First Surrender (The Serafina: Sin City #1)
by Katie Reus
Sierra hit it off with Hayden from the moment they met. The dangerously sexy, tattooed ex-SEAL is one of the best friends she’s ever had—and the main star in her wildest fantasies. But he doesn’t see her that way. And she’d die of embarrassment if he found out she was still a virgin.
And he’s about to make his claim…
Hayden’s struggled to keep his attraction to the beautiful, dark haired casino chef a secret. He’s not good enough for her. But when an attacker targets Sierra, Hayden’s protective instincts go into overdrive. With the attraction between them burning out of control, he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her and convince her they’re meant to be together.
With two sexy main characters ready to make that leap from friends to lovers, First Surrender is an emotion packed and sexy short introduction to a spin-off series by one of my new favorite authors. While I have read a few of the stories from the original series, Red Stone Security, I didn’t originally realize this was going to be a spin-off, fortunately, as I find often I avoid spin-off series knowing they are never as good as the original. Boy I am glad it didn’t work out that way, because I’d have missed out on a great read and the beginning to what I suspect will be another hit series by Katie Reus.
This story revolves around Sierra, a down to earth restaurant chef, and the sexy former SEAL who has become her best friend, Hayden. Though neither of them has made a move they have each desired the other since almost the beginning of their friendship. When an attack on Sierra leaves them both emotionally vulnerable, Hayden decides it is time for him to admit to his desires and go after the woman he craves. As they explore their new relationship, dangers lurk in the background and, knowing that, Hayden is even more determined to keep Sierra close and safe. When they are caught off guard, placing Sierra’s life in danger, Hayden has to act quickly if he wants a chance at a future with the love of his life.
Sierra was a sweet girl with just enough naughty that I found myself really liking her as a woman. Often the sweet, girl-next-door characters just don’t have the nerve and spunk to stand up to a hot alpha male, but Sierra certainly didn’t fall into that category. Willing to call him on his bullshit and take his control to the edge in the bedroom, she is just hot enough to make Hayden nuts, and I loved it. Hayden is definitely the quintessential alpha male; being a former SEAL this is not surprising. But seeing him turn into a big teddy bear around Sierra was beyond cute. While he remains protective and determined to keep Sierra, not just safe but in his arms, his caring and thoughtful nature leaves no doubt that any woman he loves will be the focus of his life. When they are together, whether burning up the sheets (or kitchen counters :D) or just snuggling on the couch you can immediately see that Hayden is devoted to Sierra and there is nothing in the world that can tear him from her side.
In the end, I am even more determined to finish the previous series before I get too much farther in this spin-off, mainly because seeing how the team operates makes me crazy to learn more about these characters. Getting to see Hayden taking care of business as well as fessing up to his feelings for Sierra reminds me that there really are good men in the world that can be strong and vulnerable with the woman they trust. Sierra was a great character on her own, but seeing her bring out the heart and soul of Hayden was what made me love her even more. The dangers that put Sierra directly into Hayden’s protective instincts and force the time table on their relationship to move more quickly, were well written and thoughtful, with just enough crazy to give us a proper villain. I can’t wait to find out more about these characters and get to see Jay, Hayden’s brother, in his story coming soon.