To escape a brutal killer, a brilliant researcher teams up with a tortured soldier who poses an even greater threat . . . to her heart.
Her sister might be the law and her brothers the brawn, but Riley Kingston is definitely the brains of the family. She’s a talented botanist well on her way to a PhD—so why does she feel like a failure? Fired from a dream project in Costa Rica, Riley’s stuck back in her hometown. Cataloguing plants on Steele land keeps her busy, but it’s far from compelling work. Until she discovers a fascinating new specimen. One with a body made for pleasure . . . and eyes filled with a pain she longs to understand.
Delta Force operator Coen Monroe doesn’t want to be studied. Not even by the sexy scientist whose inquisitive glances stir up desires he isn’t ready to handle. He came to Steele Ridge to be alone, to battle his nightmares and the memories triggering them. But Riley’s gentle seduction is as relentless as her curiosity. She soothes his wounded soul . . . and fires up his defensive instincts. But when her research sparks a deadly conspiracy, Coen is exactly what she needs.
When Riley is targeted by a sociopath bent on silencing her forever, Coen will do anything to protect her. But can he save the woman he loves without losing himself in the process?
I’m really enjoying this series 🙂
Reily and Coen’s story was a lot of fun to read. The way they met was…unique, to say the least (;-)) and it set the tone nicely for the rest of the story. Searing Need is a solid blend of romance and suspense, with two main characters who are each haunted by their pasts. Coen has retreated into the woods to attempt to get away from his (so far, it isn’t going particularly well) and Reily is essentially trying to pretend hers didn’t happen. Neither of them is looking terribly far into their futures, either, because DENIAL. And –a relationship? Definitely not on either of their radars. (Honestly–for Coen? It probably shouldn’t be. But of course fate has other ideas…)
I loved Reily’s curiosity–it was such a vital part of her personality, and managed to turn her kind-of-stalking of Coen into more of a scientific observation (“like Jane Goodall watching the chimps” as her sister Maggie says) and somehow more endearing than creepy. She also gets major points for an awesome use of romantic suspense fiction inside a romantic suspense story 🙂
Though I really liked the two of them as a couple, there were a few parts of the story that seemed to be resolved almost too easily. Coen’s PTSD-inspired nightmares, for example, went away almost like magic. Also, the villain(s) of the story were pretty obvious early on…it would have been a little harder if we hadn’t seen from the POV of one of them right after we met him, but even without that he wasn’t hiding it very well.
The ending had more of a happy-for-now feeling to it than an HEA–Reily and Coen will be spending time on different continents for the near future, which probably means we won’t see much of them in future series books, which is a bit of a bummer. I have high hopes for them to pull through in the end, though–even if we don’t get to see it on the page.
Still, there was a lot to enjoy in this book.
One of my favorite things about this series (and the one it’s a spin-off of) is the relationships between the Kingstons and their cousins the Steeles. Watching them all interact–their banter and their closeness–is just fabulous. (The back-and-forth between Riley and Britt about how she got her nickname “the Kingston Menance” was LOL.) Even if you haven’t read all of the other books (confession: I’ve only read about half of them so far–though they’re all on my TBR) it’s still a lot of fun 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.