Hearts Under Siege by Natalie J. Damschroder
Brady Fitzpatrick has spent a decade burying the pain of a broken heart while working for SIEGE, an information-gathering spy agency. That it kept him away from his family as well as his best friend Molly has been an unfortunate side effect. But when his brother, also an agent, is killed during a foreign op, Brady is drawn into a web of intrigue that threatens the lives of everyone he loves…
Molly Byrnes has loved Brady forever. As his best friend and a de facto member of the Fitzpatrick family, she holds them together in their crushing grief. But as a member SIEGE's ground team, she doesn't buy the official line about Brady's brother's "accidental" death and launches her own investigation—only to uncover a shocking secret that she and Brady must get to the bottom of before their target finds them.
Tangled emotions land them in bed together, opening Brady's eyes to the incredible, fearless woman who's been there for him all his life. But after a lifetime of disappointment, how can Molly trust the possibility of a future with him…or if they can count on any future at all?
About the Author
Natalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance—Love with a Shot of Adrenaline. She sold her first book in 1999, and 2014 will see the publication of her 17th novel. She grew up in Massachusetts and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she's not writing, revising, proofreading, or promoting her work, she does freelance editing and works part time as a chiropractic assistant. She and her husband have two daughters they've dubbed "the anti-teenagers," one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.)
Read an Excerpt
Hearts Under Siege
By Natalie J. Damschroder, Nina Bruhns
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Natalie J. Damschroder
All rights reserved.
"You missed the turn."
"Dammit." Dragging himself out of his own head, Brady Fitzpatrick scowled at his best friend. Molly Byrnes smirked back at him and shoved her feet up onto the dashboard, her fingers dancing across her knees like they were a keyboard. He checked behind him and did a U-ie in the middle of the empty street. "Why didn't you say anything?"
"Because when I said something two turns ago, you growled at me." She pointed to the left. "There."
Brady made the turn and tried to remember what they'd been talking about, before he'd gotten lost in his thoughts. Right. True love. She'd razzed him for believing in it and said it wouldn't make a good pickup line. For who-knew-how-many miles, he'd brooded about the job offer from SIEGE, and how true love fit into it.
He cast another glance at Molly, who was now humming something unfamiliar. Probably an assignment for the composition class she hated, judging by the dark look on her face. That explained why she'd let him brood for so long.
"Check that, would you?" He motioned at the crumpled directions stuffed into the cup holder between them. "I thought we'd be at the station by now."
Molly heaved a sigh, dropped her feet, and pulled out the paper, comparing it to their location. "Couple more miles on the right, looks like." She went back to playing her knees. "So anyway, women aren't going to fall all over a guy just because he walks up and tells her he believes in true love."
"I'm not talking about picking up chicks," he protested. "I'm talking about relationships like my parents'." He squinted against the glare of the sun off a sign, trying to see if it was for the train station. His parents had moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut a few months ago, while he was at school, and he didn't know the area yet.
"Your parents are, like, the exception that proves the rule."
"Well, yeah, my parents are awesome." Molly's parents couldn't go five minutes without sniping, a whole day without a knockdown, drag-out fight. That was why she'd come down here with him for Thanksgiving instead of going home. "And they're not the only ones."
Molly snorted. "Name another couple you know who's been together longer than three years."
"There's —" He stopped. No, Sheri and Dave had been married less than two years. His aunt and uncle had just separated. Who else did he know? He couldn't believe he was going to lose this debate when it had barely started. Though it kind of answered his question about love versus work. "Anyway —" His phone rang, and he snatched it off his belt, ignoring Molly's derisive laugh. "Hello?"
"Did you get her yet? Where are you? Why didn't you call me?"
His brother. The reason he and Molly had ended up on this topic in the first place. "Geez, Chris. Chill. Her train's not due for another half hour."
"Dad said the trains are early sometimes." There was a tiny snap, and Brady knew his brother was biting his nails. He was really gone over this girl. "Make sure she knows I would have gotten her if Mom hadn't —"
"Don't worry, I know the story." Brady rolled his eyes. "I'll make her feel so welcome she won't even miss you."
"Okay, good. Hey, wait!"
Laughing, Brady shut the phone and dropped it into the console. "Chris is freaking out that we're going to miss the train."
