Friday, February 28, 2014

ARC Mini-Review: Sensual Surrender

Sensual Surrender (The Serafina: Sin City #2)



I’m ready to move on. Please don’t search for me. Please just let me go.
The note on the kitchen table shatters Jay Wentworth’s world into bits. Ellie is his lover, his soulmate, his best friend…she’s the woman who stood by him through the aftermath of a horrible explosion, the woman he’s planning to propose to. He’d do anything for her…except let her go. With his fierce protectiveness kicked into overdrive, he teams up with Ellie’s Hotel Serafina boss, billionaire Wyatt Christiansen, to find her. Ellie is family at the casino and they take care of their own.
Ellie is devastated when her secret past finally catches up with her. Stupid to think she could bury the mistakes of her youth and find happiness with a good man. Leaving Jay rips her heart to shreds, but it’s the only way she can protect him from the dangerous people she once ran with. And deep down, she fears he’ll never be able to forgive her for hiding her past from him.
The closer Jay gets to the truth about Ellie, the deeper he plunges into danger. He’ll move heaven and earth to save her, but if she can’t trust in Jay’s love it might be too late for both of them.
Themes: Erotica, contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Another fast paced and emotion packed story of redemption, love, and the challenges of giving your trust to the one you love.  Sensual Surrender takes us through the relationship of a couple we met in a previous novel, so while they were already established, we get to see a whole different side of their relationship and watch them grow and change together.  Being a spin-off of the Red Stone security series, the Serafina series carries many of the same themes throughout and we get to visit some favorite characters from the first series.  There is always plenty of action, drama, and sensuality in a Katie Reus novel, but getting to see the softer side of these alpha guys is what keeps readers returning for more.  I also enjoyed the expanded length of this story and hope that they continue to get longer as the series progresses, but in the meantime the story packs a major punch, no matter its size.
Ellie and Jay have been together almost a year, but she has never really given up the secrets of her past, nor does she intend to, until the past comes back to bite her in the ass.  Determined to protect all her new friends and most importantly Jay, Ellie strikes out on her own in an attempt to get away from her past once again, and hopefully find a way to make it stay away this time.  But she underestimates Jay’s unwillingness to lose his Soulmate.  When he discovers she has run, he immediately sets out to bring her back and battle her dragons, if not for her, then at least with her. Though he is hurt and frustrated with her decisions, she is like a habit that he doesn’t even want to try to kick.   With the help of their friends and some unlikely allies, Jay and Ellie are able to ensure her past stays gone for good, but will that be enough to allow them to overcome the pain of Ellie’s attempted desertion? Only if Jay can forgive her, will they be able to find their happy ending and built a life together.
Jay is seriously the perfect guy! He is sweet to Ellie, loving to his family and friends, determined to overcome all obstacles, but still remains strong, naughty, and sensual.  When he is faced with the choice of losing the woman he loves or chasing after her into unknown circumstances, he doesn’t even think twice before throwing himself into danger to keep her safe.  Even his anger and frustration are sexy as he works to reconnect with Ellie and earn her unconditional trust.  Seeing him in action as he works to jump the hurdles to keep Ellie safe, you get a glimpse into the operator he obviously once was and the cunning and successful security agent he still is.  Ellie is a woman of contradictions.  Her convictions and vulnerabilities often leave her at loose ends, as she makes decisions meant to keep her friends safe, without worrying about the danger she might be placing herself in.  She so obviously loves Jay and her friends, but refuses to let her past indiscretions place them in the line of fire. When her plan backfires, putting her man into even more danger, she takes a stand and decides to give him her trust so that they can keep each other safe.  Finding that inner strength in her made me realize that she was indeed a perfect match for Jay.  She was stubborn but fearful at turns, but never gave up on her biggest goal—keeping Jay safe, in hopes they might one day have a future.
Sensual Surrender turned out to be more than just a story of a woman running from her past, it is really a story of a woman surrendering her heart to the man she loves so they can have a future, surrendering her fears to the faith that together they can win against any challengers.  I liked Jay in the last two books he appeared in, and getting to see him finally find a long lasting love was fulfilling.  Ellie is one of those characters who can’t see the forest for the trees, but when Jay finally opens her eyes and heart and she sees the wonderful life they could have, she becomes a force to be reckoned with.  The overall plot was well structures with action, suspense, and intrigue, running parallel to the story of two people reestablishing their love.  It was also great to get flashbacks of the beginning of their relationship, allowing us to see not only where they are, but also where they were then and hints of where they will be going in the future.  This is a great series, so even if you haven’t read any of the Red Stone series, or even book one in this series, I think you’ll love Sensual Surrender as much as I have.  Embrace the sexy men and women of the Serafina and their home in Sin City.   

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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