Louisa North is weird thanks to her anthropophobia and pathological shyness. She knows, she’s weird, everybody else knows she’s weird, but she doesn’t really care, since she has a higher purpose—find the cure for Huntington’s disease or at least a better alleviator of symptoms, since the old one drove her father to suicide.
She’s getting close, too, with the only problem being her latest experiment had some unforeseen and rather dire consequences, causing paralysis in rats, resulting in their death.
Then she starts noticing strange things...Her notes being out of alignment, and the deadly sample in her lab is not the way she left it last. Acting on her hunch (she refuses to see it as paranoia!), she switches labels, placing the “deadly” label on the innocuous sample, and the next thing she knows, the fake-deadly sample goes missing.
With the owner of her lab not really looking eager to investigate or, God forbid, involve the police, Louisa has no one to turn to. Except the only man who doesn’t treat her as weird, because he has issues of his own, former Navy SEAL and co-owner of the newest security firm in town, Sixton “Six” Rapp.
And then things get really complicated...
The saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but it doesn’t really apply here, since it was the cover that drew me to this book first, then I read the blurb, and even though I’ve never heard of this author before, I had to have the book. And in this case, I am judging the book by its cover—and it didn’t disappoint.
Far from it, in fact.
It was a great blend of suspense and romance, although the latter was a bit more prominent in the story. Luckily, it was a great romance, featuring two wonderful characters—the quirky, shy, and geeky scientist and the sexy, outgoing ex-SEAL. A rather unorthodox pairing, but the contrast between the introvert, brainy Louisa and the extrovert, brawny Six worked beautifully in this instance. They were complete opposites, yet they got each other, and completed one another when the occasion called for it.
The first word that came to mind as I was reading of their first encounter was “cute”, and it didn’t change until the end. They were utterly cute together, a truly lovable couple. Their romance was believable, and their story organic.
The suspense was also very well-done with a good initial mystery, sometimes even throwing out doubt about the heroine’s instincts and possible paranoia, but once the true suspense and subsequent action kicked in, the mystery became of second importance, and everything focused on one thing and one thing only—keeping Louisa safe.
Unfortunately, the main plot lost its direction slightly somewhere in the middle, when both main characters succumbed to the trope-ish sexual frustration that was rather out of character for both of them, and the pacing suffered because of it, but once that hurdle was done with (thankfully, rather quickly) the story once again gained its previous momentum and it didn’t stop until the end.
An end that was satisfying in its action sequences and saving of lives, while on the other hand left a bit of frustration at the ease in which everything was resolved giving the fact who or what they were dealing with. It was a tad too easy and simple that they just let Louisa and her “secret formula” go.
I also didn’t really care about the cliffhanger in the epilogue, involving Mac and their dead friend’s sister (the only women Mac has ever loved). I didn’t really care about it not because I’m not interested, but because I am and the next book is still months off. Not fair!
For once, I’m not disappointed in a new-to-me author. The story and characters were great, the romance was wonderfully cute, and the suspense worked beautifully. Great job!
'TO CROWN A BEAST' by R. Scarlett is book Four in the "Blackest Gold" series. This continues the story of Tensley and Molly. I really do feel you need to read the other books in this series to full enjoy this story. 'To Crown A Beast' picks up right were the other book 'Vow of Thorns' left off. Molly is dealing with the shock of what just happened to Tensley or what used to be Tensley. The beast as actually taken over and he was the Crown no like Tensley who just wanted her. The beast wants both it seems. So Molly is trying to deal with getting Tensley back and to keep his 'business' running. Molly will do anything to get by Tensley.
I don't want to say to much to give away to many details of this book. But there is some battling to get the Crown and the 'New' Tensley trying to deal with his need for Molly and his refusal to give up the Crown.
Very exciting romance story for sure! But this does end with a 'Happy Ever After"!
I have loved this series so much...it like a hunting game to find the next book...and such excitement when you do! Can't wait for the next book by Ms. Scarlett!
Blackest Gold Series:,
Book 1: Vein Of Love ,
Book 2: Body of The Crime,
Book 3: A Vow of Thorns,
Book 4: To Crown A Beast,
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
' A Vow of Thorns' by R. Scarlett is book Three in the 'Blackest Gold' series. This continues the story of Tensely and Molly. I do feel strongly that you have to have read the other books to fully enjoy this one. There is also another cliffhanger that leads into the next book in this series.
In this book Tensely finally goes with his feelings and knows that Molly is his life. I like how he was 'stepping up to the plate' in this book. Molly too was stronger in the book and shown how much she has grown since knowing Tensely. Although they are still not catching a break and having to deal with strong issues with crown and the court more so in this book. This book does have allot more drama because of the issue they are face with the crown. But with that said, they are getting in some together time and showing everyone that they are a team.
Overall this is such a great series and I can't wait for the next installment!!!
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
This audio is like mixing up a big box of Kraft’s “cheesiest” macaroni when you are starving and too lazy to cook a real meal. You know it’s not good for you but it’s just so cheesy you can’t stop! Before you know it, you’ve downed the entire thing. Same goes for this audio.
Lily is on her way to meet her future husband who is some old coot with a lot of money who will keep her well. Never mind him though because she is way-laid (yep, I see what I did there) before that nightmare can happen. Her carriage has troubles and she meets a very large wolf/man who leads her back to a cottage where some sexy stuff happens but the lovefest is cut short due to a curse, or something, something that has to do with virginity. Lily was having fun and gets all sassy, even stomping her foot but Marrick (the wolf-man) stays strong. For a short while anyway and then things happen.
There is nothing unique about this story, it’s overly wordy and pretty corny. It’s not even super, sexy, hot. More like lukewarm and vanilla. Still, I found myself enjoying the audio production. It even has sound effects for ambiance! Usually these things bother me but it works well here because the levels are right. The crickets chirping in the background were especially soothing. There are two narrators and Honey Scarlett does such a fun job with Lily’s character that I couldn’t stop listening. Her accent was hilarious and spot on and I just loved listening to her. Leeroy Will’s delivery of Marrick suffers in comparison. His delivery wasn’t as good, the cadence was slightly off and at times his accent sounded a little like Shrek. Sorry, that’s my take.
Anyway, if you’re looking for an amusing, non-brain taxing way to spend two hours and 39 minutes you could do much worse than this!
I received a copy of this audiobook courtesy of the publisher and Audiobookboom. I hope they don't regret it!