From bestselling author Kate Douglas comes a breathtaking tale of unraveling secrets, heart-stopping passion, and a love that conquers all...
SECRETS THREATENING TO CONSUME
Lola Monroe knows that appearances can be deceiving-even in the most beautiful of places and angelic of faces. She's seen how the ugliest rumors and lies can destroy women's lives and careers. So when roommate's brother-in-law shows up at Lola's doorstep-unannounced, unassuming, and unbelievably gorgeous-she can't help but wonder if he's hiding something behind that handsome face, that sly smile, and those tempting lips...
PASSION WORTH FIGHTING FOR
A battle-scarred veteran with devilish looks, Ben Lowell has spent his entire life running from his past, his family-and his deepest, darkest secrets. When he meets Lola, he knows in his heart he can trust her with the truth, even if it means baring his soul and losing her forever. Lola wants to help Ben find redemption by reconciling with his family. But when she discovers more skeletons hiding in his closet-and more dangers waiting in the shadows-the powerful love that binds them together could be the one thing that tears them apart...
About the Author
A lifelong California native, Kate Douglas has always loved the power of stories, especially romances. When it's done right, a good book draws a reader into the author's imaginary world, into the lives of people created from imagination and stardust, through the turmoil, the twists and turns of the story's plot, until reaching that ever elusivebut always promisedhappy ending.
Read an Excerpt
By Kate Douglas
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Kate Douglas
All rights reserved.
San Francisco, CA — April 30
Wind whipped the branches overhead, rain pounded the roof of the car, and dark leaves slapped against the windshield. RJ, the little shit, sat in the passenger seat, turned with his back to the door, seatbelt cinched tight, eyes wide. Staring at him. Ben took another swallow of his beer. He already had a buzz so he didn't really need it, but it was worth the sour taste in his mouth just to watch his kid brother squirm.
His kid brother ... the family golden boy, at least as far as their parents were concerned. He used to hold that title. He'd been the one Mom was grooming to be the star, and then along came perfect little Richie, subsequently christened RJ because it sounded better. More in tune with the superstar image dear old Mom wanted the kid to have. Why not? He had everything else. Everything RJ touched turned to gold — including the three Olympic medals he'd won.
A small branch hit the hood of the car and skittered up against the windshield. RJ flinched. "Scared ya, huh, kid?" Laughing, Ben punched it, and the black Dodge Viper leapt forward, fishtailing on the wet asphalt. At least when he boosted a car, he got good wheels.
This baby was fast.
He wrapped his fingers around the gearshift. Really a sweet ride.
"Ben! Look out!" RJ braced his hands on the dash.
Ben snapped his attention back to the road, just in time to see the stricken face of a young woman and the wide, terrified eyes of a little boy. And then the child disappeared beneath the front end of the Viper and the woman rolled across the hood, slammed into the windshield, and flew off to the right, her body twisted, arms and legs flailing like a broken doll.
RJ screamed, and he kept screaming, and that was the last thing Ben heard as he lurched forward in the bed, jerked awake, his heart thundering in his ears.
He sat there in the dark, shivering from the blast of air-conditioning hitting his sweat-soaked body, thoughts scattered, wondering if he'd made any noise, if any of the guys had heard him. He raised his head, realized he was alone in a quiet hotel room.
He wasn't in Kabul, not down at Spin B.
"Thank God." He bowed his head, and ran his fingers through hair that had grown well beyond his regulation military cut. He wasn't in the Middle East; he was in a hotel just north of the airport in San Francisco where he'd grabbed a room after his delayed flight finally got in around three this morning. All of his belongings would soon be headed for storage at Camp Parks — all but what he'd thrown into his duffle for the trip home.
Except, where the hell was home? The US Army had been his home for almost twenty years. He hadn't communicated with his parents in all that time, hadn't heard from his brother.
Not that RJ hadn't made his presence known. Those damned dreams had kept the kid sufficiently involved in Ben's life ever since the last time they were together.
The night Ben Lowell totally fucked up his life, his brother's life, and the lives of two innocent victims.
