Darkest Night: A Romantic Thriller

Darkest Night: A Romantic Thriller

by Tara Thomas

NOOK Book(eBook)

$5.99
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250138019
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Series: Sons of Broad , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 33,742
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Tara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.

She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel The Master earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards.


Tara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.

She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel The Master earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

As the youngest of three boys, Keaton Benedict was familiar with his older siblings using whatever means necessary to beat him at target practice. But as he stood and observed the target he'd missed completely on his last shot, he decided his oldest brother, Kipling, had hit a new low.

"Damn," Kipling said. "I don't think I've ever seen you miss something that bad. You do know you're supposed to hit the circle in the middle, right?"

"Like you didn't time your announcement to coincide perfectly with my shot." Keaton unloaded his gun and watched while Kipling lined up his own shot and hit the exact center of the target. Keaton shook his head. "You know I'm a better shot than you. The only way you ever win is by cheating."

Kipling grinned and started the process of unloading and cleaning his own weapon. "Now, that's where you're wrong. It wasn't cheating. It was strategy. Cheating would have been if what I'd told you was a lie."

Keaton had purposely focused on his brother's actions as opposed to his words because part of him hoped he had been lying. Unfortunately, not only had he lost to Kipling but it appeared that the news he'd shared while Keaton was taking his shot was true.

"Elise is really coming to stay with us this summer?" Keaton asked.

Kipling ran his hand through his dirty blond hair that was just a touch lighter than Keaton's own. All three of the Benedict brothers had the same coloring. Right down to the light brown eyes that looked almost golden in the right light. Keaton remembered when they were growing up how he wanted colored contacts because he got tired of people commenting on them all the time. Now he appreciated their eyes' uniqueness.

"Yes," Kipling said. "Her father asked if she could stay with us while she worked as an intern at a local law office. They sold their Charleston place when he retired and they moved to Pennsylvania."

Keaton bit his tongue so he wouldn't say what he wanted to. There was no way he could ever see Elise practicing law. For her entire life, she'd been groomed by her mother to be the perfect Southern lady and, in her mother's eyes, perfect Southern ladies did not work. Especially as a lawyer. Odds were, the Germain family was simply using the internship as a way to get Elise to stay at Benedict House for the summer in the hopes that Keaton would see her potential as a wife and be unable to keep himself from proposing.

There was a zero-to-none chance of that happening, but the Germains were old family friends and he wouldn't disrespect his brothers or his parents' memory by being anything other than polite to Elise.

With their weapons unloaded and cleaned, they headed out of the shooting range at their country club and walked toward the bar. It was tradition for the losing brother to buy drinks. They snagged a few stools and Kipling ordered for both of them.

"It's good to have you home," Kipling said, and looked up when the bartender brought their drinks over. "Thank you."

"You mean, it's good that I can finally join the family business."

"That, too." Kipling didn't try to hide his smile as he took a sip of his scotch.

As the oldest, Kipling ran the family shipping business, Benedict Industries. Though Kipling would beat Keaton's ass for calling it a business. He always referred to it as an empire. The middle Benedict brother, Knox, also worked there and it was assumed Keaton would as well.

Keaton didn't plan to buck the plan, so to say, but he didn't relish joining the company the way it was assumed he would. However, now was not the time to bring it up.

"I've only been out of college for a week," Keaton reminded him. "I'm still considering the possibilities."

Kipling didn't reply, but gave him that I know what you're doing look that every older brother had down to an art. Keaton was almost ready to ask him when they could talk about his new potential role when a country club employee approached them.

As he drew near, Kipling frowned at the slender white box the man held.

"Mr. Kipling Benedict?" the employee asked.

"Yes," Kipling replied, still eyeing the box.

"This was left at the reception desk for you." The man held the box out, but Kipling didn't take it.

"By whom?"

"No one saw them, sir." He placed the box on the bar beside Kipling. "The employee working the desk had turned away and when she turned back, it was there." He raised an eyebrow. "Is there a problem, sir?"

Kipling sighed. "No. No problem. Thank you."

Keaton waited until the employee left. "What was that about?"

Kipling still hadn't opened the box; he twisted the pale blue ribbon that sat on top. "It's nothing, I'm sure. More of a nuisance than anything."

Keaton wasn't sure what he was talking about. "Have you gotten other white boxes with blue ribbon?"

"Yes." Kipling untied the ribbon. "And if this one is like the others, it'll contain a single rose."

Sure enough, once he took the top off, a long-stem rose set nestled in white tissue paper. Keaton didn't see a note. "Looks like someone has an admirer."

