Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tessa Dare / Abigail Roux

Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door.
Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. His coarse attire and near-criminal good looks would put any sensible young lady on her guard. He's wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.
Only Violet understands him. And she knows he's not what he seems.
She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable... Love.

Comment: This short story is second in the Spindle Cove series. It's Violet's story and we learn why she is in Spindle Cove and on the eve of her return home, a man shows up and she thinks he's familiar. The development was rich and intense despite the small size of the story. I found if deeply engrossing and so very detailed for such a short length. The romance part was fast but there are mitigating circumstances. I was once more surprised by hoe serious and rationally discussed everything was. This is a solid, strong writing and shows great promise. Can't wait for more!
Grade: 8/10

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After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet—after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his moment of curiosity and kisses him.
Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part . . . or so he thought. But what should’ve been a simple moment unleashes a flood of confusing emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address.
Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other—friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?—before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

Comment: This is the first of a spin off of the Cut and Run series. It's Nick's side of things and his relationship with Kelly, with his take on work, on life. I was glad he got a story. His relationship with Kelly changes but I was quite surprised with the level of emotions and expectations the author dealt with in a short story. It doesn't feel like one. Kudos for talent, I guess. I was impressed and will read the rest. Being a spin off it's better read after the main series, because many things are understood because of that. It was a strong story, I'm very happy with it.
Grade: 8/10

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