Tuesday, February 16, 2016

review || HIDDEN HEAT { blast } by Carla Swafford

Loveswept | February 16, 2016 | MC/Romantic Suspense
Brothers of Mayhem, book 1


Sizzling with passion and suspense, perfect for fans of Joanna Wylde and Julie Ann Walker, the Brothers of Mayhem series revs up as a headstrong beauty faces off against an outlaw motorcycle club—and falls for the bad boy she never saw coming.
Cassidy Ryder refuses to be intimidated by anyone, even the hell-raising, hard-drinking Brothers of Mayhem. The daughter of their former president, she’s not above smashing a few heads to keep her teenage brother safe. But when Cassidy’s big mouth gets her in trouble, the only thing that saves her is some quick thinking from the Brothers’ bartender. He’s commanding and strong, and as smooth as the whiskey he pours: the ultimate temptation for a girl who swore she’d never be a biker’s plaything.

But Thorn Savalas is no ordinary biker. He’s a cop, and he’s worked too hard earning the Brothers’ trust to blow his cover over a female—even one who rocks a pair of jeans like Cassidy. The only way to protect her is by claiming she’s his old lady. Trouble is, Thorn can’t just pretend. He wants Cassidy, and every scorching touch tells him she feels the same. But acting on their hottest fantasies could leave them both exposed . . . even if nothing else has ever felt so real.
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{ about carla swafford } .

Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.

{ review } .

After growing up in the lifestyle, the last thing Cassidy wants for her hardly-eighteen year old brother is to follow in their father, and step-father's, footsteps. When her brother doesn't return home, she does what any concerned sister would do -- she shows up at the Club's bar.

...where she raises her voice, smashes a bat on the bar, and gets threatened a few times. Thorn is the one who gets to take care of that little problem... but never did he imagine just who Cassidy was in the infrastructure of this particular club.

Thorn has some secrets of his own, too; ones that Cass guesses, even -- but only because while he plays the part of biker extremely well, he's a bit too kind where Cassidy is concerned. I had to chuckle at the number of times they had fake sex -- first verbally, and the next time was a bit... more. But both times were with Thorn protecting her -- something he did again and again. If there was one thing that he proved he could and would do, it was that he would protect her. When it comes down to it, he even lays claim to her.

I liked that he tried to separate wants and his job. He knew that getting involved with Cass wasn't a good idea -- one that even his boss was yelling at him not to do. While his boss was appropriate with Thorn, I did find him to be a bit of an arse where Cass was concerned.

For the most part, I enjoyed the structure of this book. I enjoyed Cassidy and Thorn. I loved that Cass was a strong female, but had her scared moments. Those were the moments that allowed Thorn to show who he truly was and who he could be for her. I loved the undercover aspect and felt that it was handled well. My only problem would likely be the unrealized time jump at the end of the book. The meat of the story takes place over a very short span of time, with the last chapter almost a year after, and the epilogue was another two years after that. The added three-ish years from the meat of the book had me appreciating the relationship between Cassidy and Thorn and believing in the longevity of them, but I wish we had gotten to see more of them after the drama was finished.

Next is brother Storm. The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis has me really excited. I have to say, I wasn't Storm's biggest fan this go-round, but I'm excited to see how he's changed.

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