Kipling reached under the tissue and pulled out a typed note. Wordlessly, he passed it Keaton.

There were only a few words typed on the thick card stock.

THE TIME HAS COME.

Keaton flipped it over but there was nothing on the other side. He looked up at Kipling. "What the hell does that mean?"

Kipling shrugged. "I don't know, but they've all said the same thing."

"How many have there been?"

"Half a dozen." Kipling picked up the card. "They've always come to the office before. This is the first one that I've gotten outside."

"I don't like it."

"Me neither, but it's pretty harmless, all things considered." Kipling gathered the rose and the wrappings, and asked the bartender to throw them away.

"Are you going to tell the police?" Keaton asked.

Kipling actually laughed. "What? That someone's sending me roses? Yes, I'm sure that would go over really well."

Keaton had to admit that on the surface, it would seem rather minor, but as they walked out of the club, he couldn't help but notice Kipling looking around the parking lot. He had the uneasy feeling there was something bigger going on.

* * *

There were times The Gentleman was slightly irritated and times when he was mad as hell. But very rarely did he feel like he did today. Like he could skin someone alive with only a look.

His men gathered in the room behind him and he waited until he heard the door close before talking.

"Men, we have a problem and its name is Benedict. We are going to have to step up our plan. Take no prisoners. Show no mercy. As of today there is a new plan. The roses have laid the groundwork and they're showing some concern, but the threat the family poses is growing bigger.

"The first step is to eliminate a problem I should have taken care of years ago. Unfortunately, this person isn't a Benedict."

There was a slight murmur behind him.

"Quiet," he said, and the chatter stopped. "The people overseeing her removal have already been notified. If you all do your jobs, she won't know what hit her and we can deal with the Benedicts once and for all."

* * *

The end of the night was always Tilly Brock's favorite time of day and not just because it meant she could go home. She loved how quiet the outside world was. She would step outside of what had been bustling chaos of the nightclub and into the quiet stillness of a sleeping world.

She also enjoyed the short moments she had while everybody was preparing to leave when she could chat with other employees. She was closest to the bartender, Raven. They were the same age, attended the same school, and planned to graduate at the same time. With the spring semester over, they both only had summer school to get through.

"Have you started the countdown yet?" Tilly asked Raven as the petite bartender wiped the countertops down.

"Are you kidding?" she replied with a grin. "I've been counting down since last August. Two more months and I walk out of this place forever. Maybe sooner."

"How's that?"

The introvert bartender's eyes danced. "I have an interview coming up the day after tomorrow at Bergman and Biddle."

Tilly recognized the name of the prestigious advertising agency. "That's fabulous! How exciting. I bet you won't miss this place at all." Two blond dancers Tilly had dubbed the Wonder Twins sashayed their way past them. They had been working in the club for six months and they hated the fact that Tilly routinely got better tips and was able to keep her clothes on. Perhaps if they were better dancers, they could earn more. Club gossip alluded that they were only able to keep their positions because they provided "special services" for the managers.

"Good night, bar wenches," Twin One said, and Twin Two laughed like it was the funniest joke she'd ever heard.

Raven rolled her eyes as the duo made their way out the door. "I definitely won't miss them."

"Right?" Tilly shook her head. "But then I tell myself every job will have difficult people and you never know what pain someone is hiding that makes them the way they are."

"That's why they hate you, you know. Because you're a good person and everyone likes you."

Tilly eyed the manager as he walked out of the office. "Not everyone."

Raven lowered her voice as he approached. "He likes you. He just hates that he can't get you to preform special favors for him." She added air quotes around favors.

"The very thought makes me throw up in my mouth." Tilly forced a smile as the manager stopped at the bar. "Good night, Mr. Granger."

He grunted at Tilly and looked at Raven. "I've already locked the back. Make sure you lock the front door when you leave. It was unlocked when I got here this afternoon."

"I don't know how, sir," Raven said. "I know I locked it last night."

"Then why was it unlocked this afternoon?"

"Raven isn't the only employee with a key," Tilly said. She hadn't worked the night before, but she knew Raven and there was no way her friend had forgotten to lock up.

"I wasn't talking to you, girl." He nodded toward Raven. "If it happens again, you're fired."

"But —" Raven started.

"No buts." And with that, he turned and walked out.

"I know I locked that door," Raven said when he'd left. "I know I did."

"I'm sure you did."

Raven bit her lip, looking like she wanted to say something, but shook her head.

"What?" Tilly asked.

"I'm sure it's nothing, but when I left last night, there was a man standing outside. I didn't see him until I'd locked up and turned around and nearly ran into him. He was all nice and everything. Kept apologizing. But that's how I know I locked the door because he walked away and I double-checked."