Molly shook her head. "He really wanted to be the one to pick her up. What's her name again?"
Spotting the station parking lot up ahead, Brady flipped his turn signal and slowed the car. "Jessica. Sounds like a princess. Just his type."
"Yeah." She snorted again. "True love."
"Maybe." He parked and they stepped out into the sharp November air. Brady threw an arm around Molly when she shivered and hunched into her denim jacket. The sun was warm, but the wind, light as it was, still bit. They bickered as usual, crossing the lot and climbing the steps to the train platform. Brady glanced at his watch. Still a good twenty minutes until the train was supposed to arrive. He scanned the nearly empty platform almost automatically.
And then he saw her.
His gaze touched the woman, and an invisible fist slammed into his solar plexus, knocking every atom of oxygen out of his lungs. His vision narrowed, the edges fluttery and thin, and all he could see was ...
She sat on the bench against the wall of the ticket office, bent over what looked like a hardbound journal. Sleek blond hair hid her face, but as he watched she swept it back behind a perfectly shaped ear with a long-fingered, graceful hand. Her cheek curved sweetly, a lush pink mouth pursed in a bow, and when she blinked, her eyelashes glided through the air in slow motion.
True love whispered through his mind, and he knew, without a flicker of doubt, that she belonged to him.
Molly elbowed him, and the world came rushing back. The roar and clang of a train entering the station, the cold breeze in his face, the buzz of his phone at his waist. But still, he couldn't take his eyes off her.
She looked up. Bluish-hazel eyes, full of sparkling humor, met his. It filled him with euphoria and a sense of rightness. He had to meet her. Now.
"Fitzpatrick!" Molly yanked at his arm. "What's wrong with you?"
He ignored her and stepped forward, trying on a smile. The cold made it stiff. God, he probably looked like a dork. "Um, hi."
She beamed, her perfect lips seemingly unaffected by the temperature. "Hi. Brady?"
He blinked. She knew his name?
"Uh ... yeah. I'm —"
"Chris's brother, I know. He texted me that you were coming." She marked her page with the ribbon attached to the book, twisted her pen closed, and slid both into her bag before standing. She was the perfect height, a couple of inches below his.
Brady didn't know what to say. His brain wasn't processing this. She knew him? She couldn't. He'd remember if he'd met her before. Unless she'd been, like, fat or something. He squinted at her, and she laughed. No, he'd definitely remember that dancing trill. He'd remember thinking ridiculous words like "dancing trill."
Molly shoved him aside and took over.
"I'm Molly Byrnes. Sorry we made you wait. Brady didn't believe the train would be early." She held out her hand, and Brady's destiny shook it. The two women turned to walk toward the steps, Molly taking the handle of a small rolling suitcase he hadn't noticed. They were talking animatedly, as if they —
The second punch in the gut didn't have the same sense of wonder and joy. This one brought depressed understanding. This was Jessica. Chris's girlfriend. His brother's girlfriend. Fuck!
Molly glared at him over her shoulder, motioned toward the parking lot with her head. But Brady's feet felt cemented to the platform. How could this be happening? Everything lined up. They'd been talking about true love, and there she was. And he'd been struck, just as his father had always described feeling when he saw Brady's mother for the first time.
Okay, not everything lined up. There was that decision he had to make by the end of the year, the one that would dictate the direction of his entire life. The job offer from SIEGE — Strategic Infiltration of Enemy Group Enterprise — was one any guy would frickin' die for. The chance to do real good in the world. To fight terrorism in the information age. Protect his family. Be a hero. But he wouldn't be able to tell anyone about it. That was the part holding him back. He'd have to lie to his family, to Molly, for the rest of his life. He wasn't sure he was capable of that. But his original plans looked stable, responsible, and positively coma-inducing in comparison. He'd been weighing the options for weeks.
But shit, now instead of two paths in front of him, he had, like, ten. Okay, half of them were blocked, but there were always ways around obstacles, if you looked hard enough. He just had to look. Hard.
He blinked again. Molly stood at the top of the steps, this time frowning in concern. "You okay?"
