Derek is the serious, straight-laced brother and Ethan’s twin. He is the rule follower and the one you can count on. All in all, I didn’t have any expectations of Kept other than I needed to read it to get to Unleashed. And once I started it, I paused because I can be a very hard sell for the ‘poor little rich girl‘ (Erin McCarthy & Jo Leigh have sold me on the idea in the past) so I ‘kept’ reading.
Gemini is covering security for a high-society charity function and Derek meets Alyssa Miles when he throws her out of the Bancroft’s study. What he doesn’t know is she is a reformed party girl who is trying to make some kind of relationship with her father, Oscar Van Weldt. Daddy is being kind enough to use her as the face of the Van Weldt Jeweler’s Campaign “Diamonds for All.” Of course, he expects his bastard daughter to behave well, like a lady and not like a drunk, drugged-out party girl and tabloid queen, but they want to use her fame to sell Diamonds. Nice family, huh?
Derek just thinks she is a spoiled, rich chick he really shouldn’t be taking home to break his almost year-long dry spell with and he doesn’t really believe she is breaking a dry spell of her own (at least not at first). Alyssa loves the idea Derek has no clue who she is and, like Cinderella, she gets the hell out of Dodge before the shine comes off the glass slipper. She figures he will Googles her, believe what he reads and doesn’t even want to be around when he comes across the nekkid pictures on the Internet her sleazy ex-boyfriend put on his FacePlace page.
Before the warm glow warms off and guilt sets in she calls for her pumpkin and asks Derek to drop her off to meet her car. With a kiss they depart and she hopes to God he doesn’t sell the story to the press. Then Alyssa throws a curve-ball into someone’s plans by deciding to spend the night at her father’s, because Alyssa was supposed to be at breakfast bright and early. She gets there just in time to hear shots fired and walks in to what looks like the aftermath of a murder-suicide. And you thought your family didn’t get along…
Older brother Danny is assigning a new case to Derek because he knows he is perfect for the job. He needs someone cool and in control, who won’t be blown away by fame or a pretty face. Derek is the exactly the man to watch over Alyssa Miles. Harold Van Weldt has hired Gemini to keep an eye on his niece, whom he thinks is one step away from being out of control again. And is she? There seems to be an awful lot of drugs, blood, diamonds, and cash going around and who the hell knows what to believe? Can Derek put his trust in the pretty girl who has already done one stay in rehab and now fears she is being drugged?
As with Caught Jami Alden shines with her characters and this time her romance is amazing, raw, rough and hot in all the right ways. Derek and Alyssa have a relationship that gets to grow and isn’t overshadowed by the suspense but made stronger for it. And I love to watch the brothers together. They interact so well, no matter if they are giving each other shit over something or if they need help. Their bond is grand. The bad guys are a bit over the top as bad guys can be but not enough to take away from the story.
For a novel I started reading more to get to the next book, I now wonder if it will be as good, although it is a second chance story. I do enjoy them, so I still have high hopes for Danny’s story. Jami Alden really shines in Kept and I can’t wait to see what she Unleashes next.
Read more reviews and other information about this series by following its tag.
Ethan and Derek Taggart: they’re the men of Gemini, and when it comes to sheet-scorching undercover work, nobody does it better. The only one they answer to is big brother Danny – that is, until the right women come along to grab the reins and crack the whip as hard as the Taggart men like it…
Security is Derek Taggart’s game, and he plays it straight – no margin for error, no time to fool around…except with one hot little number who changes everything. He takes her home when she needs a ride – one she’ll never forget. The problem is Derek can’t forget her, a total about-face for a guy who keeps his enemies closer than his lovers. Then he finds out the sexy dynamo is Alyssa Miles, notorious party girl and darling of the gossip rags. It’s time to walk away and never look back, which would be a hell of a lot easier if his agency didn’t desperately need the high-profile gig her family’s offering: a minor detail that consists mainly of Derek watching Alyssa 24/7. Keeping an eagle eye on every inch of Alyssa’s nubile body isn’t exactly a hardship – the problem is keeping his hands off and his brain on when things go dangerously wrong…
Read the excerpt.
Other books in the series:
|and Book 3: Unleashed by Jami Alden (29 Sep 09)|