Behind his suave smile and ladykiller eyes, Bran Palladino carries a dark secret that keeps him from pursuing Maddy… even though he can't get her out of his head. But when Maddy is kidnapped as part of a grand scheme, it's time to put up or shut up… because Bran can't live without Maddy now.
I enjoyed this book as much as I was hoping to…which is always nice. I like Julie Ann Walker, she can be counted on for a book that mixes suspense with characters you believe. Bran and Maddy didn’t disappoint. Their chemistry was amazing, his reasons for not thinking he could have more with her were understandable, and it was such fun to watch him let her break down his walls and let her in.
The suspense portion is believable, the reasons that Maddy is involved, yet again, in a hostage situation make sense. Although, you don’t really get the full details on this until closer to the end, and I think while you are reading, a little more clued in to the “why” on this would have made it more realistic…it is one of those books that make total sense at the end, and toward the end, but you kind of wonder on the way through.
I appreciate that Walker writes her heroines as capable. No, they are not (for obvious reasons) Navy Seals, or ex-Seals as the case may be, but that doesn’t mean they are helpless and must spend the book crying in the corner. I like that Walker writes heroes who respect this, while still wanting to protect their women. She lets them be the Alpha-male hero, which you want in a novel like this, while still being a character you can like and relate to, which is a miss in some romantic suspense stories. Walker is so consistent in this that she has become a go-to author for me.
The scene at the end with the coffee cup was so perfect…I am not going to spoil it, but let me say that it was perfect, it was so him, and it was so them…you just had to be thrilled.
There is a little bit of a tease of things to come with Alex in different places in the book, which has me wanting to read her book, RIGHT NOW. That one is going to be fun. I wasn’t able to find any actual info on it, but there is no way they are going to leave us hanging!
I definitely recommend this book. I also recommend the first in the series (and the novella) as while this is a standalone, knowing the previous events add a lot of depth to the story.