Tag: Elisabeth Naughton

Guest Review: Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton

Posted August 23, 2016 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Repressed by Elisabeth NaughtonReviewer: Jen
Repressed (Deadly Secrets #1) by Elisabeth Naughton
Series: Deadly Secrets #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 316
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Series Rating: four-stars

Hidden Falls is exactly as Samantha Parker left it—small, insular, and prone to gossip. Eighteen years have passed since she witnessed her brother’s murder, but she’s still the talk of the town. Until a handsome child psychologist with haunting memories of his own arrives.

Dr. Ethan McClane isn’t exactly a newcomer. If it weren’t for his latest case, he’d never set foot back in Hidden Falls. Thankfully, no one seems to recognize him as the troubled teen from years past. Not even Sam, the delightfully sharp and sexy high school chemistry teacher he can’t stop thinking about.

When Sam and Ethan work together to help one of her students, sparks ignite. But Sam’s hazy memories of a long-ago night concern Ethan, and unlocking the repressed images reveals a dark connection between them. As the horrors of the past finally come to light, their relationship isn’t the only thing in danger. A killer will strike again to keep an ugly secret hidden, and this time no one will be safe.

This is a story all about secrets, both the ones the hero is keeping and the ones the heroine has forgotten. Samantha Parker has come back to the small town of Hidden Falls to clean up and sell her recently deceased mom’s house. It’s going to take a while, so she gets a temporary job teaching chemistry at the local high school. She hates being back in town because the place holds nothing but bad memories for her, but she’s stuck for the moment. When Dr. Ethan McClane comes to town to work with one of Sam’s troubled students, he has an immediate connection to Sam. He too is back in Hidden Springs reluctantly. He spent some of his childhood there but also has no fondness for the town after he left under traumatic circumstances. As soon as he arrives in town, bad stuff starts happening to Sam, and it’s obvious someone is trying to scare her. Could it be related to the horrible nightmare she’s been having since childhood? And what will happen when Ethan’s own terrible secret comes out?

This book was kind of a mixed bag for me. The pacing was kind of uneven, with lots of slow parts that dragged a bit and then an ending that felt extremely rushed. I wasn’t thrilled with the depiction of the mental health profession or the troubled teen and how he gets screwed by all the adults around him. (I know there are plenty of kids let down by the system, but this was over the top.) The characters were also a little flat, especially the Hidden Falls residents. Aside from the main characters, there was not a single resident who was portrayed positively; they were all rude, mean, selfish, or downright evil. Even the main characters lacked some depth. They had childhood trauma, but that was basically the most interesting thing about them. I felt like we were finally getting a little more insight into Ethan’s personality and life when his family comes into the story later. I enjoyed the dialog between him and his brother, I liked learning more about his dad, and I liked the time he spent away from Sam. I wanted to see more of that for Sam too, but she has no family, no one I would truly call a “friend,” and virtually no pleasant or even meaningful interactions with anyone other than Ethan. It made it difficult to understand Sam as a person and figure out what made her tick. Plus, it made the already abrupt ending feel even more sudden.

I did enjoy some of the book too, though. I enjoyed Ethan’s flirting as he tried to get to know Sam better. They had some very sweet moments, and while I wanted more depth to them, I still liked them as a couple. As I mentioned, I loved reading about Ethan’s family, especially his brother Alec. (I know this book starts a new series. I don’t know anything about it, but I certainly wouldn’t mind if Alec was a future hero!) Despite the fact that there were too many coincidences and convenient plot mechanisms, I was intrigued by the story. There were still details and twists that kept me interested.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and will happily check out more from the series, but I do hope the next installment smooths out some of the issues of book 1.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: Extreme Measures by Elisabeth Naughton

Posted August 12, 2014 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Extreme MeasuresJen’s review of Extreme Measures (Aegis Security #1) by Elisabeth Naughton

Being prepared for any scenario is the trademark of any good CIA operative, and Eve Wolfe is one of the best. But when her latest mission literally explodes in her face, she wakes up labeled a traitor and—even more surprising—in the custody of elite Aegis Security operative and ex-lover Zane Archer. Although she still secretly has feelings for Zane, he’s now demanding the one thing that she can’t give him: the truth.

When he caught her breaking the rules years ago, Zane let Eve walk away without an explanation. Now someone has not only sabotaged Aegis but also turned an American city into a war zone, and all signs point to Eve. Zane needs answers that can come only from Eve’s still-tempting lips, and he finally has the elusive operative right where he wants her—at his mercy.

The first book in bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton’s new steamy romantic suspense series brings a spy in from the cold…and sets her heart ablaze.

It’s always nice when a book for which you had no expectations turns out to be pretty good. That’s what happened for me with Extreme Measures.

