Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: September 25, 2014
Number of pages: 222
Neva Mathews and Jason Grant came from seemingly different worlds. She is a tattooed, single mother of one and he is a hardboiled detective who has sworn off on relationships. But when they cross paths, attraction becomes inevitable and the two find themselves falling hopelessly and dangerously in love...
It was a dark and stormy night. Not really. More like a bright and muggy afternoon in a grocery store parking lot that I met him. He was larger than the sun at that moment. It could be because he stood at six glorious feet and five extra inches. Or it could be because I'd just fallen to earth after slamming into him, allowing his big body to eclipse the sun. I didn't know it at the time, but this beast of a man would take me out of my peaceful life and catapult me onto the roller coaster of a lifetime. I never saw myself falling in love again, having lost my childhood love five years before. I mean, I come as a package deal with my best friend Shelly and my handsome son Drew. But meeting Grant softened my heart and made me fall for him. Too bad he didn't come with a warning label.
I had one mission. There's a reason I'm one of Miami's best detectives; I always accomplish my mission. But then I met her, and my world suddenly shifted on its axis. I watched her from afar for several months. Watching and waiting for the right moment to make my move. Yet being around her has changed things. My blackened heart is beating again, craving this woman, making me want for things I'd given up on long ago. She reminds me of a porcelain doll. The only difference is the vivid colorful tattoos along each arm. She's so small. If I'm not careful, I may be the reason she breaks.
Leaning over the counter in front of me, he offers the other half of his bagel. He knows me so well. “So, you’re saying this detective is hot.”
My hot coffee is swallowed too fast and I start coughing it back up. With my eyes watering, from the sting of my freshly burned throat, it takes too much effort to glare at him. I stick with denial. “I never said that. In fact how is it, that out of everything I just told you, that’s your first question? How about, ‘how’s your hip Neva?’ or better yet ‘how’s your head Neva?” I throw my bottom lip out and try my hardest to look pathetic. If that doesn’t work I may have to bring out the big guns and make my bottom lip quiver just right. Dagnabbit I can tell it’s not working. A shrug will have to do then. I pour the rest of my coffee out in the sink and settle my non-injured hip along the drawer, waiting for his answer. Inside I’m pouting. Not because he hasn’t asked if I’m all right, but that I’m so transparent where Jason is concerned. Obviously I need to work on my poker face.
“First of all, I can see you’re fine. You have one of the hardest heads I know. Plus I’m sure Shell would have spread the word if you were seriously hurt. And no. I’m in no way down playing what you went through. I just already knew you were ok and wanted to get to the good stuff.” I keep my face blank and smooth, giving nothing away. “Fine. Shell may have mentioned a, and I quote here, ‘sexy beast carrying his beauty’ through your apartment that night. But your red face kinda gave it away anyways.” Cursing my fair skin, it takes me a second to come up with something believable.
I was first attracted to this book by the cover. I liked the simplicity of the couple holding hands, with the out of focus background. It really let's your imagination place the couple wherever you want them to be: getting ready to walk down the aisle... or maybe walking on a street... through a park... or just into the future... Then the blurb hooked me; a tattooed single mother and the police detective, both fighting their attraction, neither really wanting to want the other. That usually means lots of nice tension and sparks flying as they fight those desires.
This is labeled as contemporary romance, but could easily be called romantic suspense. After all, someone is after Neva and Jason is the detective on the case and becomes her protector . Plus the book starts out with Neva in danger, and then backtracks to fill in how we got to that point. It gives an edge to the story, since I then spent my time looking for how we get to that moment of danger.
The relationships between the characters had a very authentic feel to them, from Neva and her son, to their circle of friends. Neva and Jason contrast very nicely against each other and while we learn much about Neva's history, Jason remains an enigma to both us and Neva. When the big reveal finally happened, I can honestly say, I never saw it coming. And I do like a book that can surprise me.
My biggest complaint about the book was that I think the character's, Neva in particular, spent too much time in her head. There was more telling going on than showing. But in spite of that, I was still invested and eager to find out who the big baddie was. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would read Neva's best friend Shellie's story if it comes available. I am giving the book 3 stars.
Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.
Em Perna is a sarcastic 35 year old with a penchant for hot pink hair. She was born in sunny Florida, but has moved several times, while following her husband as he advances in his career. When she’s not writing, she’s kept quite busy by being a wife, a boo-boo kisser, a football team mom, a dog walker, teacher of ABC’s, home chef, chauffeur, and a Superhero’s personal assistant.
She’s an avid reader, but prefers a romance novel above all others
To connect with the author online:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads