Release Reviews: Brave Enough: M. Leighton

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Expected April 5, 2016

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes another dark, sexy story…

Is she brave enough to give her heart to a man she only thought she knew?

He was the most charismatic man I’d ever met. Strong, tough, brave. Bold as hell. Something told me Tag Barton could have anything—anyone—he wanted...and he wanted me. It didn’t matter that he was wrong for me in practically every way possible. It didn’t matter that my father would hate it. 

I couldn’t resist him. Even if I’d known who he really was and what he was really capable of.

When he suggested we pretend to be engaged, I thought he was the answer to all my problems. He wasn’t. And, in his wake, he left nothing but scorched earth and me, just another casualty of my father’s war.

Can I believe him now when he tells me he loves me?  Or is he nothing more than a beautiful, breathtaking lie?

Weatherly O'Neal is escaping to her family's vineyard and her childhood vacation home. Soon after her arrival, she is met by Tag Barton, the charismatic hired help whose family has always worked the vineyard. They are on opposite ends of the perceived class system. Their interactions are flirty and full of sexual tension and innuendo. They have an immediate spark and attraction. She has come to Chiara to avoid family pressure, and a distraction could be just what she needs to have a little fun and ignore her problems for a bit.

Getting involved with Tag is a walk on the wild side for Weatherly. She is usually the girl who follows rules and does what is expected of her. But she is at at a point in her life that what is expected of her might come at too great a cost. A little dalliance is something just for herself that her family has no part of.

These two start really quickly with a fierce need and wild abandon. Their pull is powerful and they make each other lose control. Her life was bland and controlled until he lit it up. He is usually the assertive risk taker, intelligent, and focused.  But she gets under his skin and skews his judgment. Their plans turn more and more personal and a strong connection forms. But Tag's omissions are lurking and threaten to catch up to him and ruin it all.

Tag wants her in his bed because he is seriously attracted to her. But he may also have his own plans and some ulterior motives. He is raw, magnetic, seductive, and sexy-as-hell. He easily reels her in, but  is a bit oblivious to his own true feelings. He is immersed in a mess of his own making trying to protect those he cares about, but also making some mistakes. 

Weatherly was lost, but then felt found. Her life became animated, passionate, and more free. But she also had family issues to face and ultimately getting hurt. Broken trust and hurt feelings tend to lead to loss of hope and avoidance. She finds herself not sure what to believe.
She was brave enough to make herself vulnerable and let go, but will she be brave enough to take the risk of trusting him again or giving him a second chance? Tag was never afraid of anything in his life except telling her the truth and losing her. But his mistakes have repercussions.

This was completely different from the first two books. It was set in the Chiara Winery and did not have the action and suspense. The ex military murder plot story line was already concluded. Rogan and Katie from Tough Enough did make an appearance. I like their brotherly like bond and friendship. But this was more of a story about unexpected love, secrets, trust, and questionable motives. It all happened quickly and was definite insta-lust and kind of insta-love but with definite communication issues. It was told in both Weatherly and Tag's points of views, but Tag was an enigma at times and secretive with giving out information But it was obvious that a conflict was eventually going to come to light. I figured out some of his secrets, but some surprised me.

I liked them both individually and I liked them together. Tag was a swoonworthy hero, but he was flawed and fallible. Weatherly was smart, kind, and loving. They had a fun rapport and seriously scorching hot, can't-keep-their-hands-and-body-parts-to-themselves chemistry. Their sex scenes were hot and intense. The winery setting added more depth and romance. This was a funny, flirty, passionate, and emotional story about living life on your own terms, the importance of trust, and finding a true mate to share it with.  

ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Weatherly O’Neill always does what is best for her family, having been raised to be polite, meek, and careful with her responses. When her father threatens the charity that she runs if she doesn’t marry to help the family business, Weatherly runs to the family winery, Chiara, a place that has always held fond memories and allowed to her relax and find perspective.

There she finds Tag Barton, son of the housekeeper, maintaining the vineyards and causing her to throw aside all her thoughts of forming a plan to prevent her wedding. Instead, she finds herself consumed with thoughts of the spontaneous man, finding similarities between them though they come from different backgrounds.

I really liked Weatherly. Though she is confused and has a history of going along with her parents’ wishes for her, she is beginning to realize that she doesn’t always like what she is “supposed” to do and it doesn’t truly reflect the woman she wants to be.

Tag is an easy hero to like. Carefree, but not perfect, he is as tied to Chiara as Weatherly and his loyalty and love is expressed in just about everything he does. He isn’t always honest with what is happening, but he certainly pays the price for his deception.

I loved these two together. From the spontaneity Weatherly finds in his presence to the carefree way they spend time and share with each other. Though they begin as something completely physical, it quickly turns emotional as they spend more and more time together. I love the fake engagement and the speed at which both realize there is more than they anticipated forming between them.

Behind Tag’s easy going ways, he is hiding secrets that could change the way Weatherly sees him. I was able to guess part of Tag’s secret pretty easily based on certain clues, but the other part of his secret was so shocking I never saw it coming.
This was quite different than the other books in the series simply because there was no suspense plot. The murder storyline from the previous books had already been solved, so the men of Delta Five are finally able to relax and enjoy their civilian lives. Rogan and Katie play a small role in this book, as Tag’s closest friends, but there isn’t as much focus on the group as there was before.

ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the first in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy. 

Is she strong enough to trust the most dangerous man she’s ever met? And is he strong enough to let her? 

How would I describe myself? Well, I’m Muse Harper. I’m a twenty-something painter who loves red wine, quirky movies, and men with a fatal flaw. But that was before I met Jasper King. He became my fatal flaw. Eight months ago, I had a choice to make—abandon everything I’ve ever known to protect my family, or stay and risk someone getting hurt. I chose the former. My plan was working just fine until I found out my father had gone missing.

That’s when I met Jasper. A bounty hunter with the eyes of a tiger and the nose of a bloodhound, he was supposed to help me find my father. What I didn’t know was that meeting him was no accident. Hunting people isn’t all that Jasper does. And helping me was only part of his plan. I just wish I’d found out sooner, before my heart got involved. But even then, I don’t know if I’d have done things differently.

Now, I have another choice to make—trust the man that I’m falling in love with and hope that he’ll do the right thing, or run as far away from him as I can get.

Our reviews

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the second book in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

He’s a fighter who never loses, but is he tough enough to win her heart?

There was a time when I had everything–a wonderful family, a bright future. Love. But all that was taken away in a single night, torn from me like flesh from bone. Since then, I’ve hidden away in my second-choice job as a makeup artist. But I prefer it that way, actually. I’m comfortable in the shadows, where no one can see my scars.

Kiefer Rogan literally took my breath away the moment I met him. MMA champion-turned-actor, notorious playboy, charming to a fault—he’s everything I vowed to avoid.

But he just wouldn’t stop until I opened up and let him in. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to resist him. Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen in love with him. Because I, of all people, know that everyone has secrets. Scars. And that they’re usually ugly and painful and destructive to the people we love most.I just never guessed that they could be deadly, too.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, M. Leighton, is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, Michelle finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction. Having written over a dozen novels, these days Michelle enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding wild horses, skiing the slopes of Aspen or scuba diving with a hot rock star, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.

About Michelle: I love coffee and chocolate, even more so when they are combined. I'm convinced that one day they could be the basis for world peace. I also love the color red and am seriously considering dying my hair.
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