Genre: Contemporary Romance
When Rose’s past catches up with her will she survive? Jack will stop at nothing to make sure she does.
Rose Eagleton has never let anyone penetrate her tough exterior. She won’t allow herself to be hurt again, nor will she let anyone uncover the secrets of her past, which she has successfully hidden for years. But when she meets Jack Calloway he refuses to let her hide behind her shell. She’s confused about her feelings for this man who takes every opportunity to be close to her, to touch her, to make her feel. But she knows one thing for sure—she can’t let him become important to her.
Jack’s motto had always been ‘to protect’. An ex-Navy Seal who is now part owner of a security firm, he takes his work seriously. When he installs a security system in Rose’s club as a favor to her sister, he finds himself intrigued by the beautiful young woman who fights so hard to keep him at a distance. As he discovers the secrets she’s trying so desperately to hide, it becomes clear that her life is in danger. Can he break through her shell and provide her with the protection she needs but refuses to accept?
Content Warning: contains adult language and explicit sex
“Honey girl, you look as if you’d rather be somewhere else.”
The familiar voice made Rose’s stomach clench and her heart race.
She cleared her throat, turning around. “I was thinking about changing my clothes. I’m not really all that comfortable in this type of attire.”
Jack’s dark eyes went over her from top to bottom, his perusal slow, until his eyes rested on hers. “That’d be a real pity, Rose, ’cause you look beautiful in that dress.”
“Yeah, right.” She laughed. “Is that a pick-up line, Jack?”
Even on her best day she thought she just looked ‘okay’, nothing out of this world, definitely not a beauty like Daisy and Jasmine. Rose thought that the beauty gene must have passed her by, because her two sisters were beautiful while she was merely passable.
The male species were okay, but she’d never found one that made her sigh and swoon. She was used to putting up a front, fighting her battles, but truth be told, she was embarrassed and felt uncomfortable in such close proximity with Jack.
He reached over, slipping his finger around a curl that the hairdresser had tonged into her straight hair, it was left loose while the rest of her hair was piled on top of her head. He twined it around his finger, doing it as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
She reached up, circling his wrist with her fingers, only they were too small, and it made her aware of just how large he was.
He gave her a questioning look. “You gonna try and throw me down the stairs or something?” His mouth twitched as his eyes twinkled with amusement.
She stared hard at him. She didn’t like to be touched. “If I have to.”
Rose was defiant; she knew for sure that no way in hell would she be able to do that. When he’d allowed her to kick his six and a half feet of muscled body out of her club she’d had to admit surprise. Rose thought a man like him would have been mortified by a female getting one over on him, but he hadn’t even lifted a finger to stop her.
He stepped back, and she held her breath when she felt his fingers touch her neck as he let go of her hair. Her insides did that shaking thing which had also happened the last time she saw him. He leaned against the banister and shoved his hands into his trouser pockets.
“So why’d you laugh when I called you pretty?”
“Because I thought it was funny and a terrible pick-up line.”
He raised his eyebrows. “You think that was a pick-up line?”
“Wasn’t it?” She moved back, or tried to; she was already pushed against the window. He was so close, she had to look up to talk to him. The air seemed limited, and she blew out a breath to cool her very unattractive sweaty upper lip.
“No, it was the truth. You look beautiful.”
She tried to be casual by shrugging her shoulders, but she was standing in four-inch heels, and the movement unbalanced her—there was no way that was ever going to end well. She fell forward straight into his arms, her braless breasts squashed into his hard chest.
Immediately her nipples hardened, and she was shocked. She could feel her body enjoying the warmth of Jack Calloway before she realized he had his arms around her with his long fingers laying on the bare skin of her back. Jeezus, was that an electric shock whizzing down her arms to the tips of her toes?
She pushed back, looking up into those black eyes that were half closed. He, on the other hand, seemed perfectly unaffected by what had just happened. Although he wasn’t smiling as he had been, the facetiousness had disappeared. She frowned. Had she imagined that sizzle of awareness? No…the soles of her feet felt like a pincushion.
“You are beautiful,” he insisted.
You what I really enjoyed about Jake and Rose? Their sexual tension. Yes, I’m just going to say it now and get it over with. It’s been awhile since two people that I’ve read just needed to tear off their clothes and go after it. Ms. Carnie has written two characters that seem like polar opposites but couldn’t be more alike. Their need for one another is palatable and explosive. Not to mention their dialogue. It’s real, relatable and funny.
Case in point…when Rose tells Jack that she is a virgin? Like frigid virgin? I could literally visualize the expression on Jack’s face and Rose’s horror when she told him. That’s great writing folks. I felt like a fly on the wall during this book. The descriptions, dialogue and plot were vivid, fresh and timely. Another thing that I liked about Jack and Rose, there was no bullsh*t between them. Their story started in the first book with Daisy and Micah but you don’t have read it to understand how and why they meet. 🙂 Trust me, it’s a good one.
The suspense element is good too. Not heavy handed but timely with the subject matter. I truly never saw it coming but when Rose tells Jack what happened, I couldn’t believe that she survived it. If I had one little compliant, I felt like Rose really needed to include her new found family early on. Unfortunately, she waited a bit too long and I wasn’t sure if Daisy was going to forgive her. Plus, I also felt like Rose needed a bit more closure with Poppy, their mom. Yes, to be given up for adoption and not knowing that you had sisters would be a tough pill to swallow; I hope that in the final book it will be resolved.
While there is sexual tension to the nth degree, I didn’t feel like it was erotic. It was beautifully written and perfect for Jack and Rose. Of course I’m a sucker for a virgin heroine and Rose’s reason for being one is timely and I completely understood the “why”.
I highly recommend Jack and Rose for your next read. I’m telling you it’s a quick but fantastic read. Plus, OH.MY.GOODNESS that Epilogue is EPIC! Bring it Ms. Carnie! Can’t wait…