This was my second read by Tara Thomas after the first of the prequel novellas to the Sons of Broad series. Although I didn’t like the novella, this fThis was my second read by Tara Thomas after the first of the prequel novellas to the Sons of Broad series. Although I didn’t like the novella, this first novel length book of the series was much better. Just as I thought, romantic suspense, at least for me, reads better when it’s longer.
Tilly Brock and Keaton Benedict had been friends when they were both young and their families were close. Then a scandal about Tilly’s father-that he stole money from the Benedicts- caused the two families and the two friends to drift apart. Until one day, when they met again by chance, and while wanting to try to rekindle their friendship and let go of the past, they also have to battle with an unknown enemy to them both.
I did like both Tilly and Keaton. Coming from a very wealthy and powerful family, Keaton didn’t come off as a self centered prick, which is what scares me the most about such characters. And Tilly, as a struggling waitress and student, was not the crying mess her predecessor was. I liked her practical nature.
Perhaps the romance was a bit rushed for my taste, but I’m willing to let that slide for the sake of Tilly and Keaton’s past friendship and obvious crush. The action though, with a shady character named The Gentleman, was interesting. The whys of his actions, and the ongoing mystery surrounding the Benedict family was what attracted me the most in the story.
I'm looking forward to returning to Charleston to see how the rest of the brothers fare....more
Sometimes I just can’t get over the fact that writing a novella for a particular kind of story is the wrong choice. And in this case I think it was. TSometimes I just can’t get over the fact that writing a novella for a particular kind of story is the wrong choice. And in this case I think it was. This was a suspense story as well as a romance so I expected some development in that regard.
Janie is a cop. After several women start to disappear only to be found dead in the end, she goes undercover in a club as the bartender to gather information and to keep an eye out for possible suspects.
My biggest problem in this book was with Janie.
For one, she didn’t act like a cop at all. She wasn’t professional in the least. She failed to properly stake out the bar she worked at, failed to keep it professional when it came to a handsome customer who fit the kidnapper’s profile to a T. Now, I’m not a cop so I can’t dictate this, but I think sleeping with one of your prime suspects is not good cop behavior. Plus, she wasn’t cool under pressure. As the police, I’d like to believe she should be prepared to handle tough situations like being shot at, but unfortunately she’s at the brink of tears instead, and finds relief in being in her one night stand’s arms. No taking charge or control of the situation. It wouldn’t be wrong if I said despite her being a cop, I didn’t see her policing at all during the little time we had with her.
Besides my problems with Janie’s character, this was short for a romantic suspense. I get it that the author continues this story with two following novellas, but I would’ve preferred if all three stories were compiled in one book. That way I could’ve gotten a sense of completion and perhaps I could be more attached to both the suspense and the romance.
This just wasn't my cup of tea as it was. I'll still give this world a chance in the first book of the series since that one takes place in the same world minus the heroine of this novella-I just can't get over the fact that the heroine was so inadequate here.
*Copy of the book provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
A battle worn MMA fighter and an emotionally drained, caged socialite sounds like an almost impossible match if you live outside of romanceland. But tA battle worn MMA fighter and an emotionally drained, caged socialite sounds like an almost impossible match if you live outside of romanceland. But thankfully we all do, so when I came across the plot of this book, I thought this kind of opposites attract story would be the perfect thing to read. Apart from the feeling that it started from the middle and paced pretty fast for my idea of romance, this was a good book. One that had much action in it to keep my interest.
Knox is a fighter that sweats and bleeds under the man known as X. This X is an asshole who uses and abuses his fighters and deals with much more illegal things outside the rings. Natalie seems like a happy, perfect young woman on the outside, yet she fights a different kind of battle in her own world, one that’s quite a lot different than Knox’s. Their paths collide under what I can only call fate induced circumstances, and they find themselves in a fight against many enemies where the prize is their freedom and the loser gets the death penalty. Tough life. Not very good odds.
Like I said in the beginning, this book felt like it started from the middle, and we missed the part where Natalie and Knox get acquainted. I don’t mind instantly falling in love, or being affected by one another, but even then I want some sort of transition. A few sentences that are rightly chosen can help me let the instant love thing slide, and I can concentrate on the rest of the story. I didn’t think I got that here. Not that I didn’t buy Natalie and Knox’s feelings for each other, but trust was a very delicate thing for these two and I thought they gave that to each other too quickly.
As fast paced as their romance, the action these two had experienced was very much so too. And that’s where I had the feeling this would’ve been great as an action romance movie. A bit more delving into the development of the romance and the book would’ve been taken up a notch. But perhaps the action left no room for that, I don’t know. It was exciting though, to see what was happening and what was going to be next. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I kinda looked forward to that more than I did Natalie and Knox’s romance. Heh. That, and Knox’s past with X. I liked that it was revealed bit by bit how Knox got tangled up with X from the start, and how he ended up trying to cut all ties with him. I love to read character pasts if there are deep issues with them. It helps with my understanding the character, plus it’s fun.
