Series: Recovered Innocence series

Guest Review: Reclaim by Beth Yarnall

Posted July 11, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Reclaim by Beth YarnallReviewer: Tracy
Reclaim by Beth Yarnall
Series: Recovered Innocence series #3
Also in this series: Vindicate, Atone
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Nolan: Nothing’s ever come easy for me, especially not my dream job at Nash Security and Investigations. Righting wrongs is what I’m meant to do . . . except I manage to blow the very first chance I get. So why don’t they fire me on the spot? Hell, I’d fire myself if I could. Instead, my boss hands me an assignment that’s too important to screw up—and partners me with Lila Garcia, a gorgeous attorney with curves so distracting they should be illegal.

Lila: Like my client, a grieving mother charged with the murder of her own son, I know how quickly the American dream can become a nightmare. If anybody can help me clear her name, it’s Nash Security and Investigations. But Nolan Perry is a wild card. Bending the truth, breaking the law—that’s his business. I need to focus on the evidence. Not on how Nolan’s body fits so perfectly against mine. With a case this personal—and this dangerous—losing control is simply not an option . . . no matter how badly I want to give in.

Nolan is a PI at Nash Security and Investigations.  He’s pissed off at himself that he flubbed his last assignment and (he feels) ended up getting people hurt and someone killed.  It wasn’t his fault, nor does his boss Cora feel it was.  He is of the mind that he has to work hard for everything his has.  Nothing is given to him and he usually has to try two or three times before he gets things right.  When Cora tells him that he will be the lead on the next Freedom Project case (trying to get an innocent person freed from prison) he’s not so sure he should be trusted to handle it.  Then he meets the lawyer working on the case from the FP and he’s almost immediately smitten.

Lila is a woman who is proud of her Mexican heritage.  She feels a connection with the woman, Carla, that they are trying to help free from prison. Carla too came to America illegally but she ended up a prostitute instead of a lawyer like Lila.  She’s in prison for a crime that wasn’t a crime.  Her small son had accidentally strangled himself while wearing a blanket while playing a superhero.  It was negligence on her part but not homicide. Lila is determined to find out why her lawyer didn’t fight for her and then get her out.  While Carla gives them some information when her and Nolan start digging they get more than they bargained for and end up putting both of their lives in danger.

I really like Yarnall’s writing style and as with the first two books she pulled me in almost immediately and I didn’t put the book down until I was done.  I did have some issues with the book but it was still engaging from page one.

The things I didn’t like:  Nolan and Lila really didn’t much of a relationship – which is actually mentioned at the end of the book.  They didn’t date, they went straight to sex and then tried to work things out from there.  I did like that in the end they were trying to fix it all and stay in a relationship but it bothered me throughout the book.

During the course of the book they were trying to find Carla’s lawyer to find things out.  During that part of the investigation they discovered things about the lawyer’s wife but when all was said and done nothing ever came of that.  What was made a big deal of just fell by the wayside and as a reader I was left hanging.  That bothered me a lot.

The end was wrapped up a little too quickly for my liking but that might just be personal preference.

The things I liked:  I liked Nolan and Lila a lot.  Both of them had their idiosyncrasies but for the most part they were good people.  Together they had sparks flying all over the place and when they had sex it was completely explosive.

I liked the premise of the story and what they were trying to accomplish.  I like the fact that Yarnall has continued on with the Freedom Project theme in the books as I love the concept.  I loved the digging that Nolan and Lila did and the uncovering of facts throughout the book that led them to the conclusion.

I really liked the fact that Nolan, after finding out some truly disturbing information about Lila (from Lila herself), still wanted to try and make a go of a relationship with her.  He could have easily run from it all and most people would have. I loved that he was invested enough to try despite everything.  It showed his strength of character and that was a big plus for him in my book.

In the end it was an engaging book with suspense, lust, mystery, sex and a HFN ending.  Hopefully there will be a book four as I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

Rating: 3. 5 out of 5

three-half-stars

Guest Review: Atone by Beth Yarnall

Posted February 10, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Atone by Beth YarnallReviewer: Tracy
Atone by Beth Yarnall
Series: Recovered Innocence series #2
Also in this series: Vindicate, Reclaim
Published by Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Six years. That’s how long I spent behind bars for a crime I didn’t commit—the murder of the woman I loved. Now I’m free, but life on the outside is a different kind of prison. I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. At least I have my sister, Cora. She never stopped believing in me. She even got me a job at the private investigation agency that cleared my name. And then Vera Swain walks into Nash Security and Investigations and kicks my world on its ass.

Vera: There’s only one thing that would make me come out of hiding after two years on the run: finding my sister. I made the mistake of telling a monster about her, the same monster who beat me and broke me. Now I’m forced to confide in Beau Hollis of Nash Security and Investigations. He looks at me like he knows me—the real me. He sees too much, makes me feel too much. The pleasure he offers is exciting and addictive. But I can’t fall for him . . . because my love could get us both killed.

