Series: The Hunted #5
Published by Avon on Jan. 5, 2016
Genres: Romantic suspense
Source: the publisher
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Also by this author: Her Lucky Cowboy, His Cowboy Heart, Protected By Love, Escape to You
Ben Knight has spent his life protecting those in need and helping abused women escape their terrible circumstances. He’ll stop at nothing to save the lives of his clients, especially the hauntingly beautiful Kate Morrison, a woman threatened by a man whose wealth allows him to get away with everything—including murder.
Kate’s days spent as a social worker, fighting for those unable to help themselves, means she’s spent her fair share of time in a court room. She and Ben have crossed paths, but never that professional line. When he agrees to aid her in putting Evan Faraday behind bars where he belongs, she must trust the sexy lawyer with her life and that of a precious baby.
Will Kate learn to trust Ben in time to save herself, and will they have a chance to explore the love blossoming between them before it’s too late?
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Everything She Wanted is a quick, enjoyable read that falls squarely within the romantic suspense genre, starting off with a double murder followed by the villain’s attempts to control or kill the heroine and the baby she’s protecting.
Ben Knight is well-named; he’s a modern knight protector, an attorney who also owns and runs a shelter for abused women and children. In this case, he’s motivated not only by his interest in Kate, but by a past history with the bad guy, who has gotten out of several “incidents” thanks to his father’s deep pockets. In some of those cases, Ben represented the victims. He knows just what Faraday is capable of, and he wants him put away.
Kate is also fiercely protective; in her case, it’s her sister’s baby she’s defending, because the baby may inherit the Faraday fortune. Her relationship with her sister and with baby Alex is a little more complex than it seems on the surface, which helps explain some of her reactions during the course of the book.
For the most part, the plot works well, although it’s both familiar and one of those where you know from the beginning whodunnit and why (although Kate and Ben aren’t totally sure.) The suspense comes not from mystery but from uncertainty: will the villain(s) win, or will Ben and Kate prevail?
The main characters worked pretty well for me, too — again, for the most part. Both Kate and Ben are wounded emotionally, scarred by their childhoods, neither of them easy. Both have a history of avoiding love and romantic entanglements, and both have begun to question whether that’s really what they want. Their similarities make it easier for each to understand the other, though Ben leads the way in opening his heart. Their pasts also put into perspective their actions and reactions in regard to the case – the threat against Alex and Kate.
That said, there were a few things that bothered me along the way. One is Kate’s propensity for pushing the opposition, even at times when the smart thing to do would be to keep quiet. There’s a scrappiness about her, a fighting spirit, that I admire, but it’s not just her own safety that’s at stake, which makes some of her actions risky to say the least. I was also rather surprised that Kate got involved with Ben relatively quickly, given her usual reservations and the depth of her grief for her sister. (But then, Ben’s pretty much a prince, and it wouldn’t make much sense to let him get away!) And there’s a secondary character, a teenage girl, whom I liked and whom Kate has begun to mentor. She fades out of the picture in a way that should have worried Ben and Kate, but didn’t; it was as if she had served her dramatic function and the author saw no need to keep her around. Those things, plus the flat-cardboard nature of Faraday’s mother, individually served to briefly throw me out of the story, though I quickly jumped back in each time.
Based on this book, I’m interested in reading more of Ryan’s romantic suspense — especially one or two of the earlier books in this series. (The psychic married to an FBI agent has me decidedly intrigued.) But I think I prefer her Montana Men series, at least at this point. We’ll see after I’ve read a few more of both!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: