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Hi I'm Janna and I am a book whore! I started this blog after being a part of another for years. While being a big blog may be nice I like to stay true to me having a love for books, that's why I blog. I love books and I want to share that love with my readers of this blog. I love to read, books are my escape and a huge part of my life besides my husband and two children. I am honest and sometimes sassy in my reviews but never mean. Some of my favorite authors include Kristen Ashley, Penelope Douglas, T.M. Frazier, M.N. Forgy, Rachel Van Dyken, Meghan March and Vi Keeland to only name a few!

Please note that I am the ONLY reviewer on the blog beyond a few guest reviews. It has been brought to my attention that people not associated with my blog have been requesting ARCs please if you ever question a request please email me at the blog's email.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

ARC Review! The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely

Bounty hunter Jake Harlowe knows how to track a criminal. So when a group of swindled shareholders hires him to trail their former CEO, Jake expects a quick trip to the Cayman Islands to close another case. Until a devastatingly beautiful woman gets in the way.

Steph Anderson is visiting the Caymans for a rock climbing and dive trip—or so she tells Jake. She’s really trying to find out whether or not her stepfather embezzled money from his company. The last thing Steph needs is the distraction of a sexy, charming man whose kisses drive her wild.

Soon, the pair discover they’re after the same target—and millions in jewels. While Jake can’t be certain Steph isn’t working for her stepfather, and Steph can’t be certain Jake isn’t after the diamonds for himself, they can agree the heat between them is intense, and neither can deny the passion for long.

But the morning after, Steph discovers that she just might have slept with the enemy, and now she’ll have to outwit him to get everything she needs…

Full disclosure, Lauren Blakely is amazing and she is a one-click author for me. I would probably give 3 stars to her grocery list. More than one of her books lives on my “all-time favorites” shelf and I recommend them to everyone, including my mom.

All that said, not only do I have high hopes going in to one of her stories, I also have high expectations of excellence.

There is nothing better than when the high hopes and expectations are met. Nothing. Better. The Sapphire Affair meets, and really it exceeds, all of those. In fact, it blew them out of the water. Plot? Amazing. Characters? Wonderful and engaging. Balance of the suspense story and the romantic story? Perfect, and that is so tough to get right.

Jake Harlowe. Family oriented, physically beautiful, funny. He’s perfect. And, the reader meets him in the middle of one of his recovery missions, so you immediately get an idea of who he is, how he thinks and what he values.

Steph Anderson is probably a little more complex than Jake, mainly because she seems to be struggling a little bit with who she is and what she values. As the character herself isn’t entirely sure on this, the reader is also unsure. In her recent past, there have been the kind of betrayals that leave a mark, the kinds that change you when you experience them, and she is in the process of picking up the pieces and figuring out who she is once the dust has fully settled.Jake and Steph meet in a bar in the Cayman Islands, because, really, that is where you meet a bounty hunter. Is this possibly a bit of a cliché? Yes, but that is what makes it so fun…a little bit of the unexpected, as neither of them are looking for the other, in a place that is so traditionally the location of the “first meeting”. The chemistry and attraction is mutual and instantaneous. And, it is believable, because the characters both acknowledge that their attraction is quick and neither of them, at that point, are looking at the other as something long-term or permanent.

And then, the reason they can’t be together, no matter how attracted they are to one another. They are looking into the recent actions of the same person, Steph’s stepfather. This is in the blurb, so it is not a spoiler, and knowing what they don’t about who they each are adds a delicious amount of tension for the reader as we wait for them to figure it out. Steph is smart, maybe even smarter than Jake originally gives her credit for, and the scene where they put it together is so well written and perfectly paced, it feels real. I was on the edge of my seat and there was nothing that could have gotten me to put my Kindle down through this part. Nothing.

Insert a heck of a lot of sexual tension, mutual attraction that is off the charts, a lot of conversations about why they can’t have a physical relationship, a lot of “almost” crossing the line and stopping, and a REALLY, REALLY hot scene in a parking garage and you end up with 2 characters who have an attraction that is so strong, I had to put a fire extinguisher next to my Kindle.

Lauren Blakely’s writing is wonderful as always and she has a great talent for characters and settings, which leaves the reader feeling like they are in the story and getting to know the characters. And, for fans, there are a couple of fun references to some previous stories and characters in this that won’t take anything away if you don’t catch them, but made me smile.

I will never believe that Jake is capable of disappointing me, or for that matter Steph, which, darn it, is why I will never believe what it looks like happened at the end of part 1 actually happened. Again, not a spoiler as it is in the blurb, but there is no way Steph slept with the enemy. There is no way Jake is the enemy…at least not her enemy.

I hope.

But because it is a cliffhanger, I don’t know for sure, which I hate.

When you get to the end, trust me, you will be hitting the page advance button hoping for more story to magically appear. FYI- it doesn’t…even if you hit that button more than once. Or twice.

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