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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Drea's Review: Secret Harbor


We're hosting a release week blitz stop for Anna Sullivan's Secret Harbor today. 

One lucky commenter will get a print copy of Secret Harbor (US/Canada only)! 

Check out the excerpt and our review:

The book:

 
Title: Secret Harbor
Author: Anna Sullivan
Series: Windfall Island, #3
Format: e-book
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Length: Novel (386 pages)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Netgalley
Buy: AmazonB&NiBooks,
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Ten years ago, Paige Walker left her beloved home of Windfall Island to become an actress in Hollywood. Now she's coming back a star, honored with awards and beset by scandal. Escaping from a tabloid frenzy of gossip and lies, Paige wants nothing more than to surround herself with old friends. She never expected to meet an infuriating—and sexy—stranger . . . or to find herself in true danger.

Brilliant attorney Alec Barclay came to Windfall to look for the kidnapped, long-lost heir to the Stanhope family fortune. What he finds is the most beautiful and enigmatic woman he has ever known. If his suspicions are correct, she's the heir he's been looking for . . . and the target of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn together by desire—but haunted by secrets of the past—Alec and Paige try to unlock a mystery as dangerous as it is irresistible. But every passion has a price...

Excerpt:

“Maybe we could call a truce while I’m here.”
“Okay,” she said dubiously.
“What’s wrong? Can’t control yourself around me?”
She huffed out a slight laugh. “So much for the truce.”
Alec stuffed his hands in his pockets, ashamed for the first time in as long as he could recall. He just couldn’t seem to stop poking at her.
“You want to coexist,” she continued, “but how are we going to do that peacefully until you figure out why you’re such a jerk—your word—to me. And before you say anything, I’ll admit that I overstepped the other night in the Horizon.”
And just like that Alec flashed back to that moment, to the heat of her, the scent of her. Her mouth had been all but pressed to his, so close he’d sworn he could taste her, dark and sweet as brandy on his tongue. He’d almost closed that breath of distance, and to hell with everything else.
“It won’t happen again.”
“Huh?” Alec said as he checked back into the conversation.
“What?”
“I said it won’t happen again. I won’t tease you anymore.”
And that should have relieved him. Less temptation meant more control for him. So why did he feel a little panicky, all of a sudden?
“I’m attracted to you, which is why I let you get to me,” Paige continued, sending his pulse galloping. “But you’re right, we need to keep our distance.”
“When did I say that?”
“You say it every time you snipe at me. You’re pushing me away because you’re attracted to me and you don’t want to be.”
“Now you’re a psychologist?” he grumbled.
“No, but I’ve made a study of people, why they do what they do. It helps me in my work.”
“So you get to tell me how I feel?”
“No.” Paige shoved her hands back through her hair, clearly frustrated. “I’m trying to tell you how I feel.”
“You’re attracted to me,” he said, easing around the sofa.
She started to back away, then deliberately held her ground, her chin lifting in deliberate acceptance of his challenge. “Yes.”
Alec kept walking toward her, slowly. “But I don’t have to worry about it because you’re going to keep your distance.”
“Yes. It’s my problem.”
“Is it?” He jerked her against him, swallowed her startled gasp by taking her mouth. The very air seemed to ignite, the fire racing over his skin, burning through his blood, searing his thoughts so there was only the flavor of her, sweet and intoxicating, the feel of her against
him, sleek muscle and soft flesh.
He framed her face, slipped his hands back to scatter the pins she’d used to pile up her hair so the cool, heavy mass of it rained down her back.
“Alec.”
“Don’t,” he said. Don’t talk, don’t shatter the mood, he thought, and dived back in.
She met him, more than halfway, twined her arms around his neck, laid her long, slim curves against him, and poured herself into the kiss with a sexy little purr.

About the author:

Anna Sullivan was born and raised in southeastern Michigan, the seventh of nine children, whose claim to fame was reading five books a week in grade school. Needless to say, her obsession with the written word only grew from there--despite a short, and misguided, foray into the world of computer science (the "sensible" job path). She still lives in Michigan, with her husband, three children and two dogs whose life of leisure she envies but would never be able to pull off.

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Drea's Review:

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Secret Harbor closes out the Windfall Island trilogy and finally answers the question of what happened to Eugenia Stanhope. This book features world-famous actress Paige Walker and lawyer Alex Barclay—of the wealthy Boston Barclays. The story begins with some fireworks between these two because Alec ran his mouth and gave his opinion on the Paige sex-tape debacle. Paige heard his opinion and wants nothing to do with him. The problem is these two are attracted to each other something fierce.

The head of the Stanhope family is gunning for whoever the lost heir is, and so someone has to stay with Paige and keep her safe (since she’s the only woman of a certain age who hasn’t had her blood tested). Of course, the last person she wants staying with her is the one who gets the job. Paige holds out against her attraction until one of the other women in the trio suggests that sex with Alec could just be casual. Then the sex fest and falling in love happen. Great, right?

Welllll…sure, except, this format is basically the same as the other two books: There’s a new guy on the island looking into the lost Stanhope heir. He’s attracted to the heroine of the book (who might be the heir) and she “wants nothing to do with him” *wink wink*. Someone wants to get rid of the pesky heir. The new guy volunteers to protect the heroine…by sleeping in her home. Sparks fly. Heroine decides she can handle casual sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. They fall for each other anyway. He does something wrong. Heroine sulks. Hero saves her. Happily ever after.

Aside from the repetitive format, the writing is good, the characters are decent, and there’s enough action (both in bed and out) to keep me interested. The love scenes are steamy and well written. The relationship between Paige and Alex is believable…unless you can’t stand relationships that only take a short time to reach the love stage. I personally don’t mind them.

I did find it difficult to connect with the heroine because she’s rich, beautiful, and an actress. Her problems are not anything I can understand. And I’d have liked there to be a little more catty back and forth before she gave in. But all in all it was an enjoyable read, especially considering we finally learn who is the lost Stanhope heir.

Those new to the Windfall Island trilogy will be fairly lost if you start with Secret Harbor.  Those who aren’t new, this one has all the answers!

So…grab Secret Harbor if you’ve read the others and want to know how it all ends.

Rating: 4-stars 


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6 comments:

  1. Even witht eh format, the books sounds really good! I didn't know about this one. Thanks for the review.

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  2. I'll start with Temptation bay, then ;) Thanks for the review, I love small town stories and had never heard about this one !

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    1. Yay! I did like the other two a little better than this one, so that's a wise choice :)

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  3. I enjoyed this one myself. I thought the author did a great job with the twists on the mystery. I didn't see the bad guy coming. But I think my very favorite part of the whole book was the epilogue. It was just such a sweet way to wrap the whole thing up.

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    1. It was! I wonder what that author's Windfall Island family tree looks like... must be huge!

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