Eve Wolfe is an elite CIA operative. When she almost gets killed on a mission gone wrong, she’s “rescued” by her old lover Zane Archer. I use the quotation marks because the only reason Zane was around to save her was because he was following her in order to exact his own revenge. Eve left him and sold out his team in the past, which resulted in the death of a hostage and a severe injury to Zane himself. He can’t forgive that betrayal, and he wants to make her suffer. Eve swears she’s innocent, though, and when other unknown parties start trying to kill them and both of them get branded national traitors, Zane realizes something more complicated is going on. Now he and Eve have to uncover the truth and decide whether they can ever trust each other again.

This is a fast paced, action packed story, as one might expect from a book about spies and secret ops. There are lots of twists as Zane and Eve try to figure out what the hell is going on. Who is out to get them and why? Who can they trust to help them, and who is trying to screw them? I also love these “private security agencies” that seem to be all over Romanceland. It’s utterly ridiculous that there would be so many agencies with limitless resources, gruff but caring bosses, connections in the highest levels of government, team members who are all the best of buds, etc. I know it’s crazy, but I don’t care! Zane’s employer Aegis seems like it’s full of great guys, and as this book is the first in a new series, you bet I’ll be checking out the future titles.

Eve is a bad ass agent. I always appreciate seeing a highly skilled, tough woman who can more than hold her own with the guys. She’s definitely got a sensitive side, though, and much of the tension in the story comes from her trying to handle her insecurities and fears. She loves Zane but just can’t see how she could be what he needs. It’s the kind of conflict we see so often in heroes–it is nice to see it in the heroine for a change. I really like her loyalty to Zane, too. At first he has to restrain her to keep her with him, but time and again she gets the chance to escape but sticks around for Zane. It was sweet and showed the depth of her feelings, which she herself didn’t even fully understand.

Zane is perhaps a little less complex than Eve, but he is enjoyable to read. When he basically kidnaps Eve at the start of the book, I wasn’t sure about him. Trigger warning: Zane is genuinely threatening to her at first. He has her tied up and drugged, and he is psychologically manipulative and physically threatening in an effort to try and get her to confess to her past betrayals. By the end of the book I fully believed this was an act and that he would never have actually hurt Eve, but at the start I didn’t know what to think. I like that once he figures out he can trust Eve, he goes all in. He wants to be with her and sticks by her even when it would be better for him to abandon her.

If you’re not a fan of spies, secret ops, or romantic suspense, this book isn’t going to convert you. But if those kind of things do appeal, I think Extreme Measures would entertain.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

This book is available from Montlake Romance. You can purchase it here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Guest Review: Tempted by Elisabeth Naughton

Posted January 31, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Mary’s review of Tempted (Eternal Guardians #3) by Elisabeth Naughton

DEMETRIUS—He’s the hulking, brooding warrior his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Isadora is missing. The words pounded through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius had done all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she was gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned. As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought. And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.

As there are two other books in the series before this one, I was a little overwhelmed character-wise at first. However, the introduction when I was introduced to Demetrius and his band of Argonaut brothers, caught and held my attention so I was able to power through the many characters to find their places in this creative and detailed world. Demetrius is a gorgeous warrior who’s got some seriously dark sexual appetites. Well-respected amongst his brothers, he holds himself apart from them because of his twisted parentage (that they don’t know about and he hopes they never will) and his unquenched desire for the princess Isadora, who he sees as a delicate little flower.

Isadora’s anything but fragile. She’s a strong capable woman who hates Demetrius because he’s been cruel and rude to her since she was a child. He believes he can’t show her his softer side (such that it is) or trust her with his secret because, if he relaxes the tight control he has over his emotions and his body for one second, he’s finished—in more ways than one. It’s always a bit stalker-ish to be when one character, especially one who is quite a bit older than the other, is in love with someone he/she watched grow up from a child, as Demetrius did Isadora. But whatever, I guess that’s a human ideal, since it seems to be prevalent in the fantasy/paranormal genre. Despite the immediate ick-factor, I got over it, especially since these people are near-immortals and not human.

While I wish more of the book focused on Demetrius and Isadora and didn’t involve the other brothers and their mates as much, the story was fast-paced and kept me turning the pages. I probably would have been a lot happier with the non-Demetrius/Isadora parts if I’d read the first two books in the series and gotten involved in the other pairings. However, I loved Orpheus, one of the secondary characters. He’s irreverent, prickly, headstrong, and very intriguing—I’m hoping he’ll have his own story!

Rating: 4.0/5.0

This book is available from Sourcebooks Casablanca. You can buy it here in e-format.

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Review: Stolen Sedution by Elisabeth Naughton

Posted February 3, 2010 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Casee‘s review of Stolen Seduction (Stolen Trilogy, Book 3) by Elisabeth Naughton.

Hailey Roarke was never interested in her family’s fortune. That’s why she became a cop. But with her father and now her cousin dead, she’s suddenly on the wrong side of a police interrogation. The only way to clear her name is to solve the riddle before the real killer. Without getting killed herself.

Detective Shane Maxwell can’t deny the spark of lust he feels every time Hailey is near. But the woman is clearly hiding something. Trusting his gut—and the heat in her eyes—he joins her on an elaborate global treasure hunt staged by her late father. Caught between a sizzling seduction and a maniacal murderer, for Hailey and Shane the biggest reward of all will be making it out alive.

