Friday, October 13, 2017

Trust in Us by S.M. Harshell

Just coming out of a horrible relationship, Jocelyn Jane Zona… J, to her friends… swears off men and throws herself into her work. Unfortunately, she’s around men every day. Being a female mechanic is an uphill battle, but she loves what she does. If people want to make an issue out of it, let them. J lets her work speak for itself. She knows she is damn good at what she does.

She’s worked at Z’s Service since she was fourteen, learning everything she knows from her pop and the boys at the shop. They are family. Family is supposed to be there for each other, protect each other. When she finds out someone in the family is putting her father’s business in jeopardy, she vows to protect what’s hers.

Cole Masters finally feels like he’s breaking the hold of his past. He’s enjoying his life and his new job at Z’s Service. He feels like he fits in. This could be a home for him.

When he meets J, he is impressed. Turned on by her strong attitude, he realizes one night would never be enough. He also knows baggage he carries is too much for him to deal with, let alone expecting someone else to. In his mind, he doesn’t deserve to be happy.

When he finds her in trouble, his protective nature kicks in. Can he hold his heart at bay while he protects her and tries to save Z’s? Can he learn that his past doesn’t define who he is now? Can he trust again?

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Book 1
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~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

J is a great mechanic. She loves her job, but hates the politics that come along with (1) being the only woman in the shop, and (2) working for her dad. She finds herself in the crosshairs of a battle that isn't really hers to fight.

Cole is an ex-con who is just trying to get on with his life. When he meets J, there is an instant attraction, but he wants to try and keep his nose clean and not rock the boat. However, when J is put in jeopardy, he can't help but involve himself.

J and Cole have a good connection and they each try to protect each other. This is a fast-paced story with a lot going on. The romance was a good story, but not the whole story and I think that made it much more enjoyable. I liked that there were so many moving parts.

I really want to see what happens next and I hope we get to see more of J and Cole.

Jocelyn Jane Zona, or J as she is known by family and friends, is the female version of her father. Being raised by her dad since her mom died, J knows all there is about working on cars and is proud to be a mechanic in her dad's shop. After her last disastrous relationship, she swears off men but it's hard when she works around a shop full of them. But at least those she works with are more like family, until the day Cole Masters is leaning on her toolbox.

Cole Masters is at Z's Service for a job and he feels like he might be at a place where he fits in. After his past, a fresh start is what he needs. When he meets J, he is drawn to her tough attitude, strong will, and her ‘I can do it myself’ mentality. When Cole and J are thrown together on a trip, they can't deny the attraction but stop after one kiss because they both know that one night will never be enough.

When trouble comes calling at Z's and J gets hurt, it is Cole that wants to protect her. But J doesn't want to tell her dad because she thinks that she is protecting him and the shop. Can Cole trust J with his past and can J tell him about her past? Will J realize that she is not protecting anyone by not telling her dad? Can they protect the shop and save J in the end?

Even though it started out a little slow to me, it picks up and turns out to be a good story. I can't wait for the next book which is going to be about Asher and Jules, which are Cole and J's best friends. This is a first for me from this author and I can't wait to read more from her.

This story had an interesting premise: a female mechanic (JJ) who needs to overcome hurdles in her life and learn to trust. Cole is trying to rebuild his life, while learning who he really is. While these two characters are getting to know one another, they are also trying to figure out the threat to their shop.

This book had dark themes, all in the past, but they kept recurring – so I will issue a warning: physical and sexual abuse is mentioned and may upset readers. These topics are touched upon in a few scenes, but nothing that's too gritty.

I felt that first third of the story was paced quickly, but it slowed down after that. There is a lot going on, but I just lost interest in the main characters. I had a hard time believing in the romantic connection. JJ was all over the place, she was a tad melodramatic and Cole was the opposite, he seemed stoic at times – I just didn't "feel" it.

I did enjoy the suspense angle, it was realistic and not overdone. I also really liked the secondary characters, Jules and Asher, they were both great additions. I am interested in their story!

The things I loved most about this book, in no particular order:

1. Our female lead character, J, is a mechanic working in her father's garage. The feminist in me loved reading a story about a strong woman working in a male-dominated industry. I adored J, even when I thought she was making a wrong choice.

2. I loved that both J and Cole both have serious issues in their past that makes them think relationships are not for them. I love it when a couple falls in love without even meaning to, almost against their will.

3. The pace of this story. It is spot on. I flew through the book and was never bored. A good mix of romance and action and the right amount of sex scenes.

This is the first book in the Forbidden Love series and my first book by this author. I had a great time reading J and Cole's romance and I look forward to reading Jules and Asher's story, which is up next.

S.M. Harshell lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband, two children and two attention seeking cats. She has been writing since she was a child. Recently, with the support of her husband and him giving her that extra little shove she needed, she has ventured out into the Indie world.

S.M. is an avid reader. You can find her, in any free time she has, reading. Whether it's waiting at the doctor's office or standing in line at the grocery store, her nose is stuck in a book.

After the completion of her first novel, Saving Amy, she is currently working on several new releases.

Connect with S.M.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Trust in Us (Forbidden Love #1) by S.M. Harshell to read and review.

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