A good book to pass the time and enjoy if you like action along with your romance. And of course if you don’t mind the hero and heroine instantly forming a bond and going from there. While it’s not normally my cup of tea, it didn’t bother me that much either....more
I was honestly not sure about how to rate this book. I’m still not. On the one hand, it was hot when the two heroes got together, plus the fact that tI was honestly not sure about how to rate this book. I’m still not. On the one hand, it was hot when the two heroes got together, plus the fact that they were so far away from being perfect with their difficult problems and challenging pasts, and on the other, I simply failed to see the turning point from friendship to relationship. In fact, I can’t even say that their 15 years of best buddies thing was all that convincing either. They both had their hang ups and problems that the other had no idea about, and though people can hide things from even their closest friends and family, I just felt like everything was thrown at me all at once to make the book more interesting and challenging.
James was an alcoholic psychiatrist who f*cked his problems away-pardon my French- who also happened to have a distant relationship with his mother-his only living relative. And Nathan was a cop who lived a straight bachelor’s life until one night when James drunkenly planted a kiss on him and he started to question his sexuality and their friendship. There was a lot going on in this book, and 200 pages were simply not enough to tell them all.
Now, I know this book is the first in its own series but apparently the author had another series going on that has some of these characters as guests, like James, so maybe we were supposed to be familiar with some people, but as someone who started with this world from scratch, timing wasn’t good enough for me. While I was trying to soak up their friends-to-lovers situation, I was confronted with assault and alcoholism, ghost of a dead sister and a terrible experience that was doubled and tripled by multiple side characters throughout, that I lost my touch with the story. I kept reading because I kept waiting for that finality, but I can’t say for sure that it came. For me, anyway.
Aside from all that, I loved the idea of imperfect heroes and the friends-to-lovers storyline-I’m a sucker for those. And the sex and almost sex times were fun yet frustrating to read in my currently single state. And the bit of a mystery that involved mostly Nathan had helped my enjoyment of this book, so I can’t say it was a bad experience reading this. Could it have been better? Yes, definitely. But it was still an enjoyable book, especially for those who were already familiar with some of the characters. Not that this should hold you back, having read no other books by A.M. Arthur, I didn’t feel left out or alienated from any tidbits while reading. Everything was laid out so I could be up to date with who was who and what was going on. And maybe that was also why the page count wasn’t convincing enough about a lot of things. Every detail wanted its story told and there just wasn’t enough pages and time to tell them all, poor souls.
And now, it's time to play around with the idea of doctors and cops and handcuffs.....more
It's been a while, I think, since I've read a romantic suspense story. In fact, I can't even remember the last one I read. So when I came across thisIt's been a while, I think, since I've read a romantic suspense story. In fact, I can't even remember the last one I read. So when I came across this book, I thought to myself, what the hell? And that's how I started this book. However, by the time I finished it, I can honestly, and most sadly, say that to say this book has disappointed me would be an understatement. This book has startled me from head to toe.
The plot revolves around an under appreciated photographer Alex, who's hired by an archeologist, Nate, who's found ancient stone carvings and needs someone with expertise to come and take pictures of his discovery.
Almost all of the story takes place around the site where the carvings are, and this setting is about the only thing that was consistent in the book. The emotions were all over the place. I can't say I had difficulty relating to the characters, because I didn't connect with them at all. There was nothing that interested me about them, nothing in their pasts or their presents, and I'm sorry to say I didn't care about their future as well. As someone who's only quit a book twice so far, I was determined to finish this, but not, unfortunately, because I wanted to know, but mostly to see the last page.
Alex was not a well written character in my opinion. She was the only one of the two whose past we were made aware of, but I think it wasn't handled so well. She carries the same name with her father who stole her work in the past and took credit for it, and so she has trust issues. So far so good. But it all came crumbling down after this revelation, especially the thing she had with her father turning into a hatred for all men, with her mood swings that were the cherry on top. I didn't like Alex at all, and I'm sorry to say I couldn't care less about her feelings. From the first moment she saw Nate to the last page, from the first hint of her relationship with her father to how they worked things out, it was all a mess. I don't know if any of you watched Friends-I absolutely love that show!- but Alex's feelings and attitude towards Nate reminded me of an episode of Friends. It's where Rachel is moving out of the apartment she shares with Monica, and they're packing her stuff and they start fighting by insulting each other. I remember Monica refers to Rachel's relationship with Ross like this: I love Ross. I hate Ross. I love Ross. I hate Ross. And this is exactly what it was with Alex about Nate. One minute she was hopelessly in love with him and he was the best thing in the world, and the next he was a selfish brute. And I know what you're thinking, depending on how things go, a person's opinions may change, but let me assure you this was not the case. All through the book I thought Alex was the selfish one, and I'd say she was being childish, but I've met many children who were more mature and reasonable than her.
Nate was not much better. I think the reason why he might've been only slightly better was because Alex was more the focus, and the story went on using her as its path. We didn't know anything about Nate, and that was the main reason why I wasn't able to connect with him. I didn't care about Nate because he was a stranger to me. And he remained a stranger till the very end.
The plot also disappointed me. But then again, if I can't relate to the characters, there was no way I could relate to the plot as well. All in all, this was a bad experience for me. As someone who loves things to do with archeology, it saddened me that I couldn't even like this book. ...more