(U.S. link: Precious Embrace )
Published: July 8, 2013, Sapphire Star Publishing
It has been four months since Ali Hayes split from her second husband, she was not going to buy into the old adage that three times is a charm. Even if the 'charm' in question is her hot one-night fling from two months ago, Johnny Ray, with all his southern charm and his sexy drawl.
The ink on her divorce isn't even dry yet! And besides, she has two sons, one an infant, with two different fathers....two failed marriages?? Time to stand on her own two feet, use her head and ignore her heart.
Detective Johnny Rhay Bennett asked for a tranfer, specifically so he could be closer to Ali. Having met her a few times and then spending that one night together was enough for him to head for the West Coast. He knows she's been burned and that she won't be easy to win over, but he is up for the challenge. Good thing he has Ali's son, little 4-month old Micah on his side. The little guy smiles from ear to ear whenever Johnny shows his face.
Ali can't help but admire the easy, gentle way that Johnny slides into her life, the way he handles Micah as if he has been taking care of kids his whole life. Slowly she starts letting down her guard a bit, when right out in the open, Micah is stolen right in front of them. Suddenly what was growing into potentially promising future, has descended into the despair and agony of the worst kind of nightmare.
Friends and family draw together to support Ali while waiting for word on her baby, but Johnny and Ali cling to each other for comfort. Johnny has come to love Micah as if he was his own and struggles not to let feelings of guilt overwhelm him. He needs to keep his head on straight, so he can find Ali's baby and fight to build the family he hopes to make with Ali and her boys.
As I had hoped, it got even better!!! This is the second book by Dana Mason and already she has found a fan in me, with her ability to intertwine and perfectly balance an edge-of-your-seat thriller and a scorching and passionate romance. All this written with keen insight, sharp intelligence and a good sense of dramatic timing, to make for a truly excellent, highly recommended read!!!!!
I am "in-love" with Johnny......I love his laid back and gentle nature, sense of humour, but also the strong, take charge side and the imperfect parts and bits, the overreaction to certain things, slight petulance here and there......but all part of what makes him human.
Ali is great, although I'm not "in-love" with her, I do love her character, faulty as it is.......perhaps because it is. Perfect heroines get boring, and Ali is everything but, she does stupid things, has made some really bad choices, but she's had some tough knocks and has learned from her mistakes. She loves her kids to distraction and would do absolutely everything for them. She is real, genuine, and stil very likeable, warts and all!
There was not a part of this story that seemed off-pace, or too drawn out, in fact, the entire experience was exhilarating. You don't just get one simple storyline, but it feels as if you have read more than just one book when you finish the last page.
Absolutely worth 5 solid stars!!! Highly recommended captivating, romantic thriller!!!