Cover Design: Rebel, Edit & Design
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.
~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
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.
~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.
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.
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.
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.
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.