"Yeah. Fine." He shook off his inertia. Maybe it's not serious, her and Chris. The thought galvanized him enough to follow the women to the car, but he still reeled internally, from the dual shock of finding his soul mate, and literally five seconds later losing her to his brother. But those two hadn't known each other that long. Chris had never had a long-term girlfriend. Three months was his record, as far as Brady could remember. Maybe he still had a chance.
"Is it a long drive to the house?" Jessica asked as they reached the car, and a buzz went down Brady's spine. He closed his eyes for a second, but of course she didn't keep talking. She'd asked a question. He realized Molly was staring at him from the back end of the car, Jessica standing next to her, waiting for him to answer. Also, probably, to open the trunk. Sheepish, he hit the button on the remote key and hurried to lift the suitcase into the empty space. Jessica thanked him, and this time the sensation down his spine was more like warm honey. He suppressed a shudder and slammed the trunk, testing to be sure it was latched, and hoped Jessica hadn't noticed his reactions. He peeked and found both women looking at him from the side of the car now. Crap. He still hadn't answered her question.
"About half an hour," he managed as he moved to the driver's door, and cursed when the key missed the lock and nicked the paint. Dad would notice that. He managed on his second try, and then, as he opened his door and reached for the unlock button, realized he should have opened the other side first, held the door for Jessica. Too late now. She'd already climbed into the back seat.
Pull it together, man. He leaned his forearms on the car roof for a moment. He sucked in a deep breath, letting the cold air clear his mind. He was acting like a doofus. Even if Chris wasn't serious about Jessica, even if they broke up soon and Brady had a clear field ... well, she wasn't going to want to have anything to do with her ex's dweeb little brother.
The phone buzzed again and Brady snatched it up. "What?"
"Did you get her?"
He blew out a breath. "Yes. We got her. We're on our way."
"Let me talk to her."
Brady hesitated. "Doesn't she have her own phone?"
"Don't be an ass, Brady, just give her the phone."
Brady lowered his arm but didn't open his car door. Handing over the phone was like handing over her. But that was stupid, she wasn't his to hand over. God, his stomach hurt.
The window slid down, and Molly, leaning across the seats, scowled up at him. "What's the deal?"
Brady handed her the phone. "It's Chris. For ... Jessica." His voice practically cracked on her name, and he stayed where he was until Molly handed the phone back a few moments later. He swallowed hard a few times and sucked in lots of air, trying to clear his head enough to drive. Nice start to a relationship, killing the woman he loved. Not.
Finally, he was in control — mostly — and they were on the road. Molly kept a constant stream of conversation going, twisted to face Jessica in the back seat and digging her bony knees into Brady's side. He thought she was doing it on purpose, but any time he looked at her, she seemed oblivious, totally focused on Jessica.
Luckily, the back roads of Connecticut weren't as busy as the highway. Otherwise, he'd have crashed them for sure during one of his peeks into the rearview mirror. The watery sunlight cast Jessica in a kind of glow that made his chest hurt. When she laughed at something Molly said, her teeth flashed, straight and perfect, no overbite or crooked canines. He had no idea what they were discussing. All he could think about was the sweet perfume filling the car, how soft her skin had to be, what she'd taste like when they kissed.
She's your brother's girlfriend, he told himself sternly when his fantasies dug beneath her off-white wool coat and cashmere scarf, wondering what kind of body they hid. Even if she and his brother weren't a serious couple, he couldn't make a move on Chris's girl!
Not until they broke up.
That would be too late, though. She'd be back at grad school in New York, and Brady would be up at UMass again, with almost an entire year of college left. He could transfer. He'd do it in an instant. He loved New York. But it was his senior year, and what if all his credits didn't transfer? That would be stupid. He couldn't damage his future over her. Then what would he have to offer? Plus, she and Chris might not break up before the end of the year. How would he tell SIEGE his decision with that still up in the air? If he said yes to their job offer, he'd have a hard time combining that kind of work and a new relationship. He didn't even know what their rules were about that kind of thing. He wasn't sure he could handle it. Too many secrets to keep track of. Too easy to make mistakes when you were new at both.
But so what? It would be worth it. He could always quit the stupid job, five-year minimum commitment be damned.
His thoughts spun on and on, counterpart to Molly and Jessica's barely heard conversation, until he suddenly realized they were on his parents' street. He'd retraced his route without even realizing it. He pulled in behind Chris's old Nissan and shut off the car.
