Tom Sutherland is an arrogant prick. There, I said it. Okay, so he’s also my assistant and I couldn’t survive without him, but that doesn’t make him less of an irritating bastard — Lana
Lana Keele is a witch. A beautiful, frustrating witch placed on this earth to torment me. Yeah, she’s my boss, but she’s still the most maddening creature I’ve ever had the misfortune to cross paths with — Tom
When Lana Keele, president of Keele Industries and only surviving heir to business tycoon Oliver Keele, wakes up in her devil-of-an-assistant’s bed after a drunken night out, she fears the worst. That is, until prissy Mr. Perfect Tom Sutherland declares that she’s the last woman he’d ever want to sleep with.
After surviving four years in the company of the infuriating woman he’d lusted after since his teens, Tom has had just about enough of the unholy siren that is Lana, especially when she turns up inebriated on his doorstep one night and demands sex. Convinced that Lana will never return his affections, Tom decides that it’s high time to get over his unrequited love.
Except Lana doesn’t quite seem to agree with this plan. Not after she sees him with another woman. Not after she confronts him about it. And most definitely not after he succumbs to temptation and kisses her.
As they finally ignite the fire that has burned so long between them, Tom cannot help but be certain that for Lana, this is just about sex. Will he be satisfied with only having the body of the woman he loves and not possess her heart? Or will Lana convince Tom that she truly means to give him her everything?
Discover Lana and Tom’s story in this sexy and stormy addition to the hot, contemporary romance series Nights by A.M. Salinger. Note from the author: although each book in Nights can be read as a standalone, you will enjoy this series even more if you read the books in order!
This is a novella length MF romance with a HEA.
Hush is a heart-wrenching and emotional psychological thriller. Rachel's story is dark and gritty, and absolutely impossible to put down. The abuse that a child suffers often torments them into adulthood, and in this case, it comes hurtling back with a vengeance. Nicole Hart gives us a wonderfully written, edge of your seat thriller that begs the question of how people deal with trauma. How does one person move on while another's mind bends in ways that are unimaginable? There is quite the twist at the end and while I did see it coming, it doesn't take away from the book for me.
Phew. Gotta catch my breath here a bit.
I want romance in my books. The kind with deep connections, plenty of fluff and an HEA. And I got that here. But I got so much more to the point where the romance took a back seat to the rest of the story. And I was fine with that because the thriller/suspense part was so amazing I sacrificed lunch with my colleagues today to spend an hour more reading in order to finally get to the bottom of things.
After a terrorist attack in DC, Federal Judge Tom Brewer is the lucky(!) man who gets to preside over the ensuing court case. The detailed scenes from the trial and the politics surrounding the whole thing should have make me run away screaming - I would usually consider stuff like that utterly boring. But not in this book. I was completely on-the-edge-of-my-seat-spellbound by all of it. It is so well written I could almost feel the tension from that court room radiate off my Kindle.
In parallel to the criminal case Tom and U.S. Marshal Mike Lucciano are getting close but having to hide their relationship Mike would otherwise be pulled off the protective detail assigned to the trial making it impossible for them to be together. And that is just not an option. Tom needs Mike presence, needs him to hold him up through the nightmare of having the entire world watching his courtroom in combination with taking his first tentative steps towards coming out of the closet.
Which brings me to the part of the book that got to me the most; Tom's struggles to overcome the crippling fear of being 'found out'. A fear he has been living with for twenty-five years. The story of how he ended up pretty much running into the closet and bolting the door from the inside, his memories of the world and society in the early nineties from his perspective as a gay man with ambitions, the fear he still carries with him through life and which has kept from getting close to anyone for so many years. It is all so absolutely heart-breaking. And knowing that when it comes to this part of the book, none of it is fiction just makes it even worse.
I actually went and googled 'bowers vs hardwick*'. It's one of those things my small mind just cannot grasp. And we are not talking 17th century here but the 1980s! The case took place during Tom's youth and we get to see the impact it had on him. Having a court confirm that you being you is basically illegal is a concept I cannot comprehend. It hurt to read, yet I am grateful for this part of the book. Grateful for the way it shows that BS laws actually affect people. That they cause real damage to people.
To sum up: I loved this book. There will definitely be more Tal Bauer on my reading list in the future.
(On a side note - I also learned that apparently it is even today illegal to sell sex toys in Alabama. But I guess nothing should surprise me anymore!)
*Short version: The court in this case basically confirmed that it was ok for Georgia to have a law forbidding gay sex even behind the closed doors of someone's private home.
I particular like (yeah, that's sarcasm!) the Wikipedia note on 'later comments' from one of the majority-vote justices: "However, Powell believed that the case was one of little importance and in 1990 stated that he hadn't devoted thirty minutes to thinking about it since the ruling."
Little importance? Of course it was to everyone who wasn't actually gay. I'm pretty sure it was pretty important to a lot of other people....