Title: Ultimate Deception
Series: Harden #2
Author: Lynn Stookes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Coming: September 25, 2015
In a matter of months, Dani Delaney's world drastically changed. Now, she faces the toughest challenge of her life and is determined to handle it on her own.
Detective Sawyer Woods will do anything to be with Dani, the woman he's dreamed about since he first laid eyes on her, but she'll have nothing to do with him, no matter how much charm he uses.
It isn't until Dani receives threatening messages and criminal activites happen around town that she's forced to accept the help of the one man who can bring her to her knees. Can Sawyer protect the one woman who doesn't want him and convince her to give him a shot? Or can one lie destroy it all?
Two words: Sawyer Woods.
We got to meet both Sawyer and Dani in the first book in the series Fatal Obsession, and I highly recommend reading that book first so you'll have a clear understanding of things that happen in this book.
But wait! There's more!
This isn't an erotica book (cue the gasps!) It's been a while since I've read a book that doesn't have a 6-page sex scene in every chapter, and honestly? This was refreshing for me. Well, as refreshing as a mystery could be, but it was great to stay up late trying to figure out the mystery. I loved the character development both in the first book and this one. I'm honestly glad that Ms. Stookes remedied Sawyer's manwhore status; that is getting to be pretty old in stories now.
I loved watching as Sawyer realized that he could and does indeed deserve to have that family unit he always thought he'd never have, and you can really see it when you read about his interactions with Lily. How can you not fall just a teeny bit in love with him, based on those scenes alone?
Now, I will say that in addition to the mystery angle in the story, we do get the requisite relationship angst with Dani and Sawyer when it comes to communication, but it's not all over the top ridiculous. Tristan's big brother protectiveness sometimes went too far, but maybe because I also have the same type of protective older brother and it used to annoy the bejeesus out of me, but really, isn't that what older siblings are supposed to do for you?
I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend both books in the series.
ARC provided in exchange for honest review.
Tristan’s fists clench by his side as he glares at me. “You son of a…”
Meeting his glare, I interrupt without looking away, “Blake, why don’t you have your mom and sisters take the kids inside?”
“Sawyer,” Dani gasps beside me, clutching my shirt.
“It’s okay, sweetheart,” I reply, brushing my lips across her forehead. “It has to happen.”
Lifting my head, I glance in Blake’s direction, urging him to get the kids inside.
“Shit,” I hear Blake mumble under his breath. “Ma, why don’t you and the girls take the kids in the house? The front of the house, okay?”
“Boys,” Mrs. Winters begins, but Mr. Winters interrupts.
“Come on, dear. They have to deal with this their own way,” he says.
“Gloria,” he says sternly, but lovingly.
Within a few minutes, the children are inside the house and Blake’s brothers and father are the only ones left to step in if things get out of hand. Duncan and Blake stand closely behind me, while Jamie and Alec stand behind Tristan. Kylie and Harper are to the side, while Dani clings to me. If I wasn’t about to get my ass kicked by her brother, I would enjoy the way she willingly holds onto me in front of our friends who know the truth about how our relationship started.
“Dani, go stand with Kylie and Harper, please,” I say.
“No,” she demands. “You two are not fighting about this.”
“We’re not fighting, right, Tristan?” I say, glancing his way. “We’ll just have a heated discussion.”
Blake lightly pulls Dani away. “Come on, Dani. Let them get it over with.”
She reluctantly walks into Kylie and Harper’s open arms. They embrace her and I return my attention to Tristan. “So, what do you have to say?”
Without warning, Tristan’s fist flies towards my face, connecting with my jaw. I stumble back a few steps, rubbing my hand across my jaw. Fuck. That hurt.
“Is that all you got?” I ask, glaring back at Tristan. The first one I would give him, but anymore and it was fair game.
“Sawyer, man,” Blake speaks from behind me. “Remember don’t taunt the bear.”
“How could you, jackass?” Tristan grits out.
I chuckle. “I didn’t think I’d have to explain the birds and the bees to you, man, but I will if I have to. When a boy gets excited, he gets a happy stick and puts it in a girl’s…”
Tristan tackles me to the ground. He quickly pins me and takes a swing. I manage to dodge it, but the next one comes out of nowhere, catching me on the opposite side of my face from the first punch. With all my strength, I roll him over, pinning him to the ground this time and swing. My fist connects with his nose. At the last second, I pull back some, not hitting him with my full force. I may want to kick his ass, but I don’t want to really hurt my friend. He’s just defending his sister and that’s something I’m eternally grateful for.
Lynn Stookes was born and raised in the amazing state of Texas, where she currently resides with her husband of five years. They have one rambunctious two year old son and three furry children, who create the chaos she couldn’t live without.
One day, Lynn took her passion (maybe obsession is more apt) for romance books and mystery shows and wrote her first romantic suspense novel, Fatal Obsession, Book 1 in the Harden Series.
When Lynn isn’t writing or working her day job, you can find her reading on her Kindle, spending time with her family and friends, or playing on Facebook. She loves running, coffee, and country music in no particular order.
She's currently working on the next book in the Harden Series.