This is book three in Naughton’s Stolen Trilogy. Hailey Roarke is Rafe Sullivan’s ex-wife (from Stolen Heat Fury) and Shane Maxwell is Lisa’s twin brother (also from Stolen Fury). Hailey has been more of a recurring character than Shane throughout the series. They first met in Stolen Fury when Hailey took Shane’s ass down. Literally. It was a very memorable first meet.

Hailey is one of the Roarke’s, something that she’s tried to distance herself from her entire life. She never went into the family business of Roarke Resorts (think Hilton). She wasn’t going to be under her father’s thumb her whole life. When he asks her to step in as interim CEO for a month, she can’t refuse him. Then her dad goes ahead and dies. It’s glaringly obvious that nothing her dad did in life was easy, so dealing with his death was going to be anything but. The reading of the will shocks even Hailey. Her eccentric (read: crazy) dad is sending the family on a treasure hunt. The first person to find the sixth statue of The Last Seduction wins RR.

One of the Roarke’s—Hailey’s cousin Bryan—ends up murdered the night that she broke into his home to look at his statue. Enter Shane. He doesn’t think that Hailey is capable of murder, but after a recent snafu with his job he doesn’t trust his judgment. When it comes down to taking Hailey into custody to stop her from fleeing Chicago or helping her, he goes with the latter.

Hailey is my favorite heroine in this series. She is a straight shooter. She tells it like it is and that’s that. She doesn’t apologize for who she is or the choices she’s made in life. As she and Shane start tracing the statue down, it becomes less about Roarke Resorts and more about whether her father was murdered. It’s not as far-fetched as it seems, especially since someone has tried to kill Hailey (and almost succeeded) multiple times.

There’s also Shane and all his baggage. He has more baggage than Hailey which says something right there. Hailey’s whole family seems psycho whereas Shane’s seems so normal. That doesn’t mean Shane is normal. We don’t know what happened to Shane until the end of the book and it really is a doozy.

I really loved this book. The treasure hunt/family secret style of the book was exactly what I was hoping for when I picked it up.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from Love Spell. You can buy it here.

The series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

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Review: Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton

Posted February 3, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Oh, is he handsome. And charming. And sexy as all get out. Dr. Lisa Maxwell isn’t the type to go home with a guy she barely knows. But, hey, this is Italy and the red-blooded Rafe Sullivan seems much more enticing than cataloging a bunch of dusty artifacts.

After being fully seduced, Lisa wakes to an empty bed and, worse yet, an empty safe. She’s staked her career as an archaeologist on collecting the three Furies, a priceless set of ancient Greek reliefs. Now the one she had is gone. But Lisa won’t just get mad. She’ll get even.

She tracks Rafe to Florida, and finds the sparks between them blaze hotter than the Miami sun. He may still have her relic, but he’ll never find all three without her. And they’re not the only ones on the hunt. To beat the other treasure seekers, they’ll have to partner up—because suddenly Lisa and Rafe are in a race just to stay alive.

I’ve never been crazy about books that center around archaeology. In most cases, there is more information about archaeology than I ever want to know. It just bogs down the story and makes for really slow reading. I thought that this book was going to be the same.

Dr. Lisa Maxwell isn’t the type for one-night stands. Yet when she meets Rafe Sullivan, she just isn’t herself. More than willing to invite Rafe, a stranger, to her hotel room, Lisa hasn’t been so turned on in her entire life. Unfortunately for her, Rafe isn’t there for her. He’s there to steal one of the Furies she found in Jamaica. Lisa has staked her career on finding the three Greek relics and when she wakes up the next morning to find the Furie and Rafe gone, she tracks him down within hours.

Rafe has his reasons for robbing Lisa. He never expected to feel guilty about it, but after meeting Lisa, he found that it wasn’t as easy stealing from her as he had hoped. Not only is he physically attracted to her, but he also admires what she’s accomplished. Still, Rafe can’t forget why he’s there and soon returns to Florida, not expecting to see Lisa for weeks. He’s more than surprised when she turns up after a few days.

Lisa knows it won’t be easy to get the Furie back from Rafe, especially considering her attraction to the infuriating thief. The only thing they agree on is to work together to find the third Furie. Lisa doesn’t know that Rafe already has the first Furie and he doesn’t intend on telling her quite yet. He just knows he needs her to find the third.

Rafe and Lisa are both loners. They both love their families, but have few interests outside of their work. Lisa knows that falling for Rafe is something that would be beyond stupid. Rafe doesn’t think Lisa can accept him for who he is. In addition to their attraction to each other, they soon realize that they aren’t the only people trying to find the third Furie.

The reason this book didn’t seem bogged down with archaeology facts was b/c the suspense almost never stopped. The book seemed to start out slow, but once it got going, it really went fast. I think that Naughton did a great job with her debut, not only for the storyline, but for the characters too. And not just the main characters, but the contemporary characters as well.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Dorchester. You can buy it here.

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