Because of him, a talented young Olympian's career was destroyed.
Because of him, a young mother and her child had died.
Their blood would forever be on Ben's hands. Somehow, before the nightmares won, before he took another cowardly way out — a more permanent one — he had to try and make this right. He wasn't really sure where to start, but sometimes the most obvious steps were the best.
Telling the truth after all these years was going to kill him. But he had to do it, had to admit what a fuckup he'd been. He'd been dying inside for the last twenty years. Looking around the hotel room, listening to his own breath rushing from his lungs, the racing cadence of his heart, he knew he had to find the courage to take that first step, one apology at a time.
* * *
Lola Monroe checked the temperature on the oven, turned it down a notch, and then poured herself a glass of wine. Mandy was due home in a few minutes, so she poured an extra glass of Chardonnay for her baby sister and carried it into the living room, careful not to trip over Rico. Their aging basset hound liked to sleep in major pathways throughout their house. It made it easier for him to keep track of them.
She'd just settled into the rocker by the window when she heard Mandy's key in the lock. Lola held out the chilled glass as her sister walked through the front door.
"Oh, thank you. You must have heard me wishing for this." Mandy took the glass, dropped her tote bag on the floor by the sofa, and sat. "I'm beat, but it sure smells good in here."
"Lasagna. I'd planned to have it ready when Kaz and Jake got home."
Mandy took a sip. "I thought they'd be here by now."
"Nope. They're spending the night at Cassie and Nate Dunagan's in Sonoma County. I really thought they'd be coming back tonight, but Kaz called and said they wanted to stay over another night. There's no reason we can't eat it."
Slipping her sandals off, Mandy took another sip of her wine and leaned back against the soft cushions. "I was hoping they'd come back. I need to see Kaz to be sure she's okay. It's just awful what happened to them. I mean, she said the bullet just grazed him, thank goodness, but ... crap, Lola. They both could have died!" She stared into her glass for a moment and then gazed over the rim at Lola.
"I know. I couldn't sleep last night. I kept thinking about what happened. What could have happened."
"Yeah." Mandy stared into her glass. "I imagine they need some time together without anything else to worry about. Jake's got to be feeling pretty guilty over the whole thing."
"He's not the only one." Lola stared into the golden liquid in her glass. "It's my fault."
Mandy was across the room and grabbing Lola's hand before she finished her sentence. "No it's not. You had no way of knowing Jake didn't take those horrible nude pictures of Kaz. They were awful. I was as mad at him as you were."
"Hon, I should have looked closer at those pictures before giving them to Kaz. I had no idea Jake hadn't taken them, but I should have. They were terrible, and he's a talented photographer, but all I could think when I saw them was that I didn't want her to go to that premiere and see them on the walls. If I'd only looked at all of them, I would have known they weren't his pictures."
If she hadn't freaked out and given them to Kaz, none of this would have happened. Not Kaz getting kidnapped or Jake getting shot. None of it. But she'd given Kaz those damned photos, exactly as that psychopath out of Jacob's past had planned.
Furious, Kaz had gone to the reception where she and Jake were featured — the beautiful model and her sexy photographer and an expensive new line of body jewelry — except Kaz had thrown the envelope filled with disgusting shots in Jake's face and stalked out of the reception, directly into the waiting arms of a madman.
"But Jake saved her, Lola. Don't forget that. She's okay and so is he, and I would guess that if they've decided to stay up there for another night in spite of their injuries, it's because they want to be together. It's been pretty intense between them, and it could be they just need to explore what they're feeling. That's a good thing. Kaz deserves some happiness, don't you agree?"
Lola raised her head and managed to smile. "Yeah, she does. But ya know what? So do we. There have got to be a couple of decent men left out there."
Mandy giggled. "Well, if you find one, let me know."
"There's always Marcus Reed." Lola raised an eyebrow. Mandy had been lusting after him since long before they knew Jake, who was Marc's best friend. She still had a picture of him on the bulletin board in her bedroom, one she'd cut out of People magazine. He'd been named one of the year's sexiest young millionaires.