"That sounds creepy. He was just standing there?"

"But it wasn't, really. Not after I got over the initial shock. He was nice. Wore a suit and everything. He was like someone's dad."

"I don't care. I still don't like it. You don't need to be walking out after work by yourself." She started to add that just because someone wore a suit didn't mean they could be trusted, but didn't. Raven was an adult. Tilly grabbed her purse from the barstool. "Ready?"

Neither one of them had a car, so they both took the bus to and from work. Tilly typically didn't mind taking public transportation by herself, but tonight she was thankful for the company. Raven said she was glad to have Tilly as a witness that she had locked the door, but there was an underlying hint of worry in her tone that led Tilly to believe she was a bit more unsettled than she let on.

Tilly was unsettled as well. Part of her hated the job, but the upside of it was graduating at the end of the summer debt free. She'd get her diploma and then thank her lucky stars that she would never have to wait tables or serve drinks in a micromini and crop top again. Even better, when she held that diploma in her hands, she wouldn't owe anyone anything. Years ago when her father had been accused, wrongly, she always thought, of siphoning funds from Benedict Industries, and her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she'd feared the only way to graduate was with a mountain of debt.

She'd been working at this club for just over three years. It hadn't always been easy juggling her schoolwork with the late nights and early mornings the club required. But the tips were great and the club had a strongly enforced no-touching-in-public-rooms rule.

In a perfect world she wouldn't have to work at a gentlemen's club to pay her way through college. No, in a perfect world, her parents would still be alive and her dad's reputation wouldn't be tarnished by those false allegations of embezzlement.

And since she was naming everything that would be in her perfect world, Keaton Benedict would still be in her life.

But over eight years ago, her father had been fired from Benedict Industries when Keaton's father accused him of stealing from the company. It made no sense at the time and the following years had done nothing to lend credibility to the claim.

Be that as it may, the elder Benedict believed the worst of her father and he'd left the company disgraced. It was something her dad never got over and was, she believed, the main factor in the heart attack that took his life a short six months later.

Her mother did her best, often working three jobs at a time, but it wasn't enough. In the blink of an eye they had gone from well-off to welfare. Worse, she lost her two closest friends, Elise Germain, whose father actually replaced Tilly's dad, and Keaton Benedict, who had been her first kiss the week before her life changed forever.

CHAPTER 2

"To strong booze and hot women!"

Keaton Benedict raised his glass at his friend Brian's less-than-sober toast and shook his head. One would have thought the guy would be better able to hold his liquor.

"Hell," Michael, another friend, grumbled from the barstool beside him. "Someone take him home to sleep it off before he starts to sing."

Keaton shook his head. "Let him have his fun." He smiled. "Besides, I want to see if his Céline Dion has improved."

Michael tapped his bottle to Keaton's glass. "You're a mean bastard, Benedict."

"Never claimed to be anything else."

Michael chuckled, but didn't say anything further. Keaton took a sip of his gin and tonic and looked around the smoke-filled bar of the upscale Charleston gentlemen's club they had picked for their post college graduation celebration.

One last night of debauchery. That was what his friends wanted. When they had arranged this party, Keaton had gone along with them, but as a Benedict, he knew the truth. The debauchery never had to end. Not if you knew how to play your cards right, and as the youngest Benedict, he'd never had that problem.

"There we go. Finally," Michael said, as the lights around them dimmed and everyone's attention turned to the stage at the front of the club. "Time for dancing."

Two scantily clad women strutted out onto the stage. Keaton was too far away to see details. All he could make out were tiny bikini tops and even tinier thongs. Blondes. And pretty enough to make any red-blooded man fantasize about ripping the scraps of fabric off them. A movement to the side of the stage caught his eye. A server. He only saw her profile, but there was something about her.

He slid off the barstool to get a closer look.

"Hey, man," Michael called after him. "Where are you going?"

Keaton didn't reply.

"Where's Benedict going?" he heard someone ask.

"He's interested in a dancer? Here?" someone else asked.

Keaton shook his head; it wasn't a dancer that captured his attention. He wasn't a stranger to the numerous clubs around the city that catered to wealthy men and their carnal needs. However, he'd never singled out any particular woman while at one. After all, he'd always said, one halfnaked woman was just as good as another. As made evident by the number of times his picture was in the society pages, but never with the same woman twice.

And yet, here he was, eyes fixed on the petite waitress at the side of the stage, currently trying to blend into the background and not take away from the duo on the stage. It was a horrible failure. He wasn't sure why the management even felt the need to put anyone onstage with her working here. How could anyone look at those two with her in the room?

