Royce Walker, a former FBI Agent, who’s opened a private security firm with his brothers, has always had the hots for the prim, proper Assistant District Attorney, but considered her hands off because of a family connection. However, when danger threatens Lauren, he isn’t willing to stand by and watch her get hurt. Now the passion for survival is only rivalled by the passion burning between them. And that passion might just be the death of them both.
I don’t mind admitting that I’m somewhat partial to my leading men being FBI-shaped, so I was drawn by the synopsis, which promised a mixture of romance and thriller. Royce is given enough character to avoid being merely lust-fluff, and Lauren, whilst a little vulnerable in the face ongoing danger, does remain a strong female lead.
I did feel the author tried just a bit too hard with the chemistry initially, with every single glance or accidental touch between Royce and Lauren causing various tingling sensations which became somewhat repetitive, not to mention being akin to a town-crier striding through the novel yelling “It’s going to get steamy, people!”. As the storyline progressed this was less overdone however, and the romance was given sufficient depth to have the reader invested in the outcome.
The gradual building of suspense as threats against Lauren increase is expertly done, and kept me turning e-pages until I’d reached the conclusion. I did feel the denouement was slightly rushed, particularly after how well the plot led up to that point, but overall the novella was an enjoyable read. Hot Secrets is the first in a series featuring the three Walker brothers who run a security firm.
Disclaimer: I was provided with an eARC by NetGalley but all opinions given are, as always, entirely my own