Monday, August 3, 2015

Strong Enough (Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #1) by M. Leighton: ARC Review

Blurb:

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.


Click to Buy the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous Series on Amazon:

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About M. Leighton:

M. Leighton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Wild Ones and The Bad Boys romance trilogies.  She is a native of Ohio, relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she lets her mind wander to 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 horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.  

To find more of M. Leighton's books, visit her Amazon Author Page.


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Review by Yvette:

Do you ever just read a certain scene from a book and think to yourself...damn? That was the first and most prevalent thought in my head as I read the opening chapter of M. Leighton's Strong Enough because I wasn't quite finished processing what I had just read before moving forward with the narrative. The introduction to our anti-hero, Jasper, packs such an emotional punch that I was left wondering how this gut-wrenchingly emotional start would impact the rest of the story. It set the tone for the rest of the book (and the series, I imagine) while creating an immediate and intense emotional draw toward this otherwise secretive character.

After such a dark and ominous introduction to Jasper's character, it's somehow apropos that his fellow protagonist, Muse, is his opposite in every way, lightening the mood with her general liveliness. Light versus dark; open versus guarded; carefree versus burdened – the differences between Muse and Jasper couldn’t be more apparent as the two are thrown together on a mission to locate Muse’s missing father. While Muse is refreshingly transparent in regards to her feelings, Jasper is a mystery you can't help but want to unravel. What I love about M. Leighton’s style of writing is that it delves inside the innermost thoughts of these characters and explains their motivations so thoroughly in a way that's easy to understand. Their physical attraction may not have needed an explanation, but the emotions that connect them are far more complex. There's so much mystery surrounding the narrative that it helped to have the alternating narratives, more so with Muse at the start of the book, although I felt that I better understood Jasper’s character by the end.

Strong Enough is a darker romance that's sure to tug on your heartstrings, taking risks and refusing to shy away from the darkness inside of Jasper. I was on edge reading this book, constantly on the lookout for the source of the mystery that connects Jasper and Muse. Because of the slow pacing and gradual buildup during the first half of the narrative, I just about drove myself crazy with the anticipation. The tension and suspense is only heightened when everything comes to a head, delivering a nail-biting thriller at the book’s climax. Strong Enough is undoubtedly darker than anything the author has previously written, which was unexpected but not unwelcome. This is a book that will take you on a roller coaster of emotions so sit back, buckle your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 Stars

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