She moved with a grace that made the two blondes look like ducks swimming alongside a swan. She stretched out her hand to pass a glass to a man sitting on the far inside of a booth. Everyone in her vicinity turned to watch her lithe body.

"Drooling over a topless dancer?" Michael asked, coming up behind him. "I have to say, I'm a bit surprised. They look a bit rough."

"Not a dancer," Keaton let slip before he could stop himself.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Darkest Night"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Tara Thomas.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Darkest Night 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous 11 months ago
This book had a trite plot, poorly developed characters & the only attempt at being thrilling was in the sex scenes. No thanks.
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
A danger filled, captivating read! With the kick off to a new series, we are quickly drawn into a story of lost friendships, scandal and danger knocking at their door. The characters are easy to like, the story is intriguing and though not perfectly developed, the plot keeps our attention throughout. A solid read! Childhood best friends and fledgling first loves Tilly Brock and Keaton Benedict were unjustly split apart before they could ever even start to live the lives they were destined to carve out together. She lived through a scandal with her family and went on to struggle to make her way in the world. He lived the good life, but finds himself still yearning for more. When a chance meeting brings them together again and has them reminiscing about the past and rediscovering what happened to the other after they were torn apart, the attraction they once felt is alive and well and undeniably strong. A jaunt into what could have been leads them into danger and has them watching their backs and racing against time to figure out who's set their sights on them ... and why!
Joyffree More than 1 year ago
A serendipitous meeting leads to a second chance at love A past that is seeking vengeance has come looking for justice An engaging and thrilling read It is a slow build that flows easily -transporting the reader into the story - continually stimulating our quest for answers with little twists and revelations that keep you guessing and on the edge - only to deposit you upon a cliff - yes we are left hanging at the end but, in my opinion, it is worth it I enjoyed the main characters and found them easy to connect with I am definitely looking forward to getting some information on the brothers - I am a bit on the fence about them but I think that was the author's intention I have a lot of questions that I need answers for - being a series it has left me with that "suspense high" that any good thriller should .. I have heard there are prequels to this book - I was able to read this as a standalone without pause though I am looking to read the previous stories I read a complimentary copy of this story
Jolie More than 1 year ago
I did like reading Darkest Night but it didn't quite gel with me. I couldn't connect with the main characters and felt that the story was a bit flat in places. I also felt that that the book raised more questions than it answered. Would I read it again? I don't know. 
Arys More than 1 year ago
Darkest Night by Tara Thomas is book one in her Sons of Broad series. A romance thriller filled with mystery and danger, the story will have you guessing at what will happen next and who is behind it all. From the beginning there is suspense and danger. The series follows the Benedict family, and a mysterious villain known as The Gentleman who wants to takedown and destroy the Benedict family. Darkest Night focuses on the youngest, Keaton Benedict and the girl he lost, Tilly Brock. One night at a club, Tilly and Keaton are reunited and excited to have found another again. However, that happiness of reunited is marred by the murders of Tilly's co-workers, and threats to Tilly. Besides the threat of the whoever is trying to ruin the Benedict family, Ms. Thomas also throws in also another foe and blackmail to increase the suspense and danger. There is a lot going on in this novel with lots of moving parts. The heat and romance between Keaton and Tilly was great and I loved how they had each others back. I also enjoyed the three Benedict brothers and their relationships with each other. The suspense was also well done and it kept the story moving at a fast pace and had me wondering what was going to happen. Though, I will admit to wish we were able to learn more about why The Gentleman is after the Benedict family. It wasn't very clear to me but hopefully we'll find out more in the next books. The character that stood out for me in this novel was Jade. Her character is complex and mysterious as the favored henchman of The Gentleman, Jade is caught between a rock and a hard place. My feelings for this character evolved as I read the book. Ms. Thomas gives us multiple POVs, including Jade's, and lets readers get a more in-depth look at her characters and what they are thinking and feeling, which I really liked especially for Jade's character at the last half of the book. I look forward to finding out more and seeing what Ms. Thomas has planned. Overall, Darkest Night by Tara Thomas is a well-written and engaging romance thriller novel. There are some parts that could have been fleshed out more, but I feel it was a great start to what is going to be an interesting series. I would recommend and look forward to reading more from Ms. Thomas. (I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
