*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*
Published: January 23, 2012
Hot Secrets – Lisa Renee Jones
I’ve read some of Lisa Renee Jones books in the past, but it’s been a while. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed her characters and her writing style.
In Hot Secrets we have the hot/sweet romance, scary bad guy, creepy mystery and amazing happily ever after (well… mostly happily ever after) that I like in a suspens-y romance novel.
Lauren Reynolds is a hot shot lawyer that’s known for putting the bad guys away. She’s spunky, sassy and doesn’t scare easy. Her father is a local Senator who’s main goal is to convince Lauren to join his campaign. She had none, absolutely no aspirations for politics and declines all of his bribes and offers. Lauren’s Step Mother is a real piece of work. Sharon is a plastic (literally), mean spirited woman who takes every opportunity she can to belittle and insult Lauren.
Her stepbrother Brad is just plain creepy. Ever since Lauren’s father met and married Brad’s mother after Lauren’s mother passed away from cancer, Brad has been flirting with her… and then later propositioning her. Uh. EW! They may not be blood related… but they are practically siblings. Lauren is just as grossed out by his advances as I was, and rejects him every time he tries anything.
Royce Walker is an ex-FBI agent that now runs a private security firm with his two brothers, Luke and Blake. All three men are huge… well over six feet tall and have the muscles to match. Each of the three have their own area of expertise that they bring to the table.
Royce gets a call from Senator Reynolds, who calls in a favor for him to watch after Lauren because there have been some threats made against her and the Senator. Royce is tasked with trying to figure out of she’s really in danger and not letting Lauren find out. Nothing seems wrong with this little mission to him until he meets her…and starts to fall for her.
Throughout the entire book, Royce is battling with his conscious telling him that he’s doing a bad thing by keeping things a secret. He doesn’t want to lie to her, but he’s convinced that if he fesses up and tells the truth before they figure out who’s targeting Lauren (seriously… a snake in her bed!?) she’ll hate him and push him away… which will put her in even more danger. So he keeps his mouth shut about the Senator’s involvement and concentrates on protecting her.
I loved Lauren. She gave as good as she got and she kept Royce on his toes. Just when he thought he had her all figured out, she’d do or say something that would confuse him or make him rethink what he thought of her. Her constant requests for him to “tone down the bossiness” was hilarious. He’d frown at her, and then repeat what he’d demanded but add a “please” before the demand. Baby steps. I’m sure she’d get him to get it toned down with baby steps. Maybe. I also loved that when she found out about Royce keeping the Senator’s request from her, she was furious and hurt, but not stupid. She took her time and some space in a separate bedroom to get herself and her thoughts together, but she didn’t go running into the night. She knew that it was a dangerous situation, and that Royce and his brothers were the ones best equipped to aid her, so she stayed. She made it very clear to Royce that she was upset and why she was upset, but she didn’t let it affect her safety or affect Royce’s ability to protect her.
I was kept guessing on who the bad guy was until almost the end. I thought that I knew who it was, but things would happen and then I just couldn’t be sure anymore. In the end, I was right. Kind of. There was an added bad guy that I COMPLETELY wasn’t expecting, but with everything else that happened in the book it made so much sense.
Hot Secrets reminded me that I love Lisa Renee Jones’ writing style and her ability to bring her characters to life. This book came out a while ago (two years ago) and is apart of a series. There is one book before this one (oops) and there are five books after this one. After checking her website, it looks like all of them are out except for the last one that will be published in December of this year. A perk I found on the website was that for this book and the next one, Dangerous Secrets, you can download a wallpaper for your computer of the leading hotties from the books. Royce and Luke Walker are seriously yummy.
Luke’s story is in Dangerous Secrets and Blake gets his story in Beneath the Secrets: The complete volumes. I’ll definitely be looking to see how each of the brother’s handles their own leading ladies.
10/10 would recommend.