July 14, 2016

BLOG TOUR REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: The Sapphire Affair (Jewel #1)

The Sapphire Affair is an exciting start to a new duo logy from one of my favorite authors - Lauren Blakely. Read on for my review & an excerpt from The Sapphire Affair. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

The Sapphire Affair (Jewel #1), by Lauren Blakely
Publish Date:
July 12, 2016
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Format: ARC, provided by the author
Genre: adult contemporary suspense/romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(Synopsis) Bounty hunter Jake Harlowe knows how to track a criminal. So when a group of swindled shareholders hires him to trail their former CEO, Jake expects a quick trip to the Cayman Islands to close another case. Until a devastatingly beautiful woman gets in the way.

Steph Anderson is visiting the Caymans for a rock climbing and dive trip—or so she tells Jake. She’s really trying to find out whether or not her stepfather embezzled money from his company. The last thing Steph needs is the distraction of a sexy, charming man whose kisses drive her wild.

Soon, the pair discover they’re after the same target—and millions in jewels. While Jake can’t be certain Steph isn’t working for her stepfather, and Steph can’t be certain Jake isn’t after the diamonds for himself, they can agree the heat between them is intense, and neither can deny the passion for long.

But the morning after, Steph discovers that she just might have slept with the enemy, and now she’ll have to outwit him to get everything she needs…

The Sapphire Affair was set up like a movie. It's set in a tropical locale - first Miami, and then later the Cayman Islands - so, Lauren Blakely sets the stage with lots of descriptions of the lush landscape and wildlife. It all fits well in the story, as Steph is the owner of an eco-tour company and a total outdoorsy girl. She's only now recovering from an ex who tried to tank her business in their break-up, which takes her to the Caymans to set up some tours. 

She is also in the Caymans to talk to her jerk face of a stepfather, who, it appears, has stolen from her mother and left her with nothing. 

Enter the hero, who, as it turns out, is in the Caymans for the same reason. Jake Harlowe was hired by Steph's stepfather's former business partner to get to the bottom of $10 million in stolen business funds. Jake is good at what he does, and he's good at it because he avoids distractions. He's focused on his goal, and he doesn't get waylaid by hot women he meets in bars. Except for this one time...

Steph is the kind of heroine I love. She's gutsy and unapologetic and she goes after what she wants. She wants to believe the best of people, but is willing to accept that not everyone is good. She's in a tough spot, being torn in different directions by her parents. And then the man she's interested in as well. I don't envy Steph at all.

The Sapphire Affair has all the best qualities of an exciting and sexy heist book. It has a conflicted girl with a past, an emotionally unavailable man on a mission, a slimy bad guy, and dozens of diamonds that technically belong to someone else. It has schemes and sexual tension and an ending that will make you scratch your head, wondering what happened and who did what. It will most certainly convince you to read on to the Sapphire Heist, which comes out next month and completes the story. 

“Let’s make it a double,” he said, and after they chatted more about fish and the sea and the Islands, he pointed to the dartboard. “Since you have that dart certification and all, any chance you can give me a few pointers?” he asked, standing up to grab a dart from the board. He returned and held it out to her. She rose and moved closer, and when she reached for the end, he wrapped a hand around her wrist and tugged her in close.

Just like that. The gauntlet was thrown. The move was made. She was in his arms. Poised. For something more. For this moment to unspool into something else. A ribbon of heat raced through her body as she catalogued everything. His gaze held her hostage. His green eyes blazed darkly as he stared at her like he wanted to eat her up. That fierce look made her shudder. She was so close she could breathe him in, and his skin smelled so damn good. Like sunshine and showers. And he was hard everywhere. Not just there, because she wasn’t exactly in that spot, but his arms, and his abs, and his legs.

His fingers curled around her waist, gripping her as Jack Johnson sang about banana pancakes and pretending it’s the weekend all the time.

“Three things,” he whispered, his voice all rough and hot, turning her on before he even uttered another word. “One, I want to kiss you. Two, I’m going to kiss you. Three, if you don’t want me to, say no now. Otherwise . . .”

He inched closer. She parted her lips, and a small sigh escaped. “Yes.”

She closed her eyes and waited. In that second before his lips met hers, the wondrous thrill of anticipation weaved through her body. The hope that kissing a stranger named Jake in a bar would be worth it. That he wouldn’t kiss like a slobbery Saint Bernard, all tongue and exuberance. Nor like a schoolboy, hell-bent on vacuuming up her lips. Call her greedy, call her needy, or just call her a woman who hadn’t been kissed well in a long while.

But she wanted that kiss.

The kind that made your knees weak.

That sent your heart fluttering.

That spread warmth on a sweet, shivery path through your chest.

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that's full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With ten New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than fifty times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK and MISTER O, which were both instant New York Times Bestsellers. In the fall she'll release WELL HUNG, another romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter: laurenblakely.com/newsletter.

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1 comment:

InkSlinger PR said...

Thank you so much! ~Jessica, InkSlinger PR