RELEASE BLITZ & REVIEW — Keeping 6 By Freya Barker

Title: Keeping 6
Series: Rock Point Series #1
Author: Freya Barker
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 2, 2018
Cover Design: Rebel, Edit & Design
 

 

 

~SYNOPSIS~

Bookstore owner Kerry Emerson finally seems to be back in control of her life. Her failure of a marriage firmly in her rearview mirror and her recent business expansion a success, she is in charge of her own future. One that is looking better than ever. 


The sight of the tall man, with the familiar salt and pepper goatee pushing open the door of her store, sets her hair on end. He doesn’t exactly bring good memories. 

FBI Special Agent in Charge, Damian Gomez, is just looking for a decent cup of coffee when he walks into the small store offering books and brew. The pretty, feisty woman behind the counter is an unexpected surprise. Not at all unpleasant, especially since her finger that used to hold a wedding ring is now bare. 

Her wild hair, boho style, and silvery grey eyes suddenly hold a lot of promise. But when his office is pulled into an international investigation into the trafficking of rare books and manuscripts, the straight-laced SAC realizes he has to keep his distance from the woman who might well be involved. 

Easier said than done, since fate seems determined to throw them together.

 

 

~BUY NOW~

 

 

~PRAISE FOR THE NOVEL~
“With impeccable writing Freya Barker weaves words into a story so captivating I was glued to the pages for hours.” ~Britt Red Hatter Book Blog

 

“Freya’s unmatched storytelling leads the reader up a mountain of suspense and intrigue. Dangers lurk as the cast of characters, both main and secondary, along with the readers, are consumed in the mystery of what’s to come. Five stars granted for the first book in this edge of your seat series. Cannot wait to see what’s coming next.” ~A.C. Bextor, Bestselling author of KEPT: A Second Chance Fairy Tale

  

“Freya Barker has never written about perfect people. She writes about real people. This is why I can never put her books down.” ~ Kez’s Korner Blog

 

 

~READ AN EXCERPT~ 
Damian

“You?”

My head whips around at the sound of a woman’s voice.

It’s been a long-ass morning already with meetings I would’ve loved to have avoided. Since being put in charge of the Durango field office, it seems I spend more time in meetings than working in the field. I swear each week there are new task forces put together, and I can barely keep up. I stepped out of the office for a much-needed break to find that the coffee shop around the corner had a sign plastered on the door stating they were closed due to a family emergency. Desperate for my caffeine fix, I kept walking and bumped into Kerry’s Korner: Books & Brew. Something about the name is familiar. I push the door, which opens with the ring of a bell, when I hear her voice. 

She’s pretty. The woman behind the counter looks like a seventies flower child, with wild, dirty blonde hair, some kind of flowy top leaving her collarbones and a goodly amount of cleavage exposed, and a pixie face. Something about her is familiar, and it appears she knows me, too. Fuck if I can’t place her. 

“Got me at a disadvantage, sweets,” I tell her with a shrug.

“You’re FBI,” she says, propping her hands on her nicely rounded hips. “I remember you.”

I look at her a little closer. Not a hardship, there’s a lot to check out. Those pale gray eyes trigger a memory. “You’re Kimeo’s girl,” I say, remembering the case a few years ago when I first saw her for the briefest of moments. A case long since put to rest, but not before this woman was snatched and roughed up before we got to her. We’d been called in by Gus Flemming, a friend of mine who owns an investigation and security company in Cedar Tree. Kimeo, the wife of one of Gus’s guys, found herself in the middle of shady land deals and this woman, her best friend, had been kidnapped to ensure her silence. I may not have remembered her name until I saw her standing behind the counter of Kerry’s Korner, but I sure as hell remember her. I also remember the wedding ring on her finger, which is why I didn’t bother looking twice at the time. 

The hands resting on her hips no longer sport that wedding ring, just a large knuckle ring on the middle finger of her left hand as a sort of fuck you to the world. I bet she flips that bird easily, judging by the attitude she throws off. I like it.

“Kerry,” she says, almost as a challenge. 

“Right. You look better now,” I tell her, making her snort loudly.

“No shit. I’d just been used as a punching bag when you found me and shoved me into the back of a van without a word.” Yup, most definitely a challenge. She doesn’t like me much, I deduct from the slightly distasteful look on her face.

“Was a little preoccupied with my investigation. Sorry if I didn’t take the time to make nice.” Fuck me, I sound like a dick. Something about her attitude grates on me, especially when she rolls her eyes dramatically before placing her hands on the counter in front of her and leaning over. 

“Damian. Right?” She doesn’t wait for my confirmation before she continues, “Well, Damian, what brings you to my bookstore?”

“Coffee. Straight up,” I tell her without blinking. She turns her back without a word and starts fiddling with the expensive-looking machine on the sideboard, and I take the opportunity to check out her backside. “Double shot?” she asks over her shoulder, catching me ogling. 

“Good guess.” I smile at her, which only earns me another eye roll. Attitude in spades, this one. As much as it irritates me, it somehow turns me on, too. 

She’s late thirties, maybe forty, if I had to venture a guess from the lines around her eyes. She obviously laughs a lot—something I wouldn’t mind hearing. I have a feeling with that slightly raspy voice of hers, her laugh will sound even sexier. She’s not wearing a stitch of makeup from what I can tell and seems totally at ease in her skin. Not usually the kind of woman I find myself drawn to, but this one has an appeal all her own. Most women I end up with are well put together: stacked, sweet, and sultry. Just the way I like them. This one, though? This one is like the fucking girl next door. Fresh-faced, with a hippy vibe, barely enough tit to fill my hands, but an ass that should be framed, it’s that lush. Always considered myself a boob man, until I just got an eyeful of her backside. 