"I'll let them know we're here." Molly leapt out and dashed up the walkway.
Brady's heart pounded as he met Jessica at the trunk. "I've, uh, got it." He raised the lid and reached for her bag.
"Thanks." She brushed a few strands of hair off her face. "You've been awfully quiet. I'm sorry if we —"
"It's Molly," he interrupted, then felt himself blush at his rudeness. Blush, for cripes sake! "She never shuts up. It was nice to be able to tune her out for a few minutes, let someone else pick up the slack." When she laughed, his shoulders dropped a fraction and he felt looser, less tense. "Seriously, she's my best friend, but she knows how to keep a conversation going. I didn't have anything to add." Since I wasn't paying attention.
"Thanks for picking me up and everything." She looked toward the house, then back at him, her smile blinding him to anything else again. "I'm a little nervous about meeting your folks."
"Don't be, they're cool." He lifted his eyes to meet hers as she brushed at her hair again, blown back into her face by the breeze. Her light fragrance wafted toward him. It was something Brady couldn't identify, but it made him think of hunger. Heat swelled in his chest, reminding him of fifteen years ago, when he'd been five and begging his parents for one of the puppies their neighbor was selling. Longing. That's what it was.
Jessica didn't look away immediately, but paused, and her eyes seemed to refocus, really seeing him.
She looked startled, then scared, then nothing, her expression a pleasant mask. But a thrill of excitement went through Brady. She'd felt it, too.
She spun, and the connection disappeared. Disappointment replaced thrill. Brady shut the trunk and picked up the suitcase, stopping to watch Chris engulf Jessica in a hug, then kiss her as if they hadn't seen each other in a month instead of three days. Jessica accepted the kiss, no hesitation, and Brady wondered if he'd imagined the moment of connection. If he'd just wanted it so badly he'd projected it onto her.
But no, as he followed them across the yard and up the steps of the old colonial that was Rick and Donna Fitzpatrick's new home, Jessica glanced over her shoulder, then quickly back to where his mother stood in the doorway, beaming at them all. He wasn't imagining the wariness that was now in Jessica's expression.
Hope took root, a tiny glimmer deep in his heart. He couldn't betray his brother, for God's sake. He could not go after Jessica. But if she wanted him ... well, nothing he could do about that, right?
A few minutes later, he'd escaped the annoying greetings in the foyer to bring Jessica's suitcase upstairs. He was standing next to the guest room bed, telling himself he had no right to even think about opening the case, when Molly appeared in the doorway.
"What the hell are you doing?" she hissed in a loud whisper, glancing down the hallway before coming in and grabbing his arm. "Get out of here."
"What?" But Brady let her pull him down the hall into the bedroom they were sharing, the one with his and Chris's old twin beds. His parents were letting Chris and Jessica use the double bed in the guest room, and Brady fought a surge of jealousy, thinking about it.
"Will you get a grip?" Molly let go of him and shut the door. "I can't believe you."
Excerpted from Hearts Under Siege by Natalie J. Damschroder, Nina Bruhns. Copyright © 2014 Natalie J. Damschroder. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. The main characters are Brady and Molly, two government agents. It is presumed that Brady's brother Chris is dead. There is even a funeral including Chris's parents and expectant wife. Molly looks at the casket, and discovers that Chris's body isn't in there at all. They also find out that Chris has a daughter. The brothers are shot and the daughter kidnapped. Molly and Brady find out "who done it". Molly and Brady fall in love. Everyone is happy. The author ties up loose ends nicely.
I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review A tale of 2 people who have grown up as friends, never knowing their feelings for one another. Throw in a mystery of who done it, with both parties in the mix. If that is the kind of stories that you like then I think you are going to enjoy Hearts Under Siege by Natalie Damschroder. I really enjoyed this book and will be looking at Natalie's new ones.
Brady Fitzpatrick ran away from his family. He was in love with his sister-in-law, Jessica, and wanted her for his own. Now after a long estrangement, he has to go home. His forever friend, Molly Brynes, tracks him down and tells him that his brother is dead. Going home isn't easy. There are too many secrets and then there is Jessica. He works for a secret agency called SIEGE. What he didn't know is so did Chris and Molly. Was his brother murdered? Why such secrecy? This book is a combination of suspense, romance and heartbreak. It is a roller coaster ride of emotions. I loved the character of Molly. She is independent and tough but at the same time she is true to herself and those she loves. I want her to find love with Brady. She has loved him since they were children. The interwoven storylines merge with surprising results. The twists and turns never stop. This was a book that I couldn't put down. Natalie J. Damschroder has written a suspenseful story.
