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Release Launch and Reviews: The Sapphire Affair: Lauren Blakely

The Sapphire Affair - coverThe Sapphire Affair (Jewel #1)
Lauren Blakely
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Expected July 12, 2016 

Bounty hunter Jake Harlowe knows how to track a criminal. So when a group of swindled shareholders hires him to trail their former CEO, Jake expects a quick trip to the Cayman Islands to close another case. Until a devastatingly beautiful woman gets in the way.

Steph Anderson is visiting the Caymans for a rock climbing and dive trip—or so she tells Jake. She’s really trying to find out whether or not her stepfather embezzled money from his company. The last thing Steph needs is the distraction of a sexy, charming man whose kisses drive her wild.

Soon, the pair discover they’re after the same target—and millions in jewels. While Jake can’t be certain Steph isn’t working for her stepfather, and Steph can’t be certain Jake isn’t after the diamonds for himself, they can agree the heat between them is intense, and neither can deny the passion for long. 

But the morning after, Steph discovers that she just might have slept with the enemy, and now she’ll have to outwit him to get everything she needs… 

** THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR & THE SAPPHIRE HEIST are being released by Montlake, which is an Amazon publishing company, and will only be available for sale at Amazon. You can download a free Kindle reading app for any smartphone or tablet here.

SapphireAffair_CoverReveal_SunKissedQuoteGraphic
A guy and a girl meet in a bar in the Caymans. They exchange some flirty dialogue and a scorching hot kiss. An interest is sparked, but some inconsistencies make them question each other's sincerity. 

Recovery expert, Jake Harlowe is on a mission to find some missing money and how it is hidden. Steph Anderson, is also looking into the same situation but on her mother's behalf since the target is her ex step-father.

Is it better to work alone or together? Are they working for the same goal or against each other? They both have trust issues from being burned in the past so neither takes that decision lightly.

They have serious sexual tension and chemistry. Jake is hot, smart, strong, and loyal. He will do anything for his family. He has a job to do and a paycheck to earn, but he also strives to right wrongs. 

Steph is sweet, sassy, fun, and tenacious. She's just rebuilding her own business and reputation after some set backs. She needs the truth to come to determine if her step-father really is dishonest. And she wants to return the stolen money and help her mother.

They flirt, spark, and intrigue, and get under each other's skin. They know it's not a good idea to mix business and pleasure, but they cannot seem to keep their hands off each other. It is a dance of duty versus temptation, so they need to determine the best course of action.  

I loved the banter and chemistry between them. I enjoyed the romantic suspense and mystery aspect of the story. It was funny, sexy, sweet, and full of clandestine adventures. Steph still holds out some hope of her step-father's innocence, but Jake wants to prove he is guilty. The island setting adds some sun and fun along with the mystery and suspense. It's interesting to try to pick up the clues to try to solve the puzzle along with Steph and Jake. There were plenty of side characters that had the potential to be good or bad. 

Who has hidden agendas? What is really going on with the missing money and the diamonds? Are Steph and Jake really working together or is one working against the other?

It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but fortunately book two The Sapphire Heist is out soon. I cannot wait to figure out how this all turns out. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Jake Harlowe is a bounty hunter tracking money stolen from a group of shareholders. As he closes in on the man and the money, he also stumbles on a beautiful woman who may or may not be working with his target. He is typically focused on the job. His drive to provide for his younger siblings keeps him targeted and sharp, driven to get the job done in the shortest amount of time possible.

Stephanie Anderson extends a work trip in the Caymans hoping to find out whether or not her stepfather is hiding money that isn’t really his. She realizes Jake can help in her search, but doesn’t fully trust that he is who he says he is. Steph has spent considerable time and effort rebuilding her business after an ex nearly destroyed her professional credibility. She doesn’t need distractions while she rebuilds.

The spark between Jake and Steph is quick and hot. They can’t resist each other even as they question motives and truths. Their connection definitely makes it hard to focus on their missions, and adds to the purpose of this first book.

These two have trust issues galore. Rightly so, given the circumstances of their meeting and some shady history in other deals.