While she doctors the elaborate coffee machine, I take the time to check out her shop. An older building, it has an old-fashioned facade with shallow bay windows, displaying an assortment of books, framing the door. Old wood floors that have been left bare to the wear and tear of foot traffic, resulting in a well-worn look more suited to an old saloon. Rows of rugged bookcases, jutting out from the back wall, with chalkboard display signs indicating the different genres. The counter is on one side in front of the window and on the opposite side, in front of the second bay window, is a small seating arrangement with an old, brown leather couch and two club chairs around a small, round coffee table. On the counter is a large, round, glass cake stand with pastries. 

“Here you go. Anything else with that? A pastry to sweeten you up a bit or perhaps a book on appropriate social behavior? I have both.” I can’t stop the smirk tugging at my mouth. This one’s a handful, for sure. Too much of one. I pull out my wallet and slap a couple of dollar bills on the counter. 
“Nah,” I drawl. “Not the kind of sweet I’m looking for, and as for the book, I’ll just wait until you get done with it. You’re probably due for a reread.” I snag my coffee off the counter, and with a wink, I saunter out the door, leaving her standing with her mouth hanging open and fire shooting from those pretty gray eyes.

 

~MEET THE AUTHOR~ 

Freya Barker loves writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories.

Driven to make her books about ‘real’ people; with characters who are perhaps less than perfect, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills, and some hot, sizzling sex in their lives.

A recipient of the RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for best first book, “Slim To None”, and Finalist for the Kindle Book Award with “From Dust”, Freya has not slowed down. 


She continues to add to her rapidly growing collection of published novels as she spins story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!

 

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

description
descriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescription~WRITING – PLOT – PACE~
This one was a bit of a mixed bag for me. A lot of it was very good, but there were a couple things that left me a bit “meh.” I always enjoy this authors writing, so in that regard, this was another well-written book. The pace, for the most part, was OK. This author’s books are always long drawn out affairs so I went into this one expecting that. Most of the book was well paced, and I never grew bored or felt the need to skim. That said, I felt this one could have probably ended 15-20% sooner than it did. Overall, though the plot remained engaging for the most part. The mystery kept me guessing for the majority of the book. Last, it was all wrapped up in an OK happy for now ending. I suspect since this is the start of a new series we will be seeing this couple in upcoming books. 

 

~HERO~
DAMIAN…Damian’s character was certainly one of the “very good” aspects in this book. He was smokin’ hot. He was alpha. He was sweet. He was a bada$$ cop. I loved his interaction with his family. He had the patience of a SAINT when it came to Kerry. I liked his character a lot.

 

~HEROINE~
KERRY…Whereas Damian was a positive aspect Kerry was one of the things that left me feeling “meh.” I didn’t like her AT ALL. Look, I am notoriously hard on heroines, I admit that, but Kerry was god awful (IMO). She was b!tchy. She was rude (especially to people who were trying to help her). She came across cold. She flew off the handle all the time. OK, she had a FEW decent moments, but I just didn’t find her personality very likable and honestly didn’t see what Damian saw in her. Dude was a saint for sure.

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~SECONDARY CHARACTERS~

Another of the positive aspects of this one was the fantastic cast of secondary characters. I ADORED Damian’s sister Bella. I liked Kerry’s friend Marya. I hope she gets her own HEA. I also really liked a couple of Damian’s fellow officers.

 

~HEAT LEVEL~
Lowish. This was fairly slow burn, but it worked well in the context of the story. When we do get to the sexy times, they were suitably hot. I am riding the fence on whether I think this couple had good on page chemistry or not. They had…comfortable chemistry, but it didn’t sizzle off the page.

 

~ANGST LEVEL – SEXUAL HISTORIES~
Medium…story wise. Low…relationship wise. The mystery aspect provides all the angst in this one. The relationship is pretty solid and drama free from the start. Apart from some annoying cliché misunderstandings that I will touch upon in a sec. Neither were virgins. It had been awhile since Kerry had slept with anyone. Damian was only two months celibate and appeared to be a player before he gets with Kerry. There was no OM drama. Which brings me to the second reason this didn’t get a higher rating. There was some OW drama, and this was one of the things that had me a little annoyed. Maybe annoyed is too strong of a word, but there was really NO point to the stage five clinger ex fuck buddy of Damian’s being included in this book at all. There was enough other stuff going on, and all it did was turn me off Damian a bit. Especially the nasty scene 70% into the book. I wish authors would start being a bit more creative and stop using the same old “ex that can’t take a hint and has to cause trouble by coming on to the hero in front of the heroine while spewing sexual details about what they had done together” tired cliché. <— just the fact that scenario could fit half of the romance books released every month tells you how very overused as a plot device it is. 

 

~IN THE END~
I enjoyed it for the most part. Did it blow me away? No. This author is a fantastic writer, and that shows, no doubt there. I love that she writes about older characters (Damian was 44 and I have no clue how old Kerry was, but 40 maybe?). I appreciate that usually the relationships are mature and the characters act and respond to conflict like mature adults. Now, that wasn’t 100% true in this one thanks to some OW drama and misunderstandings that was more new adult in nature than for two characters in their 40’s, but for the most part, I find her books to fit that statement. Had the plot been a little tighter (book shorter) and the author had left out the (ya I am going to say it AGAIN) cliché OW drama and misunderstandings, I most likely would have gone with a 4-Star rating. As it stands this still gets a very respectable 3-Stars and I will be keeping my eyes peeled for the next book in this series.description

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