"Hot" Scale: 4 out of 5 Flames - Steamy HOT
Recommended For: Fans of the Inside Out trilogy & Contemporary/Erotic Romance with a Mystery Twist
Genres: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
ARC provided by Netgalley and Julie Patra Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Book hits stores July 22, 2013.
From the 1st sentence, we’re off and running with Amy Reynolds. Amy is working a charity event for her employer, Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum. We meet her as she enters the ladies restroom, where she spies an envelope taped to the mirror - with her name on it. Amy knows what that means... it means that she's on the run again. Some dark, mysterious event occurred when Amy was 18 years old - something happened to her home and her family that involves smoke & flames. And that something forced her to flee her home, take on a new identity, and live on-the-run ever since. Amy doesn’t know who’s after her or why; just that someone is, and they think that she knows something they don’t want her to know.
The letter in the envelope says, "I've found you and so can they..." and tells her to go directly to JFK Airport. The envelope also contains a key to a locker in the airport, which contains a suitcase and another envelope with her new identity, a bank account in Colorado, new cell phone, an apartment key and address, and a whole new personal history, job history, and resume that she must quickly memorize. Now Amy Benson, she is bound for Denver, Colorado.
But her flight is overbooked, and Amy starts to panic. Can she wait? Just when it looks as if Amy won't be able to board, she's told that her ticket has been upgraded to 1st Class, and she has a seat. Relieved, Amy boards, only to discover that her seat is next to the handsome gentleman that she was exchanging interested glances with while waiting for the plane.
The "gentleman" is Liam Stone - reclusive billionaire architect, who’s on his way to Denver, too, for business. Liam is not only drop-dead gorgeous, but sexy; he's obviously strong, confidant, successful, and knows what he wants. And Liam wants Amy. He seduces her on the plane, even protecting her when she has a nightmare about the smoke & flames that destroyed her family.
Amy decides to flirt, since it’s only a plane ride, right? Wrong. Liam manages to slowly, sensuously wrap himself around Amy and her new life – taking her to her apartment, providing the missing essentials and putting them on his hotel room, and giving her an erotic night to dream of. She figures it’s a one-night stand, and it’s an erotic experience she’d never dreamed of. But the next day, Liam makes it clear that he intends to stick around and be part of her life. Why? Can she trust him? Without real contact from her handler, Amy feels lost and alone… and susceptible to Liam.
Amy tries to get her new identity established, check her new bank account, and find her feet in this new city. But she has very little to go on… and nothing seems quite right. Not her hunky neighbor, Jared Ryan, nor Meg, the new secretary at the real estate agent’s office. Is she just being paranoid or is someone really watching her…. Following her? Who can she trust? Why are all these people suddenly determined to be part of her new life?
Just when she lets her guard down and decides to tell Liam everything and ask for his help, she overhears something that makes her fear it’s all over….
I could NOT put this book down! I was so engrossed in it, I couldn't believe it when I was finished. NO! I WANT MORE!
This series is so much different from Lisa Renee Jones' other works. It's similar, in that it involves a mystery, a damsel-in-distress, a potential love triangle, and is told in 1st person POV. But this story feels so much more balanced - even better written than the Inside Out trilogy. It teases and tantalizes, grabbing hold of you, making it almost impossible to wait for the next part of the tale.
My main nit is that we know so little about what happened to force Amy to live this life on the run. We start to gather bits and pieces as the story progresses, but not enough to understand why it's been 6 years and she's still afraid for her life. Who's helping her and why? Who's the handler? Because it's obviously not Witness Protection.
And the copy I read was an unedited proof, so while there are a few minor areas that don't jive, I excused them. For example, Liam tells Amy not to text him, but a little later he's angry that she didn't send him a text. All things that likely will be fixed in the published version.
Pages (Kindle): 252 story pages
Publisher: Julie Patra Publishing
Release Date: July 22, 2013