The first part of this story ran quickly. The circumstances are set and a lot of questions pop up about the money, the players, and what is really going on in the Caymans.
I wasn’t paying close attention to the progress bar as I continued through this book, and was surprised by the quick ending. I knew it wasn’t a complete story on it’s own, but I was surprised by where the cut happened. I have so many questions remaining that I am glad I can continue straight into The Sapphire Heist, and I can’t wait to find out what happened and where Jake and Steph will find themselves in their search. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
 He’d have to get to the bottom of this on his own, and figure out if he was being played by the woman with the starfish belly ring. He wasn’t going to let last night’s kiss cloud his focus. He wasn’t going to let that blue bikini that hugged her hips, and had the good fortune to snuggle up to her breasts, distract him. Absolutely not.

“I’m glad you made it. I thought you’d get a kick out of Happy Turtle Cove, since you named me Happy Turtle,” she said, then dropped her voice to a faux whisper. “But it’s really a cove for turtles. I was just swimming with them.”

Stop. Just stop.

Swimming with turtles was too adorable. Especially when her nose crinkled. A constellation of freckles was splashed across her nose. He hadn’t noticed them yesterday. Briefly, he wondered where else she might be hiding freckles that he’d uncover on a proper and thorough investigation of her fantastic body. Preferably with his tongue, across every inch of her skin. “You were actually swimming with turtles?”

She tapped the mesh bag on her shoulder. “My snorkel gear is in here.” She gestured to her body. “Sorry, I’m still in my bathing suit. I’ll put on a sundress as soon as this is dry.”

“Or just remove the bikini entirely so it’ll dry faster. It’s not ever necessary to put on a dress on my account. I’m completely OK with the bikini as a sole item of clothing on a woman like you,” he said, then nearly smacked himself. He had to stop thinking with his dick. He had to use that head on his goddamn shoulders.

Cover up that body. Put a paper bag over your face. Stop being so damn sexy and sweet. Stop making me think about taking you back to my hotel room and peeling off that bikini and tasting how sweet your sun-kissed skin is.

“I’m glad to know that both nudity and skimpy bathing suits have your sartorial approval. But I actually hope to look somewhat decent when you take me to the Coconut Iguana. My friend Sandy runs it.”

He arched an eyebrow in question.

She tapped her wrist, even though it was bare. She didn’t strike him as a watch wearer. “Lunch time. I’m hungry. So I decided to let you take me out to lunch as a reward for your showing up and following my napkin instructions. Plus, they have the best fish tacos on the Islands, and absolutely amazing coconut drinks,” she said, stepping closer and bumping her hip against him.

A groan rumbled in his chest. Why was the universe torturing him?

He forced his brain to take over. To focus on facts, not lust. Because it made no sense why she’d be hungry, since he’d seen her at a restaurant two hours ago, and she didn’t look like she noshed around the clock. This was another sign that she might be working for the enemy.

“I’m hungry, too. Let’s head to the Coconut Iguana.” He held out a hand, telling himself that lunch was the perfect opportunity to get to the heart of who this woman was. Since she knew Eli, she might be a valuable asset. And if this woman was playing him, he could play her.
The Sapphire Heist - coverThe Sapphire Heist (Jewel #2)
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Pre-order ✦ Amazon US ✦ Amazon UK ✦ Amazon Paperback ✦ Amazon AU ✦ Amazon CA

Expected August 16, 2016

Keep your lover close and your enemy closer…

After giving in to a fiery night of passion, island adventurer Steph Anderson and bounty hunter Jake Harlowe are back to square one. With millions in stolen jewels at stake, it’s hard for Steph not to question her new partner’s true motives—no matter how sexy he might be. Jake is hungry for more of Steph, but he can sense her growing mistrust, which only fuels his own doubts. Worse, there’s undeniable evidence that someone else is now after the jewels—and that they are both in real danger.

Fighting against their magnetic attraction is a distraction these two can’t afford. In order to survive, they’ll have to pull off one more heist—and trust each other with something even more precious than jewels: their hearts.
Author pic - Lauren Blakely
About Lauren Blakely: Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With nine New York Times bestsellers,her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller List more than three dozen times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love and Fighting Fire. She recently released BIG ROCK, a sexy standalone romantic comedy that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. In the late spring, she’ll release MISTER O, another standalone romantic comedy.

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