Beau has been released after spending six years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend – a crime he didn’t commit. In book one of this series his sister Cora worked relentlessly to get him exonerated and she succeeded. He’s not free but as is so common with former prisoners he’s finding being free difficult to handle. He’s not sure what his place is or what to do with himself now that he’s out and no one’s telling him what to do 24/7. His sister Cora got him a job working with her at the PI office she works at and the first day he’s there he meets the woman who will change his life.

Vera Swain walks into his place of work to hire the PI’s to find her sister. Beau knows immediately that something is hinky in her story but he doesn’t share his suspicions with his sister even though technically she’s his boss. He seeks out Vera in order to get the whole story – the one she didn’t share and he finds a woman who has a past like none other he’s ever heard of.

Beau is still hung up on his dead girlfriend but not for the reasons everyone thinks. The closer he gets to Vera from working with her the more he sees of the real woman behind the mask. He finds that no matter what her past is he loves her and will protect her from the bastard that put her through hell.

I liked book one in this series, Vindicate, but was really interested in Beau’s story when I saw that it was available for review. I wasn’t sure what to expect but what I got was so much better than anything I could have imagined.

The story centers around Vera Swain who was tricked by a man she thought she loved into living in hell. She escaped from him and that hell but now she thinks her sister is being played by the same man and she wants to save her sister before he can ruin her life. Vera was a woman on a mission and I had to admire her strength and determination. Seriously, when you read what she went through it’s hard to imagine that the woman is sane but she’s definitely all there. Meeting and falling for Beau is the last thing she expects but she finds it happens quite seamlessly which is kind of disturbing for her. She hadn’t let anyone in for the past two years so it was a bit of a shock.

Beau and Vera fit together so perfectly and I loved how Beth Yarnall got these two very different people who were heavily scarred inside to find each other. It was heart-wrenching but was beautiful. On top of the romance the suspense aspect of the story rocked and kept me on the edge of my seat.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good romantic suspense read. Technically you don’t have to read book one in order to get book two but I would recommend you do. I got background on Beau and some details about the crime he was imprisoned for that weren’t available in book one. Those details helped me understand Beau better and made this book all the richer of a read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

Guest Review: Vindicate by Beth Yarnall

Posted November 23, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Vindicate by Beth YarnallReviewer: Tracy
Vindicate by Beth Yarnall
Series: Recovered Innocence series #1
Also in this series: Atone, Reclaim
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Cora. . . . I got my driver’s license on my sixteenth birthday so I could visit my brother in prison. Five and a half years later, he’s still locked up for a murder he didn’t commit and I’m still trying to find a way to set him free. Then I hear about Nash Security and Investigation, a private detective agency that helped exonerate a wrongfully convicted man after thirty-nine years in prison. The problem? They’ve already taken on the one pro-bono case they’ll accept this year.

Leo. . . . I’m this close to finishing law school—and never working another day at my dad’s P.I. office—when Cora Hollis walks through the door. She’s got a box of files, a handful of leads, and an independent streak a mile wide. She fascinates me and I can’t say no. Suddenly I’m volunteering to help her find a missing witness who could be the key to her brother’s case. But nothing is what it seems and giving in to the attraction between us could be more dangerous than finding the real murderer.

Cora is 21 years old and has spent the last 5 years trying to get her brother out of prison for brutally killing his girlfriend, a crime he didn’t commit. On her way back from visiting him on day she hears about a thing called Project Freedom that got a guy out of prison who had been wrongly incarcerated for 39 years. Cora immediately looks them up and heads to their offices. The head of the office, Ed Nash, is busy but his son, law student Leo Nash, talks him into talking to Cora (because he thinks she’s hot). When they hear the case they are intrigued but can’t really take it. When Ed gets a look at Cora’s notes and investigation so far he’s impressed enough to not turn her away. When Leo offers to work with her on the case it’s a done deal.

Cora is only interested in getting her brother out of prison – not in starting anything with Leo – but he works his charm and she realizes there’s more to him than a pretty face. He’s got brains behind the charm and she’s impressed. As they work the case and get closer to finding the real killer the pair find themselves inseparable. The problem comes when Leo figures out that Cora won’t allow herself to live and love until her brother is free and that may be never.

I really liked both Leo and Cora in this book. I loved the banter between the two as well as the intelligence that they both showed on a regular basis. The common goal of getting Beau Hollis out of prison helped place them together daily but it was their personalities and attraction that took the friendship farther.

I understood Cora’s desire to get her brother out of prison and the fact that it was hard for her to think of a life for herself when he had none. Saying that I was happy to see when she finally pulled her head out of her ass and realized that she was only hurting herself by cutting herself off. I was happy to see that Leo was the one that realized his feelings first and helped her to see the error of her ways. 🙂
This was a different sort of romance for me but a nice blend of romance and suspense. I don’t read too many romantic suspense stories but this was a good one to add to my collection.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars