by Nina Arquiza
A private island….an exclusive guest list…a hot, friendly guy who’s more than willing to have that proverbial summer fling…it’s the perfect getaway. Or is it?
Mary Shaw works hard and plays harder. Off a difficult project that doesn’t go quite according to plan, she heads off on a solitary vacation to recharge her nerves and get things together. That there’s a dimpled man-candy who wants to take things up a sexy notch? Perfect bonus. But all is not what it seems, and the things that Mary seeks to escape have a way of catching up with her. Read reviews: Goodreads
Not to get Liam Neeson on your asses, but the fact is that Peyton Riley has a very specific skill set. She’s good at her job and has just gotten off a major project when she crosses paths with the gorgeous snake-in-the-grass calling himself Carson Varis. He’s taken her against her will, but to where, and to what end? She’s got days to figure this out and escape–before her boss finds out where his favorite specialist has disappeared.
Carson Varis has got an eye for art and a mania for professionalism. No one does work-life balance like he does. But a certain fiery redhead has gotten his goals in a twist. He has his employer’s order to fulfill, but can’t get the memory of her body (and her hair, and her deep blue eyes, and oh, that mouth) out of the way. Can he get it together and pull off a job well done? Read reviews: Goodreads
WHAT I LIKED
One of the best thing about these books are the vivid descriptions of the places Peyton and Carson find themselves in. The author describes them in such a way that doesn’t overshare, but provides enough details that you can visualize them clearly. (My favorite imagery was of Amsterdam.) Bianca Mori, I think, knows how to paint a scenery well; she slowly builds the city as the characters move through it.
The thriller aspect is another—it’s kind of like following a trail of breadcrumbs; just as soon as you think one problem is solved, another pops up. There is also plenty of steam in the books, so if you like romantic suspense, these could be the books for you.
Peyton as a spy of sorts, isn’t the best—she’s horrible at hiding her feelings, her cover was blown just a few days into the island, and she just seems too volatile to be a spy and constantly thinking about her next move. However, these are the characteristics that make her an interesting heroine, and why I keep on reading.
(Spoiler alert! Highlight succeeding text to read.) I felt like the love scenes distracted me from the story a bit, like I sped through them because I wanted to get back to business, rather than reading Peyton and Carson do the deed, especially in the first book. Peyton and Carson hit it off right away, and while I’m all for romance, they got into it pretty fast, which affected my enjoyment of their pairing later on. I fully place the blame on Carson—I feel like he has too many secrets, whereas he basically already knew Peyton before even getting to know her on the island.
I also feel like these two books could be condensed into one—the first is too short, only around 50 pages, but I understand why these two were split. The first book is a sexy romance, while the second weaves in the intrigue and mystery. Both can be read as stand-alones as well.
There’s also a need of mine for action that goes unfulfilled here. They skulk around, follow leads, and go “undercover” a few times, but just a small bit of action. If you like action to go with your suspense tea, then maybe you might find this lacking.
These books are a great combination of sexy and fun, but lack just a small bit of more—more action, a more compelling romance—to fully have my love. However, give In Too Deep and Peyton Riley if you’re looking for a quick fix of suspense and sexy. ☁