I'm not usually a fan of military style romance, but I love Natalie Damschroder's other books and I'm so glad I took a chance on this one. SIEGE is a super secret spy agency - the type where the people working there don't even know who else is working there. Brady is out on assignment when news comes that his brother has died. No one can reach him but Molly, another agent of SIEGE and Brady's best friend from childhood. So the adventure starts with her tracking him down, but it doesn't stop there - something is odd about the death and they both set out to find out just what it is. Hearts Under Siege is full of action, but throughout it all Brady is trying to come to grips with realizing that he might just be falling in love with Molly. There were a few times it was a little predictable, but in the end Natalie had a few surprises up her sleeve for me that I never saw coming. Both Molly and Brady were incredible characters. Their strengths and weaknesses complimented each other and neither of them was completely perfect, but very lovable in their imperfections. The agency itself only came into play as a prop to get the story started and a few times to keep it moving in the right direction. It never overshadowed our characters but hummed along nicely in the background helping to hold the storyline together. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
What an amazing intense story! It had so many twists and turns. I loved everything about Brady and Molly. Molly and Brady were such strong characters from the beginning. I loved that they were best friends since an early age and knew each other better than anyone. Molly was such a generous friend, always eager to give anything she had to Brady and his family. But I loved how she was not a pushover as well. Then there is Brady who left everything for a long time. You could feel the pain in each character of the book over his departure. It was nice for him to finally get it, to open his eyes and see what he needed to see. This story was intense, not a lighthearted romance book. But I loved it! It had love, action, emotion, friendship and secrecy. It kept me wanting to know what would happen next and holding my breath to find out.
Brady has stayed away from his family for years. He had his heart broke and doesn't want to face the loss all the time so he stays busy working for SIEGE. He is a spy going on dangerous missions and his family doesn't know what he really does. Molly has always cared for Brady. She has been his best friend for years and his family treats her like one of them. She is also a member of SIEGE and while she knows what Brady does, he has no clue she is a member of SIEGE. When Brady's brother is killed Molly has to go get Brady. Molly feels something isn't right with the death and begins to look into it her self. While she and Brady work to figure things out they find themselves in danger and while Brady has had his eyes opened to how great Molly is, she is afraid his past heart ache will never stop. Molly is such an amazing character. She loves Brady and his family and will do anything for them. She is strong, smart and doesn't let anything stop her from getting the answers she seeks. She is the type that would rather stand by and let the guy she loves be with someone else as long as they are happy. I love her and how she is constantly surprising people. Brady is a good guy who has had his head turned by a woman he can never have. He has walked away from his family and never thought he could be around them a lot. He has a dangerous job and he is good at it. I really started to like him when he really uses his eyes and sees what is in front of him. From the start I could tell this would be a great book. I got wrapped up in this family and just had to have more. There is tons of action and danger and they are working for the same company but some of them don't know it. SIEGE has many secrets and plots unraveling and Molly and Brady find themselves right in the middle of it. There is so many twist and turns you don't see coming that keep you guessing what next. I love when Brady sees his past love again and has to face the fact she may not be the girl for him. He finally sees her faults and sees how wonderful Molly is. Molly is always right there ready to help in anyway. If you want a book that keeps you intrigued and fantastic characters and romance you must try this one.
This book is a great read. Molly and Brady story is an adventure that your not going to want to miss.