Darkest Night by Tara Thomas is the first book in the Sons of Broad Trilogy. The description of the setting from the author's web page is sure to draw you in: "Sons of Broad: In Charleston, it's considered prestigious to have an address south of Broad Street. So much so, that there's a term used for those who do: S.O.B.s. Charleston, South Carolina. Regarded by many as the quintessential southern city. A place where the past collides with the present along cobblestone streets and palatial rainbow-colored houses. Where the ghosts of yesterday walk side by side with visitors of today within the old slave market. And where the battle cry of a war long over can still be heard in the quiet fields that mark the darkest days of American history. Visitors to this iconic city are charmed by its people and culture. They find it warm and inviting and are welcomed with friendly smiles and open arms. But those who live there know that looks can be more than deceiving, they can be deadly. The Benedict family is more than old money, they are the embodiment of southern blue bloods. With the ability to trace their heritage to the American Revolution, they have built their shipping empire the old-fashioned way: through fear and intimidation. They are ruthless in business and reckless in pleasure." Tilly Brock and Keaton Benedict have history, but that was a long time ago, before Tilly's father was accused of stealing from Keaton's family, and before she lost everything, including her parents and the only boy she ever loved. Keaton is a playboy, but something is missing; the young woman he can't forget. This is a gritty, suspenseful, fast-paced story. When Tilly and Keaton meet again the chemistry is obvious, but so is the danger. "The Gentleman" makes you shiver with fear; he just feels evil. The atmosphere in Charleston created by author Tara Thomas is almost like another character. The story moves quickly and will keep you guessing who is to be trusted and who poses a threat. If you like a fast-paced tale with romance, secrets and scandal then Darkest Night is for you. Note I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. My review is voluntary.
Booklovernz More than 1 year ago
reat start to a series! Well I really enjoyed this book, I liked the 2 main characters. It had romance and suspense which I like and I was sorry it was so short. At 142 pages it was more of a novella. Can't wait to find out who the gentleman is and I think I know who Kaja is but would like to learn more - look forward to the 2 sequels. I o not gave 4 stars because of the shortness of the book and the lack of background to the story as in why the gentleman hates the Benedicts so much and why Elise was estranged and turned bad
TropicalDelusions More than 1 year ago
Darkest Night – Tara Thomas I received this novel as an advance reader copy, in exchange for an honest review The Benedict brothers are the heirs apparent to the large shipping company bequeathed to them by their father. Set in beautiful Charleston, SC, the company is prosperous, the family is Charleston royalty, and the youngest of the three, Keaton Benedict, has graduated from college and is expected to take his place within the company. Tilly Brock was once a neighbor and close friend of Keaton Benedict, until false accusations of embezzlement left her father in disgrace and her family exiled from Charleston society. Now, with both of her parents gone, Tilly is working in an adult night club, as she puts herself through, school, in hopes of realizing her dream of becoming a teacher. In an off chance, Keaton visits the night club, and spots Tilly out of the corner of his eye. As he realizes who she is, the past comes rushing back, and they realize they’re getting a second chance at love. Meanwhile, someone wants to bring the Benedict family down. Known only as the Gentleman, he methodically kills those close to Tilly, with hints of her being the presumed end-game. And a young woman from another well-to-do Charleston family, Elise, has her eyes set on Keaton and his fortune, and will stop at nothing to ensure she becomes his bride. This book will keep you turning pages as you cheer on Tilly and Keaton! However, there are unanswered questions and mystery abounds as the novel ends, leaving you in anticipation for books 2 & 3! This is the first book I’ve ever read by author Tara Thomas, but it will not be my last!
Yearwood More than 1 year ago
A fast-paced story with a great mystery to solve. In Darkest Night the first book in Tara Thomas new series Sons of Broad published under the St. Martin’s Paperback brand. You will find yourself submerged in a wild romantic suspense. Tilly Brock and Keaton Benedict were friends. However, before they could take their relationship further, Tilly’s family moved away under a dark cloud. But with a chance meeting, Tilly is torn between doubt and desire. But when bodies start to drop, and it seems that Tilly maybe the assailant next target. Keaton will have to use all family resources to keep the woman he loves alive. Darkest Night was one phenomenal story. The story was fast pace with wild chemistry between the two characters. When it came to mystery suspense Tara Thomas held nothing back. With intrigue and romance, this book had everything a fan of romantic suspense would come to enjoy.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
My Rating: 3.5 Stars I read this twice and I still couldn't find that connection I needed. Money buys power, but power can be used for good or evil. Someone with a lot of money is out to destroy one of the “pillar” families in Charleston, a family who is not used to being challenged anywhere. Someone has a score to settle and their power is widespread. Their money and their mind games and their assassins are a deadly mix for Charleston and its people. Years before, a major scandal cost Tilly and her family everything, including Keaton, now one of Charleston’s most eligible bachelor-playboys. Struggling to make her way through college working in an upscale “gentlemen’s” bar, she never expected to run into Keaton again or that they would have a second chance at love. Only a monster hidden in the shadows with a taste for vengeance will threaten all they could have had as he systematically murders those around them to let them know he is coming…Who is he coming for? Why? Who is the monster in the