I have been in a reading slump for a few months. Life in general getting in the way. Everything I picked up just didn’t hold my interest. I remembered I downloaded an author I have never read before and I also remembered that there was a Montana man on the cover and it was romantic suspense and I thought hmmm… just maybe this is the boost I need. While I actually finished the book (yay), I think I scratched my head so much I now have a bald spot.
DEA Agent Beck Cooke (I refuse to call him “Trigger”) is hiding out in Montana after a DEA bust went horribly wrong. He’s recovering from his injuries both inside and out. He’s also in hiding due to the fact he has a nasty cartel baddie looking for him. It’s a good thing that Beck also suffers from insomnia – it’s because he was up and had a light on that he was soon to be rescuing a very famous missing person and a small child.
Oscar winning actress Ashley Swan has been missing for more than a year. No one knows if she quit Hollywood and is in hiding or if foul play is at hand. Everyone has their opinion, yet there are no leads to her whereabouts. Unfortunately, Ashley is being held on a rural Montana ranch with someone she knows very well and it’s against her will. Ashley has been dealing with a lunatic and she’s pretty much ready to die. She is tortured and starved. While she would have been raped as well, the lunatic who’s holding her hostage can’t get it up. Well, he could if she would just play a character from one of her movies. What’s kept her alive up till this point is that she refuses to do as he wishes. Until the night she decides she’s had enough and wants it to end.
The lunatic makes her dress up in clothes she wore in the movie. He also makes sure that the dress is a few sizes too small, that way it puts pressure on her broken ribs. That night he takes her out of her prison downstairs to a lavish dinner, only she won’t get to eat anything because he likes to torture her by withholding food. If that’s not bad enough, there is a four-year-old boy being held there as well. While the lunatic is all excited because Ashley has gotten into character, the doorbell rings and he rushes her back into her prison. Lucky for Ashley the door doesn’t fully close, which gives her the opportunity to grab the young child and escape from the house she has been held in for the past twelve months. She runs as fast and as quietly as she can, injured and starved, with a little boy, and trying desperately not to pass out. That’s when she sees a light in the distance.
Beck has his ranch under security. He knows someone breached his property and goes to see what’s going on. He finds a young boy hiding in the stall with a blanket. Beck is shocked and trying to figure out what’s going on, but the kid won’t speak. Adam shows Beck where Ashley is and he takes them into his house and tries the best he can to care for Ashley and Adam. Beck recognizes Ashley and puts a call out to his brother Caden, another DEA agent, and apprises him of what’s going on. Of course, a big snow storm is headed their way, so they need to stay put. Beck puts Adam at ease and watches over Ashley. She wakes up in a strange man’s house and she’s scared. He calms her down and shows her that he’s a good guy, gives her his badge and lets her know he can protect both her and Adam.
This novel should have been my booknip. I love everything that’s going on in this story up until this point. By day two with Beck, Ashley is looking at his tattoos and explaining to him what they mean. She’s just been brutally beaten, starved, and nearly raped over and over for the past year and she’s thinking he’s so hot and she’s in her right mind to dissect the meaning of a strange guy’s tattoo and nails it on the head. Not to mention how well she’s giving advice to Beck because somehow she knew his inner most demons. By day three Beck’s brother comes over with supplies and Beck sends Adam with him and his fiance to keep him safe while Beck figures out who he can trust, because lunatic madman knows people in high places and he’s blackmailed most of them. Beck finally takes her to the hospital to be checked out. He’s been in touch with the sheriff he can trust to hunt down said bad guy. By the end of day three, they are having sex and he decides they don’t need to use protection because she’s on the pill. How does he know she’s on the pill? I just chalked it up to him having Ashley’s woo-woo crystal ball. By day four they are calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend and by the end of the night they are in love and wanting to adopt Adam.
Of course, the cartel dude has been watching the news and knows the lunatic is looking for Ashley and makes a deal with him. He gets Beck and the madman gets Ashley, plus mister money pants kidnapper also needs to hand over two million dollars. Of course, the DEA swoops in and the day is saved. We fast forward a little and they track down Adam’s father, who is in prison (which sets up the next book), and he signs over custody of his son to Ashley and Beck. They live happily ever after. The End.
I had whiplash with this book. I kept scratching my head because I just couldn’t get over the fact how quickly this all went down. So many opportunities to dig deep and watch two broken people find each other in all the ugliness. I just couldn’t get on board with how this played out timeline wise. It’s just nuts. I really loved the author’s voice, so I may give the next book a chance. I just hope it’s somewhat meatier with a lot more depth. Of course, your mileage may vary. In that case, happy reading!
A Montana man always protects the woman he loves…
He discovered her during a Montana blizzard, freezing cold, impossibly vulnerable, a little boy by her side. Undercover DEA Agent Beck “Trigger” Cooke is astonished to recognize Ashley Swan—award-winning actress, famous beauty—and missing for over a year. To keep her and the child hidden from a sadistic madman, he secrets the pair away to his isolated home.
No longer a prisoner, and protected at Hope Ranch, Ashley recovers and learns the tall, tempting federal agent may have a dark past, but it hasn’t destroyed his sense of honor.
As they shed past roles and find common ground, Ashley and Trigger can’t help but fall slowly, carefully, in love. But danger still lurks outside the boundaries of Hope Ranch, for until her crazed captor is brought to justice, and Trigger’s undercover past is laid to rest, none of them will ever be truly safe…
No excerpt available.