Mandy merely shook her head. "Yeah. Right. The drop-dead gorgeous multi-gazillionaire is going to fall for the dorky little barista at the neighborhood coffee shop."
"Have you ever seen him in person? Kaz says he's a real sweetheart."
"I thought I saw him go by the coffee shop on a bicycle one time, but I doubt it was him. This guy was all by himself on an old Schwinn. Not the sort of wheels you'd expect a rich dude to have."
"Probably not." Lola stood. "C'mon. Dinner should be ready. We need to keep up our strength in case some good-looking, smart, nice, single guy shows up at the door."
"Yeah. Like that's gonna happen." Laughing, Mandy grabbed her hand and dragged Lola into the kitchen.
"Well, if he does," Lola said, "As the older and wiser sister, I get first dibs!"
* * *
Ben walked away from his parents' Marin home, got into the rental car, and drove a couple of blocks to a small cemetery. He'd been here once before, the night before he left for boot camp. It had been right after he was cleared of any charges in that terrible wreck, before RJ had told anyone what really happened.
Another car pulled in behind him and parked near the entrance to the parking area — a dark sedan with two men sitting in the front seat — but other than that, he was alone. He went to the spot he remembered, toward the back of the cemetery where the plots were small and marked with flat headstones, and parked in a shady space beside a redwood tree. He didn't get out. Instead, he stared blindly at the dashboard.
He couldn't believe it. RJ had never told the judge the truth. When Ben knocked on the door at his parents' home, wondering if they still lived there, if they'd even speak to him, his mother had opened the door and greeted him like the prodigal son. He was welcomed home with hugs and questions about where he'd been, why he'd stayed away so long. Then she'd called his father, and the man who never put his sons ahead of his job had rushed home from work to see for himself that his long-lost son had come home.
His parents weren't the most forgiving sort — the last thing he'd expected was to be welcomed home. But their response when he'd asked about RJ had left him angry and speechless.
They didn't want to hear his name. His parents had disowned their youngest son; they hadn't heard from him since the trial ended and he'd been sent away. Not since he'd been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for killing two people while driving a stolen car ... a car Ben had actually stolen; the one he — not RJ — had been driving that night.
His mother had sounded disappointed that the stolen car charges had been dropped. Ben hadn't known what to say, so once again he'd taken the coward's way out and kept his mouth shut. In his defense, he had a lot to process. He'd been so certain that RJ, when faced with any kind of jail time, would have told the truth, but he hadn't. Not one word to anyone, as far as Ben could tell.
No matter how he worked it out in his head, it came out all wrong. Made him an even bigger dick. The kid brother he'd dragged with him, the sixteen-year-old Olympian he'd resented so much, had never fessed up. He'd stuck to that story Ben asked him to tell, that RJ was driving the stolen car because Ben was too drunk to drive. That RJ had been the one to kill that poor woman and her son.
He never said a word. Not to his parents, not to the arresting officer, not to the judge. He'd been sentenced to the California Youth Authority, sent away to what was essentially a prison, even though he was innocent.
RJ had done it to protect Ben. No wonder no one had ever come after him, no one had pulled him out of formation and arrested him for manslaughter.
Because RJ had taken the fall, and he'd never admitted the truth — that Ben was guilty, not him. But why?
That night of the wreck, Ben had been so drunk he'd been heaving his guts out while RJ tried to help the little kid. He remembered that much, but for almost twenty years, he'd tried to forget asking RJ to take the blame and tell the cops he'd been driving. Ben had been so goddamned jealous of RJ, of his fame, of the fact he was their parents' favorite, that he didn't care what happened. He'd rationalized it all; told RJ that since he was just sixteen and Ben was an adult and too drunk to get behind the wheel, he could go to prison for a damned long time. As much as he hated himself for doing it, he remembered asking his brother to lie, but he didn't remember much else after the mother and her child died that night.