shadows? DARKEST NIGHT by Tara Thomas is a tale of the privileged caught in a web of death, danger and desire. If the heat of passion doesn’t reel you in, the deadly mystery should, but be warned, threats come in all forms from all angles and more than one person does not want Keaton and Tilly together. Just as the tension from the unknown elevates, just as the plot thickens, we are left hanging as we are tossed into another threat that feels too outdated to be relevant in the twenty-first century, manipulation for power through sex and a possible forced marriage. There is a huge potential for a spellbinding thriller that, for me, was interrupted at the worst times by what should have been steamy and erotic moments that fell short. Perhaps because the characters just didn’t feel alive to me? Were too many characters introduced too quickly without enough depth for me? Lots of unanswered questions to carry over into the next part of the series and a villain that is shrouded in the shadows as a family used to wielding their power and money are discovering they are merely big fish in a small pond. I received a complimentary ARC edition from St. Martin's Paperback. This is my voluntary review.
DJTP More than 1 year ago
Darkest Night by Tara Thomas. A new to me author. I enjoyed this first book in the Sons of Broad series. A storyline with danger, death and romance. This story pulled me in right away with it's characters. A romantic thriller that you wanted to know what came next. I look forward to reading more books in this series and more books by Tara Thomas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Night by Tara Thomas is a modern romantic thriller and part one of the Sons of Broad series. I received an ARC copy from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This story follows Tilly weeks before her college graduation. She reunites with her childhood love Keaton, one brother of three belonging to the Benedict fortune, and her life begins to unravel. When Tilly's life is in danger, Keaton moves her into the Benedict mansion to keep her safe. Not only do Tilly and Keaton have to deal with a killer, but they have obstacles within their circle that could prevent them from being together. Lovers reunited is an endearing premise, and Tilly and Keaton are sweet together. When things started to go wrong, especially during the threat from a childhood friend of theirs, I was rooting for them. The other Benedict brothers were engaging as well. I assume the rest of the Sons of Broad series will follow them and I would be interested in their stories based on what I read here. The focus in this story was off for me. I found myself uninterested in the thriller aspect of it. I did not find the bad guy intimidating, and I think a fear of him was necessary to keep my concern for the main characters. I just wanted it over so we could get on with the rest of the story. With the ruining of Tilly's family's reputation when she was young, to the reuniting of Tilly and Keaton, through to the threat of extortion to Keaton and his family, I think there was too much to include a murder mystery. I like a good murder mystery, but here I did not want it or need it, which is unfortunate. There are aspects of this story I enjoyed. As stated, I would be willing to give another book in this series a chance. All opinions are my own and may not match that of others. I urge all readers to come to their own conclusions.
valerie holm More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Night by Tara Thomas is a modern romantic thriller and part one of the Sons of Broad series. I received an ARC copy from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This story follows Tilly weeks before her college graduation. She reunites with her childhood love Keaton, one brother of three belonging to the Benedict fortune, and her life begins to unravel. When Tilly's life is in danger, Keaton moves her into the Benedict mansion to keep her safe. Not only do Tilly and Keaton have to deal with a killer, but they have obstacles within their circle that could prevent them from being together. Lovers reunited is an endearing premise, and Tilly and Keaton are sweet together. When things started to go wrong, especially during the threat from a childhood friend of theirs, I was rooting for them. The other Benedict brothers were engaging as well. I assume the rest of the Sons of Broad series will follow them and I would be interested in their stories based on what I read here. The focus in this story was off for me. I found myself uninterested in the thriller aspect of it. I did not find the bad guy intimidating, and I think a fear of him was necessary to keep my concern for the main characters. I just wanted it over so we could get on with the rest of the story. With the ruining of Tilly's family's reputation when she was young, to the reuniting of Tilly and Keaton, through to the threat of extortion to Keaton and his family, I think there was too much to include a murder mystery. I like a good murder mystery, but here I did not want it or need it, which is unfortunate. There are aspects of this story I enjoyed. As stated, I would be willing to give another book in this series a chance. All opinions are my own and may not match that of others. I urge all readers to come to their own conclusions.
JSorret2 More than 1 year ago
Ah, Keaton... You never forgot Tilly... And now, it seems, you may get a second chance with her... If one of you doesn't die first! There's a lot going on in this story, some of which is probably because it's first in a series, and the writer had a lot of complex threads to weave in. Having said that, I was a little disappointed with the loose ends at the end... At least those with Tilly and Keaton... Kinda wanted them signed, sealed and delivered... However, I am very intrigued by the creepy, deadly Gentleman. And I want to know more. Bottom line: It kept me interested and turning pages... 4 stars.
thicks More than 1 year ago
