Release date: May 16, 2015
About the book: Meredith Sanders was the golden girl in high school—a homecoming queen with a trail of worshipping minions. Now she’s all grown up with a trail of failed marriages. The only good thing she has in her life is her brilliant and beautiful teenaged step-daughter…who’s missing. But the best man for the job has a serious hate-on for her.
Back in high school, queen bee Meredith made Travis Brennan’s life miserable. Since then, he’s gone from class geek to a hardened, former SEAL, specializing in private security. As much as he wants to help Meredith’s step-daughter, he can’t help but clash with the gorgeous woman who once made his life hell.
But as they investigate the increasingly mysterious disappearance, their conflicted past threatens to turn into a very provocative present…
About the author: Ashlee was thirteen when she discovered her first Kathleen E. Woodiwiss book hidden away in her mom’s closet. After two days of staying home “sick” from school to finish it, she was hooked. Her rabid love for romance has continued ever since and after a misadventure in the world of law, she is finally settling into her dream job of writing about people finding their happily ever afters.
She took the stairs two at a time, her lungs ready to burst. She reached her door and was ready to shut it, but he was there, his face framed in the doorway. More softly, she asked, “But you do think I’m a monster. That I’m capable of causing you pain all over again. Right?”
He smiled and for a minute she considered slamming the door in his face. “You’ve done some pretty mean things in your life, but I don’t think you’re a monster. Your pranks… they were mean, yes. They hurt people. But I can see now that in many ways, the person they hurt the most was…you.”
Instantly, shame washed over her again. Shame and regret. She’d been cruel, to him and so many others. “I’m sorry. I really am. For everything. For the pain and humiliation I caused you. And despite all I did, you’re still here. Helping. Even if I don’t deserve it.”
“Wrong. You deserve a hell of a lot more than you think you do, Mer. When you stop being such a pain in the ass, you’re actually kind of amazing. Surprisingly witty. Strong. Intelligent. Fiercely protective. And near as I can tell, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.”
It was so quiet now, the only sound her heavy breathing thanks to her race from the kitchen, and she processed what he’d said. She smiled. “You think I’m funny?”
No one had ever accused her of that.
“No,” he said, and she looked at him in confusion, until she saw his lips turned into that breathtaking smile. “I said you’re witty. There’s a difference.”
And he thought she was beautiful.
The faint street light outside crept through the crack in the curtains and lit the room enough so Travis could see her dark eyes, wide and disbelieving.
“How is it you can see all these qualities in me after what I’ve done to you?” she asked, incredulous. “How can you not hate me?”
Hate? He thought he’d hated her, all these years. But only now he recognized that using hate had helped mask the range of feelings that he’d likely always felt for her, despite everything she’d done to him. Feelings that he’d been fighting all over again since the moment he saw her in that coffee shop.
“I don’t hate you, Mer. It would be a hell of a lot easier if I did.” His hand reached out to outline her lip with his finger, noticing the way it trembled under his touch. Always so damned responsive. “It’s taking every ounce of strength I have not to hold you again and feel you respond so easily to my touch. To not taste that damned fine mouth of yours and feel those endless legs of yours wrap themselves around me. To not show you just how much I really do like you.”
She sucked in her breath, blinking a few times as she processed his words. Words he couldn’t take back now. When she spoke, she raised her chin as if to challenge him, even though her bottom lip quivered. “Then…do it. Show me.”
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’m going to say that I’m a sucker for romantic suspense. Even more for the redemption trope in romance. This book had both in spades but if you think it will be romance heavy…think again. This book is nothing short of perfection with the suspense element and believe me, the thriller aspect is awesome, too. This book never lets go in that regard either. Never lets up and trust me, I can usually figure out the villain/ending but with Ms. Mallory…I had no CLUE!!!
As you know, I don’t rehash the blurb but I do have a few words to say about Meredith: What a *itch! Jeez, I really wanted to slap her until about half way through the book. Talk about a Mean Girl that never stopped copping the attitude. Even when Travis is trying to tell her what he does like about her and forgiving her. That said, she would stop at nothing to get her stepdaughter back and I totally understand the ‘tude. Mama Bear comes out swinging. Too bad no one will listen to her in regards to that. She knew that she wouldn’t just up and leave without an explanation.
Travis is a complex character but for me, much richer from the beginning. I was never a Mean Girl and in some ways, I was the girl that was picked on from them. I reached puberty before anyone else so I can understand his transformation from Geek to Chic/Bad*ss. And for him to forgive Meredith was a tough pill to swallow but he did when he realized that she really did need his help. Did I mention that he’s sexy, too? Patient? Kind?
If I had one thing to tell Entangled is that I was blown away for them to take a chance on an element in the story that most publishers would shy away from. And no, I will not tell what it is because then I would spoil the whole story for you and trust me, its a good one. Well thought out and not glossed over.
Again, I will tell you that there is a romance in the story but its NOT the main focus. Its a redemption story with heavy thriller/suspense elements that left me breathless. Now, this is the second book in a series but you don’t have to read the first one to understand this one. That said, I will be buying the first book just because I fell in love with Ms. Mallory’s writing and characters. She never lets up and for this romantic suspense junkie…that’s crucial for me. In fact, Ms. Mallory reminds me of Andrea Kane in pacing and keeping me on my toes. *Note: look up Andrea Kane. Her books are twisted and you will NOT figure them out. Plus, she has just the right amount of romance, too. Again, just like Ms. Mallory. 🙂 * BTW, I don’t normally put authors side by side but when I was reading, I couldn’t help myself. And yes, the reference is compliment.
Run, don’t walk to read this book. It will blow your redemption theories out the window because there is…DANG! Just read the book.