Fast paced romantic suspense I received an advance reader edition of this book from the author for the purpose of providing an honest review. 5 stars I loved this book. The story grabbed me right away and I found myself having a hard time putting it down to do anything else. I love a book that can cause me to miss my bed time because I start doing the "I am going to read just 1 more chapter" routine. This book was that kind of book. Brady and Molly have been best friends since childhood. The story starts with them in their early 20's. Molly has deeper feelings for Brady but keeps them to herself. Brady and Molly are sent to pick up his brother's girlfriend at the train station and Brady falls instantly in love with Jessica. Years later, Molly gets a call from Jessica that Christopher, Brady's brother, is dead. Molly knows how to get in touch with Brady, who has become a secret agent, so she sets out to find him. The pair work together to piece together what has really happened to Christopher. Brady finally starts to see that Jessica may not have been the one for him after all and lets himself see Molly in a new way. This book was very well written. The characters felt three dimensional and their actions were very believable. The plot kept me guessing and made the book really hard to put down. I actually laid in bed wondering what had happened to Christopher. The chemistry between Brady and Molly was intense and made a little sad to know that they waited so long to be together. I would highly recommend this book to all fans of romantic suspense. I am actually hoping that this is the beginning of a new series. I would love to see some more of these agents in future books and maybe catch a peek and this pair again. This is the second book by this author that I have read and I have loved both so far. I am becoming a huge fan of Natalie J. Damschroder. I definitely plan to pick up some of her other works in the near future.
***Received from Entangled Publishing for an honest review*** Best friends. Co-spies. Lovers. Brady and Molly have it all, except the love and relationship they could have is obvious to everyone but Brady. Twelve years ago, he fell head-over-heels in love with his brother Christopher's girlfriend. Since he couldn't pursue her, he did what he thought was best and pulled away from everyone, including Molly. That decision caused their friendship to shift drastically, but it didn't cause her feelings for him to lessen. It's funny how death puts things in perspective. For Brady, it helped him see his sister-in-law in a whole new light, see how much Molly really meant to him, and see what he'd been missing all those years when he was pining for his sister-in-law. The twists in this story threw me and not in a bad way. They added layers to this story and kept me guessing, reading, and wanting to know more about what was going on. Suspense, espionage, and romance. Ms. Damschroder did a terrific job weaving all three into a story about friends who become lovers, and whose love for each other survives years of separation and little communication. They say good things come to those who wait. For Molly, her waiting paid off in a big way: she finally got the man of her dreams.
Hearts Under Siege is an engaging and enjoyable romantic suspense novel with twists and turns which kept me guessing until the end. Set in the shadowy world of espionage, the author skillfully weaves lovelorn romance between the heroine and hero with the heart stopping suspense of finding the traitor in their midst. I highly recommend this book.
What a fantastic book of suspense, mystery and romance! I loved being a part of each character's growing up and realizing how much more life can be. Molly has always been a part of the Fitzpatrick clan, including best friends with Brady. You have the story of that friendship becoming more - but the author made it believable and a page turner. Both of them are a part of SIEGE - but Brady doesn't know Molly is. When life turns upside down with a family death, things start to unravel and go wild. All seems suspicious and they both want to find out the truth. Filled with danger, heart stopping chases, heartache, and well written spy storylines, makes this an awesome page turner. Fast paced action and dialogue will make this one you can't put down. I love the loyalty woven into the family and acceptance of things you cannot change. Surprises abound in the story that you won't see coming! I highly recommend this for a romantic, suspenseful book! I received an ARC for an honest review.
Four Star Siege So many stories about falling in love with your best friend, but what if he didn't love you back. And not only that but he fell in love with the one woman he could never have, would you still love him. Molly is such a loveable character helpful, and sincere, and entirely too low maintenance. Brady doesn't see what is before his eyes after all the grass is always greener which is why for twelve years he has stayed away from his family, but it is amazing how death changes our view on life and people, and what it brings out in people too. Rick and Donna, Brady's parents are also wonderful characters so alive and real. Jessica as a character is someone who we aren't meant to particularity like and believe me this was the feeling that you got from her. Dixon who never stood a chance and Chris who is dead and Shea who no one has heard of round out the characters. The storyline starts a little slow but picks up very soon and you are involved spying, lying and all out action with bullets, car chases and kidnappings. I received a free copy for an honest review.