He remembered getting arrested. Impossible to forget that. They'd both gotten out when their father had come and posted bail and taken them home, but only RJ had been charged. Ben had enlisted while RJ's case was still in court. He'd never contacted his parents to find out how it all ended. Over the years, he'd just figured RJ had gotten off. He was a kid. He hadn't been drinking. Hell, he was a damned Olympian, a media star. Girls asked for his autograph. He had an agent, for fuck's sake.
All those years, he'd imagined his brother living the highlife, while he slogged away in war zones around the world. They'd never send RJ to prison.
Except they did.
His mother said she was sure he'd gotten out a long time ago, but no, they hadn't kept in touch. Didn't know where he was, what he was doing. Didn't care.
In their eyes he had thrown away a career they'd given him. It was a slap in the face to two parents who'd sacrificed everything for an ungrateful child who hadn't cared how much his actions humiliated and embarrassed them. They didn't care that two people were dead. No, they'd been upset because he'd made them look like terrible parents, to have raised such a flawed and thankless son.
No mention of the grueling hours of training RJ had gone through, the lost childhood while he'd spent every free moment with a harsh coach, swimming, perfecting his style, building strength and endurance.
His parents said RJ had failed them.
Even Ben knew it was his parents who had failed their sons. They never should have been parents, but he didn't tell them that. He didn't say anything. He'd merely turned away and walked out the front door.
Now, sitting here in the rental car, parked at the cemetery where a mother and her son would rest forever, he realized there was only one thing he could do. He had to find RJ. Find out what happened to him. Find out if he was okay.
He would find a way to make things right.
He gazed across the shadowy expanse of green, at the wilted flowers on a few graves, and knew exactly where the young woman and her child were buried. But just like that other night when he'd come here, he didn't have the courage to walk across the grass. He was a fucking coward, afraid to stand over her grave and apologize for the terrible thing he'd done.
He'd start with RJ. Once he cleared things with his brother, maybe then he'd be able to somehow beg forgiveness of that poor woman.
* * *
Ben scanned his laptop, but he hadn't expected this to be so hard. It was after seven, the day just about shot, when he picked up a newspaper and stopped at a cafe in the Tenderloin district for something to eat. No sign of RJ. He'd tried searching under Richard Lowell and RJ Cameron, but found only a small amount of info about his Olympic wins and brief career, a short article about his time at the California Youth Authority for involuntary manslaughter, but no recent word of his brother, not when he got out or anything about him after the trial ended.
As a juvenile, the records had been sealed.
He tried to remember if RJ had any friends, but the only one he recalled was some nerdy twerp named Marc. Marc something. Started with an R ...
The waitress brought him a cup of coffee and took his order. He finished the first section of the paper and opened the next, the one with more local news. A photo of a sharp-looking, dark-haired man at some sort of premiere caught his attention. He looked vaguely familiar. Ben glanced at the caption: Marcus Reed. Could this be a grown-up version of Marc? He was introducing some kind of fancy new jewelry business. It had to be the same guy.
Maybe he'd know how to find RJ. Now, if Ben could just find Marcus Reed. He pulled out a twenty and caught the waitress's attention. "I have to leave. This should cover the burger. Give it to someone who can use a free meal." Handing her the money, he went in search of Marc.
* * *
It was after nine when Ben pulled up in front of what looked like a converted row house on 23rd Avenue, a few blocks south of Golden Gate Park. Actually, the whole street was lined with similar houses — in all shapes, sizes, and colors — creating a colorful row of seemingly attached yet distinctly separate homes with the garages beneath, living quarters above.
The streetlight was out, which made it feel even darker in the neighborhood than it already was. It was late — too late to be knocking on a stranger's door, and he knew he should wait until tomorrow, but now that he was so damned close to finding RJ, he couldn't stop. Not after finally talking Marc into giving him the address, even though this wasn't RJ's place.