Of the 3 brothers we get to check out baby brother Keaton first. While his older brothers are a colorful duo this time it's not about them. The summer is about to get interesting with his spunky childhood crush back to tantalize and turn his world upside down and an unwanted suitor. Well it wont be easy and there is a whole lot of action, lies, intrigue and even blackmail going on in this multi twists thrill ride that doesn't leave out the romance that moves way too fast. The characters are awesome and so is the story. I love that Tilly was no push over and that Keaton made his intentions clear. Kip was a hoot and can't wait to get in on that story. This is my first read by this author and it was fantastic and action packed with all the things I so desperately need in a great read.
Horsebranchjess More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Night is a fast-paced romantic suspense. Working her way towards a teaching degree by waiting tables at a gentlemen's club, Tilly comes face to face with a blast from her past. Keaton, her best friend, the son of the man who accused her father of stealing from the company and drove her family to poverty. The story lost me a little here because she fell back in to the relationship with Keaton after eight years without any hard feelings or reservations or really any kind of lets get reacquainted period. The vamping up of suspense here really saved the story for me. Someone is murdering the people Tilly works with and a threat seems to hang over her head. Keaton jumps in to save the day, offering Tilly a save place to stay. But forces are at work in Keaton's life that puts Tilly in even more danger as Tilly and Keaton's relationship go from 0 to 100 mph in two seconds. Beatings, blackmail, and murder pepper the story with a dash of something extra to keep the reader hanging on. An unlikely ally emerges from the shadows and helps save the day. The suspense is unpredictable and still unresolved over who is trying to destroy the Benedicts even as Tilly and Keaton seem to have their HEA on the way. The story appears to continue into the next book in the series. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
Robindpdx More than 1 year ago
This was a fast-paced, entertaining book. Tilly has learned the hard way to take care of herself. Keaton is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. He encounters Tilly and remembers the girl he once knew years before. He never forgot her and wants her to join him in rekindling their love. Tilly wants to try, but there is danger around them and they have to find a way to survive the unknown threat. This book can be read as a standalone story, though it is #1 in the Sons of Broad series. I enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading more books in this series as well as other books by this author.
Jax_B More than 1 year ago
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher: "In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless killer is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…" I'd give this 2 1/2 stars, rounding up because of the authors track record. I really, REALLY wanted to like this book. I really enjoyed the author's work as Tara Sue Me, so I know she's got what it takes to write romance, and there have been suspense elements in her last few works as Tara Sue Me so I was hopeful. But something about this particular work just didn't click for me. Good stuff first: The main characters were involved in a grown-up relationship. They didn't keep secrets and they talked openly and honestly with each other. There's plenty of drama in the book without adding to it by including slamming doors and miscommunications. I appreciated that. I thought the concept was intriguing and for the most part the book is well written and flowed decently. Not so good stuff: From a technical perspective the word choices were sometimes out of place and jarring, and the book switched POV often enough that it was easy to get lost. It's not the easiest thing in the world to write romantic suspense - in my experience authors usually have to pick which of those two elements they want to be dominant (no pun intended) and this book tried to split the difference, which watered down the whole book. It's a shame; I kept waiting for it to get better, for the choices to be less predictable and the dialogue less melodramatic, but it never happened. I did push through to the end, but I was glad it was over, not sad to see it go.
KaliMcQuillen More than 1 year ago
*3.5* I did read the novellas leading up to this book but I think I could have read those as their own book. Then read this book as another standalone in the series and been just as happy. Even with reading the novellas I felt that Tilly and Keaton moved way too fast. They hadn't seen each other in years and how they parted was horrible BUT it was super fast for me even with all the danger. I did like the suspense in the book, I liked trying to figure out what Jade was going to do next for Mr. G. (the man behind the scenes, pulling all the strings). Why are they being surrounded by murders? Why is Tilly the one that they're after? TIlly and Keaton pretty much just fast forward through the rest of their teenage years and right into the adults they are today with no hesitancy whatsoever. Will Keaton be able to keep Tilly safe? The family needs help that they don't even realize and it comes in a strange and unexpected way. I did like meeting Kipling and Knox, Keaton's brothers and can't wait to see what's going to happen in their books
