One day of hell changed her forever.
Ella Cross wanted to bury her on-screen persona even before her abduction. Being in the spotlight grew worse after the ordeal. She left Raven Star behind to find herself again.
A fresh start.
No ties to her past.
In a small town where only her oldest friend knows who she was, she believes her secrets are safe. But secrets never stay hidden forever. Sooner or later the past always resurfaces.
Then she meets him.
Trent Ward can’t resist his new neighbor. Ella is familiar, but he can’t place why. He knows she’s running from something. As much as he wants to protect her, he wants to unravel her mystery.
Between his demons and her past, Trent may not have the strength to explore the growing connection to Ella.
Will he save her from her worst nightmare?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is the second book in the Combustible contemporary romance series. I loved it!
Ella Cross is a wonderful character. I really liked her. She is a well known actress and goes by the stage name Raven Star. Even before being kidnapped and escaping her captor, she had become tired of the media circus. She grabs the opportunity to get out from under the spotlight and moves to a small town where her best friend from childhood (Mila from the previous book), lives. She was not expecting romance, but when she meets Trent Ward, her new neighbour, the chemistry between them is undeniable.
Trent Ward is also a wonderful character. I liked him a lot. He is a loving, caring man. It doesn't hurt that he's a fireman either. When he meets Ella he's intrigued with his mysterious new neighbour and is attracted to her. However, he also has his own family problems. But, when danger threatens Ella, his protective instincts are triggered. But can he protect his heart?
Having previously read paranormal romances written by this author, I was eager to read this contemporary romance series. I started to read this book and quickly became hooked. The story is told through the eyes of both Ella and Trent, which allowed me to see what they were both thinking and feeling. I found myself on a roller coaster of emotion from beginning to end. I am a sucker for contemporary romances with sexy firemen, so meeting Trent's friends and colleagues was a thrill too. Trent's nephew, Blaze, is also a wonderful character and has had to grow up too quickly due to his mother's drug addiction. This made me sad.
This story felt a little predictable as it followed the traditional romantic theme, but there's a lot of heat between the main protagonists which made up for it. The characters themselves felt lifelike and likable. I love flawed characters, as they come alive on the page. This story has several flawed characters, which kept things interesting. I love the way the story unfolded, and some topics (such as Trent's sister's drug addiction) was handled sympathetically. The danger that Ella faces from her kidnapper/stalker lends a bit of suspense to the tale, but I didn't feel that the threat was as immediate as it should have been. Other readers may have a different opinion. However, having said that, I certainly wouldn't have guessed at who the culprit was, as there were several twists and red herrings.
I reached the end of the book (which doesn't end in a cliffhanger) and was left with a happy, satisfied feeling. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Sweet Tooth, as soon as possible.
Brandy L. Rivers has written an entertaining contemporary romance series. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow is wonderful. Her characters are lifelike and likable. With her ability to write in both the paranormal and contemporary romance genres, she is one of my go to authors when I'm in the mood for a sexy read.
Due to explicit scenes of a sexual nature, as well as use of bad language, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. However, I do recommend this book if you love hot erotic contemporary romances full of sexy firemen and determined women. - Lynn Worton