Strong Enough by M. Leighton #Review

Posted August 27, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 10 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Strong Enough by M. Leighton #Review
Strong Enough

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: #1 Tall Dark and Dangerous
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on August 4, 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
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Secrets! They both have them. He’s dark, cold and dangerous and he has his own reasons for finding her dad- reasons that will ruin everything between them. I love the tension and suspense this story had and I enjoyed the edge of my seat anticipation and excitement that ensued as this twisty suspense story was revealed.

I have been meaning to take up a book by this author for some time and the release of this new romantic suspense series seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to start at the beginning of a series. I am really glad I did because this was an engaging story.

The story opens when Muse Harper hires a bounty hunter to help find her dad who seems to be missing. Muse moved across country to protect him and now she worries that someone got to him. The bounty hunter is so much more than she expected. Jasper King is coolly competent, coldly lethal, deep, and dark. He’s an enigma that drives the open and emotional Muse crazy. The harder he pushes her away; the more she wants to know him. He tells her that he will hurt her in the end and she should keep her distance. Muse just sees a lost soul and forces her way into Jasper’s space. But Jasper isn’t the only one with secrets and now her secrets especially those surrounding her family have become a deadly danger.

Jasper King lived with and saw evil and pain as a child. He sees it in himself and he both embraces and rejects it in his dark, ruthless world. He prefers detachment and keeping emotions out of things, but from the first encounter with Muse Harper, she forces him to feel and feel strongly. He has his orders and he dreads the moment when he has to fulfill them, but obey them he will even knowing what that will do to Muse. It is best if he doesn’t get involved, but the tempestuous woman won’t let him be. They will both be destroyed because of what is growing up between them and because of the plots of the ones in the shadows giving orders.

This story was full of conflict, tension, and twists. I liked how things revealed a bit at a time and the shocks just kept coming. The suspense side of the plot was phenomenal.

The characters were pitted against each other and it was told first person so the reader has a chance to be right there inside their minds. In this story, I’m not sure I liked getting things first person because not knowing Jasper’s mind and intentions would have made for stronger suspense and tension. Not that things are totally transparent and it’s all revealed, but just that even the hints were enough for me to pretty much have Jasper and his role in things figured out pretty early. I also could have done without so much Muse because she felt less mature and younger than she was. I had no problem with the honest, raw emotions she was feeling, but it was the overblown quality to them that made for an imbalance between such a complex deep character like Jasper and herself. I ended up chalking Muse up to having an artistic temperament and it was her very stubborn, naive willfulness that broke through Jasper’s cold heart and helped him begin to heal and feel.

The author did a fantastic job taking the romance development at just the right pace. Jasper fought any attachment, hard, but he couldn’t resist his attraction to Muse. Poor Jasper was in that between rock and hard place because he hurt Muse by resisting her, but he was right to resist since there were things that she didn’t know. His duty bound him to finish what would only hurt Muse deeply. Things are not easy for this pair and the resolve doesn’t come quickly.

Things heat up fast between Jasper and Muse. He holds himself in check, but they still feel a feral attraction and let passion take them several times. The combo of lethal skills, cold demeanor, hard body, and a reluctant protective streak have Muse turned inside out when it comes to Jasper. And for him, he is quite taken with someone so open, giving, and honest.

This one balances more toward the romance than the suspense, but it doesn’t neglect the suspense. I like how it sets things up nicely for what is to come with the ongoing conflict and the intro to some guys that are as appealing as Jasper.

All in all, this new series is off to a strong start. The romance is hot and intense and the suspense is gritty and twisting in a good way. Those who enjoy romantic suspense should take note of this book/series.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


This story swirls about with secrets and gets emotional intense as a result. It is told first person perspective in alternating points of view. First of all, how do you feel about 1st person POV? And secondly, how do you feel about it being used in a Romantic Suspense? I mean, do you like more distance and mystery? Or do you like being right inside people’s heads for all the twists? Or hey, are you one who really likes to live on the wild side and enjoy and unreliable narrator even?

Romance Roundabout #269 RS

New to Me #134 author/series

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Braine TS
6 years ago

I wouldn’t have thought of it, but yeah, veiling Jasper’s mind would’ve made it more mysterious if not suspenseful. Like just hints of trouble to up the tension and save everything for the conflic resolution. It still sounds like a good story though

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Braine TS

Exactly. I wanted a bit more mystery to up the suspense. It was definitely still a good story.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Braine TS

Exactly. I wanted a bit more mystery to up the suspense. It was definitely still a good story.

6 years ago

I like to be in the characters heads, not a big fan of 1st person POV but I’ll still read a story if it has it. I haven’t read a lot of romantic suspense but I hope to change that soon. I’m a daring person at times so I like when I can be inside a characters head and be all crazy with them, lols!

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Sharonda

Haha! Yes, some characters do take you for a ride on the wild side when you’re in their head. I’m okay with first person POV, but in a suspense I wanted more mystery surrounding Jasper so I wish I hadn’t gotten quite as much early info from his mind.

6 years ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

Agreed, a lil mystery aint bad at all 😉

Mary Kirkland
6 years ago

Secrets and twists. I like the sound of that already. Looks like another book I need to be reading.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yep, this is the book for you if you’re into secrets and twists, Mary. 😉

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

Ahhhh I so want this one. I love her books but didn’t have time. It’s so bad of me but I kinda love it when the hero struggles like that. lol Must read faster so I can get this one worked in 😀

Sophia Rose
6 years ago

Drat that, time! I run into the same problem. So many I want to read and try, but I do have to draw the line.