LindaC1 More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Tilly and Keaton, who reconnect after years apart. Their romance starts fast and the characters are likable. But someone is stalking them and soon the threat is hurting those around them. As the danger grows so does their connection. This book had the romance and mystery but I felt like I needed more at the end. Nothing is really resolved in this story since it is first in a series. Who is after them? Did Tilly’s dad actually commit the embezzlement that caused Keaton and Tilly to be apart? What does the runaway girl introduced in the series have to do with Keaton’s family? I was left with more questions than answers at the end, but I guess that’s why it’s book one of three. I have my theories on all this and hopefully they’ll be answers in the next two books. I don’t feel like this is a stand-alone book. You need to continue reading the series to figure out the mystery and all the answers to the questions raised from this novel.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Darkest Night by Tara Thomas Sons of Broad #1 The blurb made me want to read the book BUT the book did not live up to the blurb. I think this book should be marketed to YA/NA readers who may be more forgiving. As an introduction to a new series the brothers are introduced and we know they will each get their own book BUT for me I don’t think I am really interested in reading the series. That said, I would like to thank SMP and NetGalley for the ARC. So, Tilly is working in a gentleman’s club and she and Raven are getting a lot of grief from twins that dance on stage. There is a “ruthless” killer out there killing off people that are close to Tilly. Keaton Benedict is the first boy that kissed Tilly and he shows up at the club Tilly works at. When she is threatened he takes her under his wing. Tilly will graduate from college soon and Keaton has just finished college and has an agenda for the family company (that I found rather unusual). There is someone called “The Gentleman” pulling the strings of what sounds like a secret group of some sort and he is the “mastermind” behind the drama of the story. Who is killing people was fairly easy to figure out. There was a lot going on but it didn’t seem to go anywhere…if that makes sense? Anyway, I finished it and do not think I will be reading more of this series. 2-3 Stars
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Excellent read! This is a hard one to review without spoilers. Since the best part of this book is the anticipation you feel with every twist and turn of the story I don't want to give anything away. So I'll just say if you enjoy a good suspense filled book this one is for you!! Tilly and Keaton's characters are amazing and the writing is excellent. Their story is a full scale roller coaster ride you don't want to miss. There is a novella prequel series that although you don't have to have read to enjoy this book I do recommend that you read them. I can't wait for the next book and definitely recommend this one.
Tracie115 More than 1 year ago
LOVED this book!!! It's a thrilling, suspenseful page turner with some romance thrown in too. This book is full of secrets which leave you dying to see what will happen next. Can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series.
Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
This romantic suspense tale was certainly loaded with suspense, but the romance side fell short for me. Tilly and Keaton shared one kiss when they were fourteen and due to family drama and accusations, they don't see each other for eight years. Both characters are likable and they share a quick wit that adds some levity to the story. They're also intelligent and wise beyond their years in everything except for their romance. The idea that they fell into each other's arms so quickly with so much past drama between them just wasn't believable for this reader. I will say that their intimate scenes were well done and what I would consider steamy light. If the romance had been a bit more developed, it would've been perfect. That aside, the book has plenty of suspense and intrigue, which did keep me reading to see who would be behind it all. There is one edge of your seat scene toward the end, but I expected that. What I didn't expect was the disappointing lack of information about the Gentleman's identity or about how Jade ties into things. As I got closer and closer to the end of the book, I knew there would have to be a cliffhanger, but this one just stops, leaving a lot more questions than answers. It felt more like the end of a chapter than the end of a book and I can only assume that it will pick up from there in the next addition to the series. As it stands, I'm left with a bit of "meh" feeling about this one and haven't decided yet if I'm intrigued enough to continue with the series.
Rainn2978 More than 1 year ago
There is a prequel novella for this book to help get the series started. I had a hard time getting into that one but the writing was excellent so I was hopeful the next books would be easier for me. This one did not disappoint! This is the official first book of this series and you don't have to read the the prequel to understand what happens in this but it does help with the suspense portion a bit. This book is about Keaton Benedict and Tilly Brock. We met Tilly in the prequel. She is a waitress in the gentleman's club that the police were watching to try to catch a serial killer. Keaton goes to the club and see's Tilly and can't believe she is there. They grew up together until his family accused her father of something and her family lost everything. They never forgot each other though, even after being separated for so long. This book had a lot of twists and turns that I didn't see coming at all! I really liked this one compared to that last. I liked Keaton and Tilly together and I just really enjoyed their chemistry. It truly felt like they still loved and cared about each other even though they hadn't seen each other since they were kids. When things start going horribly wrong you can not only see how much Keaton wants her to be safe but you can actually feel it. And then you throw the twist in there that I never saw coming in the way that it did? I truly enjoyed that!! This one was a much better fit for me and I can't wait to read the next ones about his brother's and see where this bigger story ARC takes us!