This has been a fun series from the get-go. The blend of humor, suspense and psychic paranormal romance has been nearly addictive. With this story, I can agree with a few others and say the author hit her stride and gave me my favorite one yet. There’s something about curmudgeonly ex-Marines, teasing steely-spined heroines with a psychic crift, a dark killer, the bustle of a restaurant, and a potential family reunion all blended together to make for unputdownable reading.
Yes, this is the third book in a series and I would recommend them in order, but I suppose the reader could accidentally grab this one and do just fine.
The story opens with Marine Niall Graham hitting a bar after attending the wake of two of his buddies. He has a need to get away. Hours later, nursing the same beer and the fascinating bartender telling him that its closing time, he still is not very put together and his dark memories are hard beside him. This however is set aside when the quirky gal who served his drink distracts him and soon the hum of desire which is reciprocated leads to a night of hot, lusty sheet burning sex and a connection that he can do nothing about. He has to return to duty, but he is heartened when Hannah leaves him her phone number.
Later, he realizes that she played him or so he thought when the phone number is bogus. Niall doesn’t have time to dwell on Hannah because he’s out of the Marines, his mom’s health broke down so the family restaurant is now in his and his brother’s hands, and his brother, Ross, has made some gutsy and expensive moves to be more successful. Niall struggles as he heals from his time in the military and he works hard and by the book which rubs his brother wrong, but those woes are nothing when he thinks Hannah Halloran shows up in his restaurant to stalk him. He can’t decide whether he is happy or upset about that even when she claims that it was merely fate.
Hannah Halloran never forgot the hurting Marine who spent a night in her bed and she hoped that for that one night she was able to bring him some solace. She wished that he would have called, but understood that he had to go back to his other life. But her life has moved on too. She learns that her birth sisters have been looking for her plus she can use her gift to reconnect with her dead mother. Hannah just has to touch a metal object and she is sucked into that person’s memories through their eyes. Hannah heads to Tidewater on her dual quests and soon realizes that fate has an interesting plan when she discovers Niall and his brother own a restaurant on the very property that used to be her childhood home. She feels it is serendipity that Ross hired her that very day even if Niall’s icy rejection and suspicion really hurt. It is not long before her quest receives the addition of a grisly and demented murderer that only she can find. Hannah would love for a new chance with Niall and for a happy reunion with her sisters and she would really like to survive Tidewater’s first serial killer.
Wowsers was this one a blast from cover to cover. I loved Hannah and besides wanting to pop Niall a few times, I had a soft spot for the ol’ crankypants Marine too. It was fun reconnecting with a few familiar characters and exciting as Hannah’s gift led her closer to the killer. Niall and Hannah made a great couple even if they were at outs through much of the story. There wasn’t as much reunion as I was expecting with the sisters, but fortunately, another reviewer warned of that so I was prepared.
This one had a bit of everything and so the focus wasn’t strongly on any one thing. I liked the story as a whole, but spent a lot of it waiting for things, too. I wait for the romance to progress and I waited for the murder situation to progress. There were side stories that begged for attention, too. It all finally leaped forward in the latter half of the book.
Niall and Hannah had a strong connection throughout the story. I have to share one of their teasing exchanges:
“You plan to get undressed anytime soon? Or do you just plan to drop trou and do it with your boots on. ‘Cause hot as that sounds, I was kind of hoping for something would last a little longer than fifteen seconds.”
Niall frowned and relaxed his arms, tucking his thumbs in the pockets of his cargo pants. But her words baffled him. “I don’t think I’ve ever had sex end in only fifteen seconds.”
“You’re so literal. No, I bet you haven’t.” She laughed while twisting her pink braid between her fingers.
loc. 264 Niall and Hannah from Energized
This was the last sister to get her story, but I really hope that this doesn’t mean the end. I would so love to see Ryan and Ian get stories.
All in all, I had such a good time and read through this one quickly. Those who enjoy some humor in their stories and like a bit of psychic and steaminess to their romantic suspenses should give these a go.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #274 RS
Cliché Klatch #161 ‘Do it with your boots on’
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