4.5 Stars – Awesome Read! This book was such a great read and drew me in from the first page. There was lots of action and suspense, I loved the premise of the SEIGE organization and how the different parts of the organization worked with each other, and I loved Molly and Brady’s love story. First we have Molly – loyal, dependable, compassionate, and so strong! She’s been in love with her best friend Brady forever, but he never sees her as more than just a best friend. Even though she is heart broken when Brady pulls away from her and his family, she still moves on with her life, eventually joining the SIEGE organization and even going as far as asking for basic training to defend herself even though that’s something that her job as a conduit with SIEGE doesn’t really require. I loved Molly – she was always there for Brady, giving him anything and everything that he needed, but she knows that Brady is carrying a heavy dose of unrequited love for his brother Chris’s wife Jessica, and she needs to harden her heart with regards to her romantic feelings towards Brady. Then there is Brady – sweet, honorable, but nursing a broken heart. He’s pulled away from Molly and his family because he has feelings for his brother’s wife Jessica, and it hurts too much to be around her. So he throws himself into his work with SIEGE, and has spent the past eight years on missions, spending little time with his family or Molly. Even though I wanted to give Brady a bit of a smack, I did feel bad for him when Jessica kind of strung him along when he declared his feelings for her – I think if she had given him closure from the beginning, I don’t think it would have taken him so long to get over her, and he definitely wouldn’t have pulled away from his family and Molly for so long. When Brady’s brother Chris, who happens to be another SIEGE operative (Molly knows, but Brady doesn’t), is killed on the job, Molly tracks Brady down to give him the news and they end up sharing a night of passion that has Brady rethinking his best-friend thoughts toward Molly. But Molly can’t risk more heartbreak, so she shrugs the night off as no big deal, just letting off some steam and using sex as an outlet for grief, and she bottles all her feelings back up. Meanwhile, Brady can’t stop thinking about Molly and what he is feeling for her, but Molly keeps finding ways to avoid talking about what happened, fearful that she may be opening herself up to the ultimate heart break. When evidence presents itself that Chris’s death may not be accidental or even have happened at all, Brady and Molly begin an investigation that leads them into danger and lands them in the middle of a whole bunch of lies and deceptions. As Brady becomes more certain of his feelings for Molly, he’ll need to figure out a way to convince Molly to take a chance on him and that his feelings are real. I loved Brady and Molly together. Their friendship was so real and genuine, and even though Molly has hidden her romantic feelings for Brady, there was never any doubt that their friendship ran deep and true. It was great to see Molly take care of herself and Brady acknowledge just how capable she was – even though he had a natural instinct to protect Molly, Brady realized that she was just as able to take care of herself, and she also made it easy for him by readily admitting when something was beyond her capabilities. I really enjoyed this book. It had the right balance of romance and suspense and I loved the writing style. This book is a must read for any fan of romantic suspense, whether you like it heavy on the romance or heavy on the suspense, this book will not disappoint! I received an eARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I have read a few of Natalie J Damscroder and i always think that the next book can't be as good as the previous one boy am i wrong! I totally loved the characters even tho they was times i wanted to slap Brady around the head! be warned once you start reading you wont want to put it down.It had everything you can want in a story action, drama and romance. I received a free copy from the author in exchange for a honest review
This is the first book that I have read by Natalie J. Damschroder and I truly enjoyed it. She has a great way of telling a story that includes mystery and suspense that I was hanging on to every detail until the very end. I will definitely be looking into other titles that she’s written. What happens when you are in love with your best friend and he does not even know that you exist as someone he could fall in love with? Molly is about to find out. Molly Byrnes and Brady Fitzpatrick have been best friends since they were young. She’s been a part of his life for so long that she is treated as a member of the family by each one of them. She’s also been secretly in love with him forever. Molly even accepts Brady’s choice when he falls in love at first sight with a woman he can never have. She even understands when he decides the only thing for him to do is to walk away from the situation which will cause him to stay away from her and everyone in his family. It’s been twelve years since Brady walked away from everyone he cared about. He has spent all this time trying to deal with the pain of walking away from the woman he loves and secretly working for SIEGE. The death of Brady’s brother sends Molly to search for him. Since she also secretly works for SIEGE she offers to find him and bring him home. When they return home she’ll take care of all of the funeral arrangements for the family. As she’s taking care of all the details she realizes that something is not right about the explanation she received from SIEGE about the accident. She no longer believes Chris’s death was accidental and starts her own investigation. When she discovers a shocking truth about Chris’s death she confides in Brady and they race to get all the proof that will prove that someone had planned his murder. Will they gather the proof they need? Or will they end up just like Chris? I received an e-ARC of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.