by Ryshia Kennie
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
Tossed overboard, Ava Adams had been left for dead, drifting at sea. But security specialist Faisal Al-Nassar was determined to find her. He owed her father a great debt and had never forgotten the connection he and Ava had once shared. Yet after rescuing Ava he discovered she barely remembered him.
Amnesia had left Ava uncertain of who had tried to kill her. She did know, however, that Faisal was a man she could trust. The sheik’s embrace was familiar and enticing…and possibly even more dangerous. How could she succumb to feelings for her protector when what she didn’t know could get them both killed?
Ava Adams opened her eyes. Her head ached and something deep inside her hurt. That hurt was overshadowing the thumping that seemed to want to break her skull. Yet it wasn’t pain. Not a physical pain but something more emotional. Fear. Anger. She didn’t know what. Instead, she shivered. She was alone and she wasn’t on the yacht. Where was she?
The yacht was gone. She had no idea what had happened to either it or her father. It had disappeared while she’d slipped out of consciousness. She had no idea how long she’d been unconscious. Nothing held any relevance, not time nor space—nor anything that had happened. All of it was a frightening blur.
The breeze ran light, cool fingers across her damp skin and she shivered. She didn’t know how long she’d been unconscious, all she knew was that she was alone and there was no land in sight. Her head pounded and her vision was blurred. She couldn’t see clearly no matter how hard she tried. She was fighting to remain conscious so that she could make that promised call to get help. Her father was counting on her.
The thought made her prop herself up despite her shaking limbs. She tried not to look at the dark water. There was only a thin layer of rubber and canvas between her and it. She couldn’t think of it any more than she could contemplate the fate of her father. All she knew was that the yacht was gone and with it her father. She didn’t know when it had disappeared or if her father was on board or if he was even alive. She struggled to sit up and the world spun. She took a deep breath and passed out.
The next time she came to, she could see that the sun was higher in the sky. It was behind her and she guessed that she might be heading west. She had no idea what that might mean about where she would end up. Or if she would end up anywhere except maybe at the bottom of the ocean.
Fear threatened to overwhelm her even as her gut knotted along with her fists. Her head spun and she had to fight not to black out again. She needed to think and yet she was fighting not to lose consciousness again. She needed to get help not just for her but for her father. He needed her. He was alone.
That thought collided with another. Was her father alive? She’d heard the gunshot as the life raft had slipped away from the yacht, carried by the ocean current. There had been silence after that as she’d drifted farther away.
The gunshot had echoed long after the actual event. The haunting reminder was like an omen. She could die out here and her father could already be dead. Those scenarios were ones she couldn’t, wouldn’t consider. Not anymore. She refused to think of him as anything but alive—just as she was determined to reach land, one way or another.
She took a deep breath and again she fought to sit up. The life raft rocked, threatening what stability it had as water sloshed in the bottom. She wasn’t sure how it had taken on water unless it had been in those first moments as it had gone from the yacht to sea. The sea had been rough. It hadn’t calmed much since then. It was cloudy and the breeze was picking up, only a bit of sun peeked through the otherwise dreary sky.
She had nothing. She looked down. She was virtually naked. The skimpy sleeping outfit had been a bad choice. Fortunately, her father had thrown his jacket over her. Who would have known that a trip that had begun as a lark would end like this?
It wouldn’t end.
Determination shot through her chilled body. She had too much to do with her life. She had a new career that had yet to begin. Again she repeated that promise to herself and to her father. They would live. He would live. They had to.
Something cold pressed against her hip. She slipped her hand under the waistband of her panties and pulled out her father’s phone. She’d forgotten it was there.
Her heart stopped. She remembered that he’d handed it to her. It was a miracle that it had not dropped to the bottom of the dinghy, into the water that was gathering there.
She held it, the memory of her father handing it to her clear in her mind.
She knew, as did her father, that if anyone could help them, it was Faisal. He headed the powerhouse investigative company run by his family, Nassar Security. At least he was in charge of their Wyoming branch.
The phone slipped in her damp hands.
I won’t go into my secret love of reading about sheiks but let me just tell you that this series about the Al-Nassar sheiks has been nothing but brilliant. I’ve loved all the brothers but I will say that Emir is still my favorite. There is just something about the oldest in the bunch and how he just takes over in the book. I also liked reading bits of an update between him and Kate. I won’t spoil it for you. However, I felt like that Faisal’s book is the best of the bunch, overall.
Let me explain. This a great friend to lovers story that is wrapped up nicely in the mystery/intrigue that Ms. Kennie has written. I loved the action in this book, too. There is a lot going on but once again, Ms. Kennie doesn’t bog it down with a bunch of nonsense. Ava is one of those heroines that you just knew that she could and can take care of herself. Of course, this doesn’t sit well for Faisal during much of the book but it did make me chuckle a time or two. I also loved that even though Ava went out on her own, Faisal didn’t go all alpha on her. He appreciated that she did do a lot of the legwork herself.
But of course, it wouldn’t be a true romance if we didn’t get a peek at their lives when they first met and the “what ifs” and “what could have been” between Faisal and Ava. Their romance felt true and heartfelt. I would be remiss to tell you that the bad guys in this book are truly evil. Again, this is what makes this book so special for me. You know who they are but the motivation behind their actions is slow to build and when it comes to a climax…it’s a doozy.
I’m going to miss the Al-Nassars. I’m hoping that eventually Tara, their sister, will get her own book. She deserves some happiness considering what happened to her in Emir’s book where we are introduced to all the brothers.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
The Canadian prairies are my home and while the prairie landscape is blessed with beautiful blue skies, it also has four seasons that come on full throttle – especially winter and because of that I like to travel. Often on those trips, stories are born.
In 2011 I won my city’s writing award, and was the first romance writer to do so since its inception. In 2013 my romantic suspense was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. Published in historic romance and paranormal romance as well as romantic suspense, in February 2016, my first novel was published by Harlequin Intrigue.
There’s no lack of places to set a story as my imagination and the too long prairie winters may find me seeking adventure. The memories of those worlds both near and far, the words of a stranger, the furtive look one man gives another, often become the catalyst for a suspenseful story with a deadly villain and an intrepid hero and heroine who must battle for their right to love or even their right to live.
When not dreaming of other stories, I can be found scouting out a garage sale or two, dusting off my roller blades or just thinking about the next adventure that may be miles away or in my own backyard.
My website: http://www.ryshiakennie.com
My blog: http://ryshia.blogspot.ca
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Ryshia Kennie will be awarding a signed copy of Sheik’s Rule to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.