, as most stories portray these characters as sleazy or opportunistic. The emotional connection that forms between Quinn and Riley is great to see, and the connection to the greater world around them allows the tension to build not only between them but the greater setting as well.

The Verdict

Haunting, engaging, and thrilling, author Ann J. Stewart’s “Exposed” is a must-read romantic suspense thriller and a great introduction to the author’s Circle of the Red Lily series. The twists and turns that this narrative takes and the cliffhanger final pages will keep readers hanging onto the author’s every word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Award-winning, USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart writes sweet to sexy romances for Harlequin and ARC Manor’s CAEZIK (Kay-Zehk) Romance. Her sweet Harlequin Heartwarming books include the Butterfly Harbor series as well as the ongoing Blackwell continuity series. She also writes the Honor Bound series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense and has contributed to the bestselling Coltons. Her Circle of the Red Lily romantic suspense series, published by CAEZIK, will launch with EXPOSED in November of 2022.

A Holt Medallion winner (BRIDE ON THE RUN), as well as a Golden Heart, Daphne DuMaurier, and National Reader’s Choice finalist, Anna loves writing big community stories where family found is always the theme. Since her first published novella with Harlequin in 2014, Anna has released more than fifty novels and novellas and hopes to branch out even more (horror romance, anyone?). Anna lives in Northern California where (at the best times) she loves going to the movies, attending fan conventions, and heading to Disneyland, her favorite place on earth. When she’s not writing, she is usually binge-watching her newest TV addiction, re-watching her all-time favorite show, Supernatural, and wrangling two monstrous cats named Rosie and Sherlock. Visit Anna online at and sign up for her newsletter (giveaways in every issue!).

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