Genre: Romance; Military Romance; Erotic Romance
What if you discovered all you ever wanted were the things you left behind?
CIA Paramilitary Operator Matt Kincaid is back in tiny Walton Springs, only to find Janey Blackmon waiting to ask him a favor. Matt’s not there to reminisce with the girl he’s never forgotten…and he’s definitely not there to divulge government secrets about her missing brother.
Ten years and Janey hasn’t forgotten the love of her life…or that he abandoned her on prom night. Bound by duty and honor, he was shipped out to parts unknown by Uncle Sam. But she knew he’d go because adventure is in Matt’s blood. Being stuck in a small town with plain Jane the librarian wasn’t ever in his plans.
Trapped by a flood, with no phone or power, desire tempts them both. Will passion—and Matt’s offer to recreate prom night—lead to a future together? Or are they just dancing in the dark?
Extremely steamy moments aside, I’m not sure how to describe this story other than precious and precarious. There has always been a (partly unspoken) spark between Janey and Matt, but the possibilities of ‘them’ were cut short many years ago by Matt’s decision to work in the most secret ventures of the country’s government. Now, stuck together in an odd shift of fate, the two battle with their own desires, doubts, and still-burning love.
The romance is precious because they both are willing to make sacrifices for the other despite the uncertainty of what those sacrifices will be. Janey plans to settle on having her ‘one perfect day’ knowing she would never ask Matt to leave his career, while still doubting he even cares about her as much as she does him. Matt, likewise, toggles between sacrificing their relationship in order to keep her out of that world, and giving up that world altogether.
As well, the way Matt thinks about Janey and how perfect she is to him is as beautiful as Janey’s determination of his happiness at the expense of her own wants. My absolute favorite part was the “please give me today” scene. That’s the heart of romance right there and clever too! …but I won’t spoil it for you.
The thoughts of precariousness in the story comes from my fear that the severity of the circumstances of this meeting and the overall grave nature of Matt’s life will continue to keep them apart. Regardless of any extent of willingness to make changes, some things are simply out of a person’s control…certainly if you’ve already made horrible enemies. There’s also the suspicion that even outside of that life, Matt will really be able to fully open up to Janey.
Nevertheless, this installment of Shadow Heroes is overall positive, endearing, and very well-written. I will be looking forward to a new piece of the story in the next book!
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((review also submitted to Amazon and Goodreads))
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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden
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