I’m thrilled today to be a part of the spotlight blog tour for Annie Seaton’s new book, Dangerous Desire.
A desperate search…
Schoolteacher Gracie James has never seen more danger than her seventh grade classroom, but when she goes searching for her missing sister, she’s thrown into a world of sex, crime…and passion. Following a hot lead, she sneaks onto a stranger’s boat—and gets caught. Their one-sided conversation convinces her of two things. One: the guy is seriously sexy. Two: he knows something about her sister. Oh, yeah. And did she mention he’s sexy?
And a sizzling attraction…
Jake Alexander, former cop, is staking out a yacht brimming with criminal activity, for an insurance company, when a woman, dressed to kill and totally irresistible, stumbles into his dangerous undercover op. If he hadn’t tackled her, she’d have tottered straight onto the questionable yacht in those ridiculous high heels. Then she’d be dead. Or worse. As much as he’d like to kick her off his boat, he can’t risk her going off on some hare-brained scheme—but he can’t keep her around to muck up his job. Oh, yeah. And did he mention she’s distracting as hell?
Lead to dangerous desire…
Unfortunately, she has a keen mind of her own. And a body any man would die for. Jake’s attempt to keep Gracie safe quickly morphs into a reluctant alliance. And a whole lot more… But Gracie finds herself knee deep in more trouble than she bargained for, with secrets revealed and the criminals coming after her. Unless they find a way to trust each other, they’re finished. Oh, yeah. And did they mention they’re in love?
He was lying. This boat had been here first thing this morning when she’d checked out the marina. Although, to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he had just come aboard. Still, something didn’t feel right.
Turning her head slowly, she strained to see her surroundings in the dim light, and her gaze fixed on the shadowy shapes of equipment above her. Three cameras and a variety of telescopic lens sat on the shelf near the hatch.
“Oh my God, you’re sitting in here in the dark taking photos of those people? What are you a pervert…or paparazzi or something?” Before he could answer, a glimmer of hope filled her chest and she turned to him. “How long have you been here? Taking photos, I mean.”
He looked at her strangely and an idea flashed into her mind. Before she could think about the consequences, she seized the opportunity. She slid slowly back over the seat toward him, curled her fingers and reached up to his face, lightly brushing the rough stubble on his cheek with the back of her hand. His jaw was set rock hard and he didn’t move. She leaned in closer to him and dropped her voice to a whisper.
“So…you’ve got some photos of the…er…action on the Midas? Maybe we could look at them together?” She opened her mouth a little and ran the tip of her tongue across her top lip. “We might be able to make our own fun here?”
It would be so much easier if she could confirm Regan’s presence through a photograph and not have to get on the Midas. Then she’d just turn up there tomorrow and insist on seeing her despite those guys who had said she wasn’t there.
“Why?” he asked. “You think looking at the photos will turn me on?” A look of boredom crossed his face in the dim light. “Sweetheart, I’ve seen it all, but it you want to play, I’m happy to oblige.”
Gracie’s heart pounded double time when he lifted his hand and placed it at the side of her neck, and she held her breath, waiting for his fingers to circle her throat. He curled his fingers and imitated the way she had caressed his cheek. His touch was warm and he trailed them down her neck and continued until they rested on the swell of her breast above the low-cut neckline. “I’ll show you the photos…and then…”
She drew in a quick breath as his eyes narrowed and he slowly lowered his mouth toward hers. Time seemed to stand still as she tipped her head back on the seat and his lips came closer—inch by inch until his warm breath fanned her lips. His hand slid down to her bare thigh and the hair lifted on the back of her neck and her arms. The heat of his touch penetrated her skin and her heart raced with a dizzying mix of fear and excitement.
It was like a game of cat and mouse as though each was teasing the other to see how far the other would go before they pulled back.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Dangerous Desire was a suspenseful, nicely romantic read that was difficult to put down–even when the characters were being less than cooperative. 😉
I loved Jake. He was smart, sexy, and tough–and always honest with Gracie, even when she didn’t seem to deserve it. I could really feel his frustration with his current position in life–it had to be difficult, suddenly being on the outside of police investigation, forced there by an on-the-job incident. The descriptions of the injury and his scar made me cringe every time. Although he had understandable bitterness, he was making the best of his situation by doing what he knew how to do in another capacity. Seeing him have to remind himself not to use the police lingo every time made me feel for him even more.
His early coldness toward Gracie seemed a bit much at first, but when we find out his back story it begins to make more sense. Soon the protective streak that must have been a big factor in his job choice takes over, and from then on I was on his side 100%.
Gracie is initially a very sympathetic character. Her sister is all she has in her life, and she is determined to do everything she can to find her. She is wary of Jake and unwilling to trust him, which is wise, but it felt as if that lack of trust persisted a little bit too long–and it will rear its ugly head in a huge way at the end, when it is most definitely not deserved. (She was scared, exhausted, and under huge amounts of distress, though–I suppose that could be a measure of justification. Jake forgives her, so I guess I can too.) She spends a lot of time telling herself that she is smart and capable–while making choices that definitely aren’t. She makes up for it toward the end, though, when all heck breaks lose and she does manage to get herself to safety through some pretty big odds. She made up for a lot of earlier frustration by being able to pull it all together at the end–I especially enjoyed how random facts that she’d taught her kindergartners would come to her in times of crisis and help her out.
The relationship between the two had just the right amount of steam, and nicely balanced the suspense parts of the plot. However, at times it felt like their relationship was pushed along unnecessarily by episodes of Gracie using her looks and sex appeal to try to manipulate Jake–which went directly against the “boring plain Gracie” she claimed to be the rest of the time. It felt a bit jarring, and uncharacteristic for her. Still, it made for some interesting scenes. 😉
I definitely didn’t see the twist at the end coming–nicely done.
The HEA and epilogue are satisfying, though they felt a bit rushed. I was left with a few questions (Where does Jake’s wealth come from? What happened to his marriage? Why didn’t Reagan’s email ever reach Gracie?), but they weren’t enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of this book. Dangerous Desire was a fun, steamy, quick-paced romantic suspense, and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of the same from this author.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
About the author:
Annie Seaton lives with her husband, and ‘Bob’ the dog and two white cats in a house next to the beach on the east coast of Australia. She sits in her writing chair, gazing at the ocean and writing stories. Their two children are grown and married and she loves spending time gardening, walking on the beach and spoiling her two grandchildren. She has always been fascinated by all things romantic and has found her niche in life writing romance novels, ranging through contemporary, historical, suspense and paranormal…but all with romance of course.
Her love of reading and history began at an early age and she was a child who always carried a book (or two) no matter what she was doing. Several of her favourite books were confiscated from beneath her desk by teachers who had no understanding of her capacity to read while she was doing her schoolwork!
Her working life has seen her through several major career changes and Annie has now retired from the world of full time work and has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a published author.
Annie’s debut full length novel, Holiday Affair, a contemporary romance set in the South Pacific was released as part of Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line in March 2012 and has been a best seller on both Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The sequel Italian Affair was released in June 2013, and will be followed shortly by Outback Affair. Annie has more books being released in 2013 and 2014 with Entangled Publishing in the Bliss, Entangled Ignite and Covet imprints.
In appreciation of the supportive author community, Annie has written a book on promotion to share the secrets of her success: Promotional Tips and Tricks for Aspiring Authors in the Digital Landscape.
Annie loves to hear from readers at: email@example.com
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]