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A Little Harmless Ride: Harmless, Book 9

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted August 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Sexy Read With Good Suspense

    As the ninth book in the Harmless series these characters have become like family. They care for one another and playfully bet on who will be the next to fall in love. After forging a path through numerous subs at Rough n' Ready, and remaining enticingly mysterious throughout eight books, sexy Australian Eli has finally met his match. What starts out as a stipulation of his friend/father figure Joe's will to keep the ranch he calls home, he must teach Joe's niece Crysta how to run a ranch. At first he sees her as an annoyance to his peace of mind but her strength and gumption soon win him over. Until now his relationships have always revolved around the club and been of the one-night stand variety, but Crysta has him thinking of something long term if he can just convince her that work and play CAN go together. His espionage past though has left him not only with scars on his back but deep seated fears of how to keep those he cares about safe. It leads him to flashes of jealousy and a tendency to be overbearing towards Crysta which shows her how good of a Dom he could be. Those fears are especially warranted as danger has come to the ranch and left blood in its wake. The list of culprits is long and no one appears to be safe. Just when it looks like Eli and Crysta have come to an agreement, their lives are put in peril in an action-packed conclusion.

    Crysta regrets not visiting her uncle more growing up and vows to do right by him now. She knows Joe thought of Eli as a son and is determined to fulfill her commitment so Eli can keep the ranch. Eli is a big temptation but after finding her ex cheating on her she's hesitant to embark on another Dom/Sub relationship. He slowly and subtly woos her, and no matter how much she tries to keep their relationship all business, she eventually gives in to the sexual excitement he promises. This leads to scenes that are indeed HOT with strong BDSM elements but aren't too over the top. Those who enjoy more vanilla encounters will find these scenes immensely satisfying as well as those who enjoy a bit of kink. The sexual tension is palpable from the start and eventually culminates in some hot and heavy sexual interludes that surprise them both in their intensity. Though Crysta is smart and strong-willed, and more than capable of taking care of herself, she's more than happy to give control to Eli in the bedroom. Out of the bedroom she wants equal control and though Eli wants her safely hidden she jumps right into the fray to find out who's harming the ranch and those she loves.

    Along with the steamy interludes comes an intriguing mystery where many characters could be the culprit. Such a long list provides numerous twists and turns and red herrings to keep you guessing until the very end. The sabotage gets more intense as the story progresses and gets closer to Eli and Crysta ultimately leading to a near death experience that makes them realize how important they are to each other. This final scene is fast-paced with the reveal of the villain coming almost out of nowhere. The capture of the villain is rather unsurprising unfortunately as we've seen this particular series of events unfold numerous times before and results in a rather rushed ending that's still satisfying though. Along with a likable main couple who have entertaining verbal banter and electric sexual tension comes a slew of enticing new characters whose stories I look forward to reading.

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  • Posted July 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    If you haven't read any of the books from Melissa Schroeder's Ha

    If you haven't read any of the books from Melissa Schroeder's Harmless series, you're missing out on a great erotic romance/romantic suspense series with BDSM elements.

    A Little Harmless Ride was a little different from the the rest of the series in that it didn't take place around the group of people we've come to love from the series or the club, Rough 'n Ready. However, fans will be pleased to hear that some of the gang do make an appearance. This was a great addition to the series with an exciting plot and great characters. The author hardly ever writes weak heroines (not that I can recall), so that's just one of the reasons I love her books.

    Falling in love with Elias St. John was easy. As a former member of the Special Forces, he was disciplined, controlled and new how to handle himself in any situation. Add to that his Dominant persona, and you had a man not to be trifled with. That was the romantic side of his story. The less romantic side made him a perfect tortured hero. Literally. He grew up in foster care and never got to experience family life. Through his connection with Rough 'n Ready, it seems the gang had sort of adopted him into their fold. Seeing him feel a little uncomfortable yet grateful that they cared just tugged at the heart strings. As for women, he never had girlfriends or serious relationships, only submissives who knew the score - don't get attached.

    Crysta Miller was sweet, compassionate, confident and feisty. In short, I adored her. Her last experience with a Dom has left her jaded to the point that she didn't think that lifestyle was for her anymore. But she soon came to learn that maybe she just hadn't found the right Dom. Her natural submissiveness never made her seem weak. She saved that for the bedroom, but outside of it, she was a tough cookie who didn't shy away from speaking her mind. I loved the evenly matched dialogue between Chrysta and Eli. They teased each other a lot and it was obvious that she wasn't a pushover. That effect on Eli was so much fun to watch. The Dom was quickly losing his controlled composure around her.

    I thought they had great chemistry with sexual tension so thick, you could cut it with a knife. When they finally gave up fighting their attraction, the love scenes were sizzling hot.

    The plot was engaging and kept me turning the pages. The author did a great job of keeping us guessing not only who the villain was but also who the intended target was. Although the budding sexual relationship was front and center, the suspense portion didn't really suffer from it. It was well paced and the climax of the story was well worth the wait. In my opinion, this book could be read as a stand alone. I've only read books #1-#6.5 so far, so I need to catch up.

    Get ready for one sexy cowboy Dom and a feisty submissive who isn't afraid to speak her mind, and a scorching hot attraction under the Hawaiian sun. Throw in some greedy, rotten relatives and murderous intent, and you'll be in for quite a ride.

    Rating: 4-4.5

    Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the author for the purpose of an honest review.

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