Ulterior Motives

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For the sake of full disclosure, please note that I have personally known this author
for several years prior to her pursuing a writing career. 

Expected Release Date: January 19. 2015
Publisher: Amy Hale
Imprint: N/A
Author’s Website: http://authoramyhale.com/
My Source for This Book: Gift from the author
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Warm
Favorite Tropes: Secret Identity

Official Blurb:

Despite being wealthy, Ellie Manchester has had a rough life. She witnessed her mother’s murder at age seven, but didn’t see the man responsible. Plagued by nightmares, and a drunken father, Ellie has grown up to believe that she can only rely on herself. When her father dies in an accident, she becomes an heiress of sorts… and a target.

Tanner Paxton was a tough and tumble kid who turned his penchant for getting into fights into a successful security business. He loves his work but doesn’t have time for much else, especially relationships. When he’s hired to protect Ellie, against her will, he not only finds himself embroiled in dangerous chaos, but falling in love with the most stubborn and beautiful woman he’s ever met. But love may be a weakness that can get them both killed.

I don’t often read contemporary or romantic suspense, but I highly enjoyed this one.

While I admit, it took me a while to warm up to Ellie, there’s no denying that Pax was scrumptious from the moment he stepped onto the pages. There’s not much that I enjoy more than a deliciously tortured, yet honorable and protective man, and Pax had it in spades.

As for Ellie, I think it was her complete and somewhat willful blindness to the danger that she faced that made me want to shake her so badly. Sure, there were those around her who were taking pains to make sure she was kept in the dark, but even so, considering the trauma she’d faced as a child, I would have hoped that she’d been a little less naive when Very Bad Things started happening around her.

Through most of the book, though, I kept holding my breath, waiting for Ellie to find out that Pax was not exactly who he’d claimed to be, and instead was hired on to protect her from the blackmailer who’d targeted her father, and when the reveal happens, the fallout didn’t disappoint.

I also enjoyed that while the mystery and danger certainly took center stage, this book never had that “heavy” vibe that a lot of romantic suspense suffers from, though plenty of action that kept the story moving along. There was also a wonderful twist, just when I thought I’d figured out the whodunit, that had me gasping.

Of course, I have to mention that I do prefer my romances to be a bit on the steamy side, so the fade-to-black lovin’ isn’t really my style, though I know there are many readers out there who will appreciate it. Even so, I enjoyed the almost whirlwind feel to the romance, and couldn’t wait for them to get their Happily Ever After, which in the end was just as satisfying as I’d hoped.

Overall, this was an excellent debut novel, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what this author has in store for us next.

4halfA solid 4.5/5 Stars