Excerpted from Redemption by Kate Douglas. Copyright © 2016 Kate Douglas. 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ben’s home had been the U S Army for almost twenty years. Ben had no interaction with his parents or brother in that time. Ben had ruined his, his brothers, and two innocent strangers lives when he was younger. The young mother and her son was the innocent strangers and they died. RJ his brother could no longer compete in the Olympics he already had earned three gold medals. Lola’s sister was Mandy . Lola felt it was her fault Kaz got kidnapped and Jake got shot. Lola had given Kaz some disgusting pictures of Kaz that she thought Jake had taken. RJ who used the name of Jake now had lied when Ben had asked him after the car accident as Ben was drunk but he believed as RJ/Jake was a minor he would not get in deep trouble but he was wrong and RJ/Jake had went to jail. When RJ/Jake toke the blame for the accident. Their parents had disowned RJ/Jake but Ben was welcomed home by his parents. Lola was thirty one and managed a modeling agency. For some reason she was fascinated with Ben. they had talked to RJ/Jake and he did verify Ben was his brother. Kaz was Jake’s girl. Jake and Kaz were coming back the next day. When together again Jake had forgiven Ben. Someone is after Ben and he doesn’t know why. Ben is also attracted to Lola and he wants to get to know her but is worried anyone around him will get hurt. I liked this story alot. It had a good plot and was written well. I felt Ben had paid for what he did and was so glad Jake had forgiven him. I am also glad Ben forgave himself with Lola’s help. Also that he felt he had finally found a family. There were some hot erotic scenes in this story. I liked the twists and turns in this story . I recommend. I received an ARC Of this story for an honest review.
Even though this is the second book in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone without any issues. Ben knocks on his brother’s door and wants to make amends. He blamed his brother for something horrific years ago and now wants things to be set right. Lola answers the door and he immediately falls for her from the moment he sees her. It shocks him to his core, but he can’t deny the feelings she brings out. Lola has had a terrible past with men, but even she can’t deny the attraction between her and Ben. Even though he has done something so awful, she sees the good in him and knows that he has paid a price for those sins. Lola convinces Ben that it is time to let go and move forward. The author did a great job at redeeming the hero. Not many characters can come back from what was done, but she made me, as the reader, care for Ben and feel terrible for him and the turmoil and guilt he has lived with. Even though he let his brother take the blame all those years ago, he paid a price and went into the military which made him realize he needed to do the right thing. As for the attraction between Ben and Lola, their chemistry and feelings were immediate and so believable and hot. I wanted them together from the first moment and had hoped they could work past their individual issues to be together. This IS a story about Redemption, love, and moving forward. It’s the kind of story that makes the reader feel along with the characters and not want to put the book down. *copy provided for review.
Great Book! This is a great book; this is the second book in the Intimate Relations series by Kate Douglas. Lola Monroe knows that appearances can be deceiving, so when her roommate’s brother-in-law shows up at Lola’s doorstep, she can’t help but wonder what he is hiding. Ben Lowell has spent his entire life running from his past and his family, but when he meets Lola, he knows he can trust her. If you are looking for a great romance with suspense and mystery then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Ben has been living with the guilt for the last 20 years and has finally come home to see his brother. Jake is now engaged to Kaz and Ben is introduced to her roommates Lola and Mandy. Ben’s attraction of Lola is instant and as they grow closure strange things keep happening to Ben, why are people following him. I enjoyed the suspense and mystery, the relationship between Ben and Lola moved and super speed and there are some parts that move a bit slow. Overall I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next one.
