A romance that blossoms over some beignets. Might not seem like the most sensual of baked goods, but when they’re from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, I must say I get it.
What’s it About?
Chased by her criminal kingpin father, Katya Dalca runs to New Orleans and straight into the arms of Luke Hunter. Sucked into the carnal world of the French Quarter, she succumbs to Luke’s potent sexuality. He not only steals her breath, he steals her heart and the only leverage she has against her father. She is left with no choice except to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life alone.
Undercover DEA agent Luke Hunter thought his newest assignment—recover a stolen flash drive to gain the trust of the Russian mob—was like any other. But his target brings him to his knees, and after one taste of her intoxicating beauty, he’s in too deep. Doing his job means walking away, leaving his heart behind with nothing but a promise to reunite. It’s a promise he can’t keep. When Katya’s past reaches out and her world unravels, her only hope is the one man she is most vulnerable to—Luke.
One of the more prominent features of this novel is definitely the timeline of Luke and Katya’s relationship, which I will say felt a bit disjointed to me. Technically, their relationship spans six years, but they’ve only spent a total of 5 days together in all that time. When they first meet, Luke assumes an undercover identity in order to obtain a flash drive which Katya stole from her mob boss father. Sparks fly, they do a little dance (both on the dance floor and in the bedroom), their condom breaks, and the next morning Luke says he has to leave, but that they should meet up one year later in NYC.
One year later and Katya travels to NY to meet Luke, but he’s so far undercover that he can’t meet with her, or explain his absence. Fast-forward another five years, and Katya returns to NY with her daughter in tow. She gets caught up in some mob drama and Luke is the only one who can protect her. This is also when he discovers for the first time that, surprise! He’s a daddy!!
I will say I wasn’t a huge fan of the year long gaps in between their meetings, not to mention the fact that these happen so early on in the book. It makes it harder to really develop a close first impression of the characters when there’s so much jumping around. In addition, you can’t help but wonder what happened to both characters during such a long interlude apart.
When they do reconnect in person after six years, they are quick to pick up where they left off, which was kind of surprising to me. After all, their first meeting was under false pretenses, as Luke lied about his true identity, and their second planned meeting never came together. Although Katya does express her reservations about this to Luke when they reconnect, I couldn’t help but feel she forgave him a bit too quickly considering they only spent one night together. Perhaps their emotional connection went deeper than you’d think because he was her first lover?
I will say I liked that after this six year period apart they really do open up to each other about their pasts, and are able to connect over conversations of actual substance. That being said, this is also the point in the novel where I wish they had spanned things out over a longer period of time so their re-connection didn’t seem so rushed. I mean, this span of the book takes place in just 4 days! That’s not even an entire business week.
Fathers and Daughters
Although this book is primarily about Luke and Katya’s relationship, there was actually another relationship type that received a lot of attention, and I personally found it to be much more compelling! That would be the father/daughter relationship. We have Katya, who has to try and reconcile the fact that her father is a criminal mob boss on the one hand, yet on the other he’s also been looking out for her all the years he’s been in prison. It was such a complex relationship, and I must say it was probably my favorite feature of the book.
Another father/daughter relationship at play was between Luke and his daughter with Katya, Lily. Luke didn’t know she existed for the first 5 years of her life, yet when he first realizes that he’s a father he immediately jumps in as her protector. There wasn’t an ounce of hesitation, even though it must have come as quite a bit of a shock. Luke and Lily have a scene together which was so endearing you can’t help but love it. If anything, I wish Lily could have been featured more prominently. It seemed like in most scenes where she was present she was quickly handed off to somebody else for safe-keeping.
The Edge of Your Seat
There are three primary scenes of suspense in this novel, and I gotta say each one keeps you on the edge of your seat. They were written very well, and you feel like you’re actually there with the characters. The first is when Katya returns to New York with her daughter, and kidnappers infiltrate the hotel where she’s staying. Luke swoops in, and the search for their daughter throughout the hotel as shots ring out was simply nail-biting. The second scene involves Katya actually being kidnapped, and you can’t help but wonder if she’ll successfully escape to see Luke and her daughter again.
The final scene of suspense was probably the most gripping, but unfortunately it was also the most unnecessary. It only came about in the last 10% of the book, and seemed like something of an afterthought. Although intense, it really didn’t relate at all to the rest of the story line. I think it could have been worked into the plot earlier on in the book so that it meshed with the rest of what was happening, but as it stands it felt too random, and sort of threw off the flow of the book right at the end.
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: King Security, book 1. The supplemental characters were great, and I absolutely loved the one who will be featured as the lead in the next book.
Should you read it? I did enjoy the suspenseful elements of the book, as well as the multiple complexities of the father/daughter relationships. I will say I found the timeline of the novel to be rather distracting, and various elements of Luke and Katya’s relationship to be unrealistic. Mainly how they’ve only spent a total of 5 days together in 6 years, and how Katya forgave him so quickly after so much time apart.
Smut Level: How to get intimate when you have a young one at home? Call a babysitter, and check-in to a motel. Bow chica wow wow!
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 311 Pages.