Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Make Me Stay by Sidney Halston

Secret identities, second chances, drama, desire: It’s all going down in Miami Beach in this tantalizing novel from the bestselling author of Pull Me Close, which was hailed by Aurora Rose Reynolds as “a heart-gripping story about... the power of love.”

Walking away from Matt Moreno was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Lying to him was a close second, but for his safety, I had no other choice. I was undercover, working to put some nasty people behind bars. But when Matt nearly recognizes me on Lincoln Road a year later, all those very real feelings come rushing back. Now that my assignment’s almost over, will he understand why I lied? Why I had to leave? Most important, can he ever forgive me?

I was madly in love with June Simpson... or, at least, with the woman I thought was June. Then she just disappeared while my family’s nightclub went through hell. And after months of searching, when I think I’ve finally found that sexy, raspy voice and those exquisite blue eyes, she slips away once more. Turns out, “June” is actually Detective April White. She’s been playing me the whole time. And she’s about to rock my world all over again.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo 

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆
A guy and a girl meet, fall in love, and the girl disappears.

A year later, the guy sees the girl on the street and the girl denies that she's the same person. Later she tells him who she really is. She's the person who planted the bugs to find evidence to put his father in prison and cost him his career as a lawyer. He's upset and can't forgive her, until she's severely beaten by a thug who blames her for him going to prison.

As Matt takes care of April during her recovery, he begins to realize that not everything is black and white, that the shades of grey is where the truth lies.

I enjoyed this book, but the flashbacks – from both points of view – made it hard for me to stay in the continuum of this book.

This story starts out with Matt thinking he has found June after a year of her missing. She just vanished, but the only thing besides the voice that is familiar is those blue eyes. But the woman claims to be someone named Zara. So Matt has to wonder if he dreamed up June last year or if she was real because he fell hard for her.

April/June is living and working undercover, but she never thought she would fall for Matt. When she is pulled away from the case, she has to let him go to show that he is innocent and not the one they are looking for.

When she is able to tell Matt the truth, will he accept it and be able to forgive her? Will April be able to forgive herself for all the pain she has put him through? But when she is attacked and badly beaten, can Matt put aside his pain and help her recover?

I loved how the story went back and gave us June and Matt's story and then came back to present day. It made for a better and more enjoyable story for me.

I love how each story touches on some form of disability or disease. In Pull Me Close, Kate had a bad case of PTSD and in this one, April has her own thing she is fighting, you will have to read it to find out what. I love this series and can't wait for Fox and Lola's story.

After reading the first book in the Panic series, I was slightly worried about picking up number two... but because it was Matt's book I really wanted to give it a try. Pull Me Close had a very anxiety ridden character that almost made me crazy, so I worried that the author was going for all flawed leading ladies and had no idea where book two would take us. Matt's character in book one was written well enough that I wanted to see where his story would go.

I enjoyed this installment. It was very different from the first book in the fact that, yes, while our leading lady, April (May? June?) had Crohn's disease, she wasn't a total mess. In fact, she was very strong and sassy. Without spoilers, it's hard to tell much, but Matt and April's story had a lot of deception and angst. When Matt does find June after she disappears following the raid on Matt's nightclub, Panic, she's no longer dark haired and she's no longer June. Trying to reconcile what happened, Matt is left to care for this new person after she's been attacked and left for dead.

I felt for Matt, his character had to come to terms with some serious deception by the people he loves. Having to help and care for the person he used to love but betrayed him in the worst ways. I found Make Me Stay a good read. His struggle was well written and kept me interested.

Can you fall in love with someone who has lied to you about everything? The second book in the Panic series focuses on Matt, Nick’s twin brother, and the woman he first knows as June. This is a tense and angst filled romance – it’s not quite romantic suspense, but it is an exciting read.

This story actually starts before the first book in the series. I was a little confused at first but the split time narrative works well and it gives readers more insight into Matt and Nick’s life before and after their father’s arrest. I like the puzzle created for readers with the dual narration and the need for readers to sift through truths and lies. This book has a little more Miami nightlife glamour than the first and I enjoyed the increased focus on Panic this time round.

I have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book in this series and I was a bit nervous about reading this book. I much preferred Matt and April’s story and I’m glad I stuck with the series. This probably isn’t a standalone – readers of the first book will guess June’s secret straight away and the angst I felt for Matt was almost palpable as he remained oblivious and fell in love with June.

For me, April is a much more interesting character than Katie was in the first book. I didn’t always like April but she intrigued me and I couldn’t help but admire her. This time Matt is possibly the more bland of the two, but the lawyer/club owner is a complicated character and I love the dilemma April posed for him.

It is difficult to say much more without giving anything away but I enjoyed this and it is definitely worth reading.

Make Me Stay happens before Pull Me Close even though you read them in the opposite order.

I loved the angst in Pull Me Close. I was captivated from the beginning. Make Me Stay unfortunately didn't have that same effect for me. I found myself bored at times, I was skimming, especially in the beginning. Matt was such an interesting character, but he just fell flat for me. I wanted to love this book, but it just wasn't for me.

This is the second book in the series, and I think that you would do well to read them in order. Whilst it deals with the same issue from the other twin's viewpoint, it does draw on some of the knowledge gained in the first book.

Matt is working very hard, in his law practice and also in his family nightclub. So he little expects to find time for a romance, and even less does he expect that she will then disappear on him. As we get to see the relationship form, fall apart, and then the stunning truth emerge, it is only the most faithful romance reader that can imagine that this has any chance of working out. But Ms. Halston is a master of her craft and no such fear is necessary, although the resolution is extremely astute, it is also believable.

A good read, with a great mix of passion, romance, and suspense.

Also Available in the Panic Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo 

For reviews & more info, check out our Pull Me Close post.

USA Today bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: "Just Do It"—Nike. And that's exactly what she did.

After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she's not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She's a reader first and a writer second. When she's not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn't have it any other way.

Connect with Sidney

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Make Me Stay (Panic #2) by Sidney Halston to read and review.

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