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 3/4 Redemption picks up where Intimate left off. We got to learn a lot about Ben in book one of this series. But in Redemption we learn a lot more about Ben and his way of thinking. Ben has been battling the demons from his past. But now he has a chance to face those demons and slay them. Ben might be surprised by the reception he gets when he gets home. I liked this story. It was a great continuation of Ben & Jake’s story. I was happy to see the brothers resolve some of their issues. I also really like Ben and Lola together. While the story line moved very face it was a good journey. I am looking forward to the next installment into this series. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & St. Martin's Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Ben Lowell was responsible for the death of a mother and her son. He stole a car and hit them when he was joy riding. He let his younger brother take the blame. Twenty years later he wants to find him and apologize. Can Ben find the redemption that he needs? Kate Douglas did a wonderful job. She was able to show that Ben was a good person and that he wanted to own up to his mistakes. He joined the army and escaped his responsibility. He never knew that his brother had been convicted of involuntary manslaughter. As the story unfolded I understood Ben's situation. I saw that his guilt and shame were destroying him. I was shocked at how forgiving his brother, Jake, was. I asked myself if I could be that understanding and the answer was probably not. Lola was a perceptive and intelligent woman. She was drawn to Ben in spite of his poor judgment. She could see the real man. Their love was touching. I was moved by how protective they were of each other. Redemption has it all. There is forgiveness, love, family and unbearable suspense. This story kept me on the edge of my seat. I wanted Ben and Lola to get the HEA that they deserved. I received a copy of Redemption in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
3.75 stars---REDEMPTION is the second full length installment in Kate Douglas’s contemporary, adult INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS romantic, suspense series. This is office manger Lola Monroe, and US army major Ben Lowell’s story line. REDEMPTION can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and back story I recommend reading the series in order as there is quite a bit of background information revealed in the previous installments. Some of the timeline of REDEMPTION overlaps with the events of INTIMATE. There is also a prequel novella-TANGLED- that can be found in the HOT ALPHAS anthology (May 2015). Told from dual third person perspectives (Lola and Ben) REDEMPTION focuses on Ben Lowell’s return to civilian life, and the family he left behind twenty years earlier. Ben and his brother RJ aka Jake (INTIMATE #1) haven’t seen one another for close to twenty years and in the ensuing time Ben has lived with so much guilt that it threatens to destroy his life. Ben will discover that everything and everyone he knew has changed, and with it comes the realization that to move forward you have to forget about the past-a past steeped in guilt, heartbreak and the biggest mistake of his life. Enter Lola Monroe-Jake’s fiance’s former roommate- and the woman who would save Ben from himself. REDEMPTION is a romantic suspense story where Ben’s time in the Middle East follows our hero home to San Francisco and into the lives of the people he loves. The secrets military operations, and possible government involvement find Ben searching for the truth about the attack in Afghanistan that left him for dead, and the continuing attacks at home on US soil. Saying that, there is plenty of background information and history about the time Ben spent in the Middle East, and the possible connections to US Senator back home. The relationship between Ben and Lola is quick to develop: there is an immediate and visceral attraction between our leading characters one that is sated within hours of introduction. The quick friends to lovers scenario finds Ben and Lola proclaiming their love for one another within a matter of days. The $ex scenes are seductive and intense. There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Ben’s brother Jake and his fiancé Kaz (INTIMATE #1); Nate and Cassie Dunagan (TANGLED .5); Lola’s roommate/half-sister Mandy Monroe, who may or may not have a thing for Jake’s best friend and IT specialist/ Intimate Jewelry owner Marcus Reed. We are also introduced to several law enforcement officers, agents from the FBI, and the requisite evil that comes with many faces-some familiar and some not. There is plenty of action, mystery, and suspense. REDEMPTION is an entertaining story line where the intrigue builds throughout the story. There are twists and turns, betrayal and revenge, family and friendship, forgiveness and looking forward towards a happily ever after. The premise is infinitely detailed; the main characters are flirty, friendly and intense; the romance is a quick build to a promise for the future. REDEMPTION is a great read for fans of romantic suspense and family love.
