FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Brook Cottage Books.
Stella (a.k.a. Stormy) is living life incognito. Dreading the day that her ex is released from jail, she’s done everything she can to distance herself from her former life and stay off the grid. She works for cash, rents without a real lease, and keeps her head down. But that doesn’t stop Logan from noticing her. A private investigator, Logan knows something isn’t right, but he wants Stella almost as much as he wants to find out the truth about her. But as things heat up between them, Stella finds herself letting down her guard, and Logan’s no more immune to falling than she is.
The Verdict: Normally, this is the kind of book I’d stay away from. It’s not that I’m put off by graphic language or scenes, but many of the more erotic romances I’ve read so often end up sacrificing plot and character development that I’ve learned to just pass them by completely. The satin sheets on the cover, had the book been written by any other author, would have been a big red flag for me. But I’ve liked everything Melissa Foster has written, so it made sense to give this series a shot.
The beginning was a little rough for me. The first thing that struck me was… Well, I guess it was the language, but not for the reason you’d think. What should have been provocative (I’m guessing) came across as more crass than anything, and the blatant vulgarity of Stella’s internal discourse didn’t strike me as fitting for what little I knew of her character. And then the names threw me for a loop. The surnames of Bad and Wild were a stretch, but then Stella introduced herself as Stormy Knight. My brain went straight to Bulwer-Lytton. But before I could get too put off by that intro, everything started to fall into place. Logan was the hotness personified, with that protective alpha male thing going, and Stella’s back story, while dramatic, seemed pretty realistic.
Dodging death at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Stella’s trying to stay hidden and isn’t quick to trust again. She also doesn’t want to drag anyone else into her nightmare, especially a guy like Logan who seems like trouble and perfection all wrapped up in one. But when real trouble comes calling, it’s Logan who steps in, and before she knows it, he’s not only playing her protector but also tempting her to give into their sizzling chemistry. Like Stella, Logan has his own issues. The attack that killed his father and blinded his mother while he was deployed has left him with a huge burden of guilt and drove him to seek out and kill the man responsible. That revenge certainly fits with his protective and loyal nature, but it contradicts his ethics, and he hasn’t been able to work past any of it.
Their relationship developed quickly, but it didn’t really feel out of place. It seemed to me that these two were simply fated to find each other, and I love the way the plot didn’t follow the same old path that most with this theme do. In fact, I’d venture to say that’s what stands out about all of Foster’s stories — where you absolutely expect a character to behave in a way that is typical for the genre, they end up doing something or acting in a way that is completely different. It’s what keeps each story fresh and new in a very saturated market. Logan could have been angry and angst-filled, but instead he was up front with his feelings. And Stormy could have played the victim, but she was stronger than that and willing to follow her heart despite her past. So I guess that pretty much sums it up. While Foster certainly turns up the heat in this series, she sticks to the formula she’s perfected with strong heros, relatable heroines, and a story that is just different enough from the rest to make its own mark. Needless to say, I’m hooked on yet another of her series!