Series: Redemption Harbor

Dangerous Witness by Katie Reus

Dangerous Witness by Katie ReusDangerous Witness by Katie Reus
Series: Redemption Harbor #3
Published by KR Press, LLC on January 30th 2018
Pages: 300
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three-stars

He foolishly let her go…

When the woman he loved walked out of his life, Brooks Alexander was certain she did so willingly—with the cool two-million his father had offered as incentive to walk away. So when he learns that Darcy didn’t take a dime of his father’s payoff, Brooks realizes he made an epic mistake. He’s determined to make things right and reclaim his woman. Except neither task is as easily accomplished as he first thought.

Now her life is in his hands…

Wedding planner Darcy is no stranger to disappointment when it comes to the men in her life. When Brooks accused her of taking his father’s bribe, she was devastated that he thought so little of her—and realized he never knew her at all. So she walked away with her pride intact and her heart broken. Now, months later, an overheard conversation puts Darcy in the crosshairs of a dangerous criminal with powerful connections. With nowhere else to turn, she has no choice but to put all her trust in Redemption Harbor Consulting—and its cofounder, the man who broke her heart.

The pattern of the misunderstood woman and the man who stormed away from her—such that the beginning starts with a good man-grovel—is one that Katie Reus has attempted a few times and I have to say, brings glee to my (alarmingly vindictive) soul. ‘Dangerous Witness’ is exactly that, so this uphill climb back into a woman’s graces when a protagonist has truly screwed up, is probably one of my favourite moments. That is happens at the beginning, however, is unusual.

There weren’t too many surprises in the book however and I definitely like this series as well the pairings that Reus has already written into them, as well as the hints of those to come. Still, ‘Dangerous Witness’ was good—as the action happens because of Darcy’s peripheral relations—though not mind-blowing, with the pacing lagging somewhat in the middle as Darcy dithered on her feelings towards Brooks and his sudden insertion back into her life.

What it’d gotten me thinking about however, was the depth of the betrayal and the extent to which readers might expect a reconciliation…and on what grounds that might happen. I did find myself wishing, that Brooks had decided to win Darcy back on the realisation that she wouldn’t have just walked away from him for money; instead it had to take his father to confirm the facts before he decided—7 months later after putting it off repeatedly—to go all out for it. That Darcy was reluctant was entirely justified and understandable, particularly so since it felt as though her life had to be in danger before Brooks stopped delaying what he should have done months ago. I was in fact, waiting for an opportunity to come up again in the story where Brooks needed to show his unmitigated trust in Darcy, and was disappointed when that didn’t happen.

Or maybe I’m just protesting too much. It does after all, end with an iron-clad HEA and a sweetness that Reus always reinforces with a couple that don’t have eyes for anyone else but for each other.

three-stars

Savage Rising by Katie Reus

Savage Rising by Katie ReusSavage Rising by Katie Reus
Series: Redemption Harbor #2
Published by KR Press, LLC on September 26th 2017
Pages: 250
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three-stars

He's a former Marine, her new fake boyfriend, and the only way to escape her dangerous past.

Having a child changed everything for Olivia—she vowed to keep her little girl safe from the mistakes of her past. But when the most dangerous person she ever met blackmails her into doing one last heist, the world she’s so carefully built goes into a tailspin. Frantic, she heads to Redemption Harbor in search of help. Sparks fly when she meets Savage, a man who will do anything to keep Olivia and her daughter safe. He’ll help her get her life back, but can he handle seeing who she once was?

Can they pull it off?

Savage poses as her obsessive ex during a daring undercover operation—and soon the line between reality and their cover story becomes blurred. He’ll use every trick he knows to keep the sensual woman alive and out of jail—and in his life. But the clock is ticking and if they can’t find a way to trust each other, no one will make it out alive.

‘Savage Rising’ is as I expected: a thumping ride of blackmail, fast love and mowing down just a few more baddies in the fictional world along the way. But it’s also what I’ve come to expect of Katie Reus’s writing. Like many of the RS books, Reus’s recipe of suspense honed over many books is dramatic action written with gusto—the punches and kicks go flying and the guns are whipped out with alarming frequency—as characters often ill-suited to each other fall inexplicably hard, then rush to get their white picket fence set up by the end of the story.

Olivia’s and Zac’s stories take a while to come together (the first two seemingly unrelated chapters sort of confused me) and while we already know who Zac Savage is, Olivia’s introduction is slower to come, but unfolds in such a way that there isn’t any doubt she’s more than just a single-mother trying to keep her daughter safe. Brought together by an undercover situation where both of them play lovers, the making of this pairing isn’t an unpredictable one but nonetheless an entertaining ride. Strangely though, perhaps the most tantalising of these books are the parts where Reus gives us glimpses of future pairings—these alone are appetite-whetting and obvious hooks that I’m shamelessly going to say that I’ve bitten into.

That said, it was fun watching Olivia and Zac work together and knowing that they have that kind of chemistry definitely pushes up the steam factor when they finally fall into bed as well. Both Olivia and Zac are generally likeable, believable characters and the latter certainly takes the cake in hulkish badassery minus the green skin. I just had a little more difficulty with the instant love part of it, sceptically wondering during the epilogue if that quickness had more to do with forced intimacy in a high-stress situation that was adrenaline induced. Clearly, it’s a balance that’s not easy to get right (and I’m obviously picky about this), though that isn’t going to stop me from wanting more of a series that shows such promise.

three-stars