Redemption, Kate Douglas Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: Romance I enjoyed the first novel in this series but with a couple of reservations about communication between the leads, Kaz and Jake. Then getting into this book, Jake’s brother Ben is thinking about the mistakes Jake and Kaz made in not being open with each other, not telling each other what they were concerned about, and how it led to danger for them. So I guess my reservations were unfounded, and it was part of the set up for this story :-) Sorry Kate, I understand now. We met Ben at the end of the last book, and he’s such a haunted character. Been running from himself and what he did for the last twenty years, from his guilt at letting Jake down, from his horror at being responsible for the deaths of a mother and son. He joined the Army as soon as the police let him go, before the trial, assuming that because of his age Jake would get off lightly..now he’s horrified to hear what happened, to find out how Jake was abandoned by his parents. Luckily he’s has one stalwart supporter though it all, their childhood friend Marcus ( and I’m hoping he and Mandy are the subjects of book three!) Ben wants to get to know Jake, is back in the US to finish his service with only a few months left, and gets taken in by the girls, Kaz, Lola and her sister Mandy. They are so warm and openhearted, didn’t have the greatest family lives themselves and have created their own little trio, which recently has widened to include Jake and Marcus and now Ben, and brings in others when they feel they need the support. They just seem to welcome everyone with open arms ( and platefuls of much appreciated home cooking) and its really lovely to read. I’d love friends like that, to be like that. As soon as Ben sees Lola something stirs for both of them, an attraction that just can’t be ignored and its not long before they’re headlong in a sexy, sensual, steamy romance. Neither has ever felt like this before, but go along with it, trusting in their feelings. There’s some very erotic and heated encounters, much as there was between Kaz and Jake....well written scenes, not the over done, dull, repetitive ones I’ve complained about in other novels recently. It takes more than endless pages of dirty phrases and sex at every possible moment to make a good and sensual book. Sadly I’ve had a clutch of the other sort over the last couple of weeks, not all review books thankfully, some free, some KU so I’ve been able to just delete them. Its great then to get back to an author who knows that it takes more to write a good sex scene, and works to keep the balance of sex and story correct. Ben’s been serving in some tough areas, and doesn’t realise it but the danger didn’t stay abroad, but has followed him back bringing the girls, Marc and Jake into danger too. It’s well written and kept me guessing who and what was behind it, didn’t get it right but that’s part of the fun, seeing how things tie up together, what I missed in trying to work it out. Of course bringing danger to them all gives Ben even more guilt but Lola, clever and sound thinking Lola, persuades him its not his fault, that its the perpetrators who are to blame. He needs that reassurance, he’s found something to live for in her and Jake, but at times over the past years the guilt has been such that he courted the danger, uncaring of if he died...suicidal thoughts have plagued him too. Lola wants to keep him away from that mind-se
Not Kate Douglas' Best I know I've read other books by Ms. Douglas - I specifically remember the story with the Colonel and the winery. So I went in expecting to enjoy this book. I did not. I won't say it was dreadful, but there were large swaths of it, particularly in the early portions of the book, where I felt like pieces of the story were missing. Judging by the description of book 1 in this series, I didn't, since the events of that book appear to take place prior to this one. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the scenes which are referenced in this book (the brothers going home to see their parents together) actually did happen in the 1st book. Either way, it wasn't in here, and it was incredibly distracting. If you're going to make allusions to the events, show them. Don't just brush it under the carpet. There were good points to this story, such as the fact that Ben was not afraid to let his guard down and had his breakdowns over everything that happened to him. I liked that she got to be the stronger one emotionally for a good portion of the book. In the end, at most, I can give this three gargoyles. I will definitely read other books by Ms. Douglas, but I'm not sure I can stomach another one in this series. We shall see.
there is intrigue and lots of exciting danger with lots of twists and turns till you get to the end and feel like you got off a rollercoaster of excitement. At the end of Intimate, book 1 of the Intimate Series, Jake's brother Ben is introduced and by that point all I could say was that there was nothing appealing to me about him. But that didn't stop me from wanting to know his story. Wow can this author change ones viewpoint in a mind-blowing and sensitive manner. He character is written as a broken person seeking redemption and as the plot goes on you watch him develop a refined character through love, family and forgiveness. This book will keep the reader involved in the extremely believable plot with multiple finely developed characters interweaving throughout the storyline. The main characters are Ben and feisty Lola. Lola and her sister Mindy are Kaz's roommates and are key parts to this series. Once again there is intrigue and lots of exciting danger with lots of twists and turns till you get to the end and feel like you got off a rollercoaster of excitement. I recommend you read this series and I look forward to I hope the next in series involving Marc and Mandy. Notice how I said hope because I think they belong together but one never knows what an author has up their sleeve. An ARC copy was gifted in exchange for an honest opinion via Netgalley.