Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Naughty Stranger by Stacey Kennedy

From USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy comes a thrilling, sexy romance about a woman in danger and a small-town police detective who will do anything to keep her safe.

After a sudden tragedy blew her world apart, Peyton Kerr fled her big city career and started over in Stoney Creek, Maine. So far, she’s loving small-town life–no one knows about her past, and her easy flirtation with Boone Knight gives her a reason to smile. But then someone is murdered in Peyton’s store, and her quiet, anonymous existence is instantly destroyed. To make matters worse, Boone–a police detective–is assigned to the case, and Peyton knows she can’t keep him at arm’s length any longer. She’s resisted the simmering heat between them–but now this gorgeous man is promising to keep her safe–and satisfied…

Boone Knight doesn’t want the complications of a relationship. But when he volunteers to protect his town’s newest–and sexiest–resident, he finally admits he’d like to explore their sizzling attraction. And after one incredible night, everything changes for Boone. Peyton is sweeter–and braver–than anyone he’s ever met, and with her in his arms, everything makes sense. He just needs to convince her to trust him enough to reveal her secrets, or risk losing her to a merciless killer who seems to grow bolder with each passing day.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I just have to say I loved everything about this story, it is the perfect romantic suspense that will have you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what will happen next.

Peyton Kerr is starting her life over in a new town, the last place she was truly happy. Moving to small-town Stoney Creek, Maine, where she bought a small business and a lake house. She loves that no one knows about her past. It is perfect for starting over.

Boone Knight is the sexy police detective that is drawn to Peyton, and why not? She did kiss him before she even knew who he was. They have a chemistry that sizzles when they are in the same room. Neither Boone nor Peyton are looking for a relationship, because of their past. But why can't they have a little fun together?

When a body turns up in Peyton's shop, her quiet existence is suddenly gone. It seems someone is after her, but her life back in Seattle looks perfectly clean on paper.

Can Boone protect her from who is after her? Will Peyton give in to the feelings for Boone? Can Boone and Peyton figure out what is really going on and why? Will there be a future for Boone and Peyton?

As I said, I loved everything about this story, it is filled with romance, love, lust, suspense, new beginnings, and a happily ever after. I love Stacey Kennedy; she has a way of drawing you into a story and keeping you hanging on until the end. I highly recommend this story and love that it is the beginning of a series, so more romantic suspense to come. I cannot wait.

I really enjoyed this story combining small town romance with a touch of mystery and suspense.

On her very first night in Stoney Creek, where Peyton plans to make a fresh start, she ends the evening kissing a stranger (Boone) outside the local bar, owned by Boone's sister, Kinsley. This was definitely not intentional and given the knocks which both Peyton and Boone have suffered, the chemistry is not something which they want to acknowledge. It sets up the story beautifully though!

Kinsley is instantly a good friend to Peyton and helps Peyton in her journey of recovery from her loss. Not that anyone knows about that, because Peyton wants to be herself, and not defined as a widow. She doesn't even admit to her past career as an ER nurse, and throws herself fully into her new lingerie store.

Boone also has a past he wants to move past, and as we learn about his betrayal and the loss suffered by Peyton, we can see that they would be perfect for each other – so it is fun watching them dance around and accept the inevitable! But when someone is murdered in her store, and an accident befalls Peyton, Boone is determined to both protect her and discover what is at the bottom of the events.

I liked the twist; there are strong hints, but it is cleverly revealed and dealt with in a satisfying way. We also get some hints of who will star in future installments, but I do hope that we continue to get news of this lovely and deserving couple.

This is a romantic suspense story about Peyton, a newcomer to a small town, and Boone, police detective she falls for. But just as Peyton starts to relax into her new life, terrible things start to happen around her.

I have to admit that I’m conflicted about this story. The premise, the blurb, and the bones of this story work. It just isn’t developed as well as I’d expect from such an established author. I was distracted by the choppy writing and copy-editing errors at the start (which will hopefully be corrected pre-publication), and I was annoyed by the frustrating lack of character and relationship development.

Peyton and Boone are both interesting characters with secrets and pasts. This combination should have created suspense and romantic tension but instead we get a sort of insta-love/friends with benefits/hook-up/soulmate mess that I couldn’t make sense of.

Stoney Creek and Boone and Peyton’s friends feel like they’ve been pulled from a stock character lucky dip. Remy is kooky. Kinsley is an instant BFF. Asher is brooding… The town itself hits every Maine small town cliché in the first few pages. It’s all cute and sweet but it feels formulaic and a little bit tired.

The suspense works better for me than the romance in this book. The start is a little too slow, but the end is exciting. I did find a few things frustrating though. The secrets that should have created suspense were revealed at strange times. A major secret is thrown away early in the story which led to me guessing the whodunnit in the first third of the book. This was disappointing and I kept hoping for twists that would prove me wrong. The twists never came, and the ending was a little too predictable for me.

USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy has written more than forty romances, including titles in her wildly hot Kinky Spurs, Club Sin, and Filthy Dirty Love series. Her books are about real people with real-life problems, searching for that special thing we call love… in a very sexy way. When she’s not burning up the pages and setting e-readers ablaze, she’s living her happily ever after with her husband and two young children in southwestern Ontario. She’s a firm believer that wine, chocolate, and sinfully sexy books can cure all of life’s problems.

Connect with Stacey

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Naughty Stranger (Dangerous Love #1) by Stacey Kennedy to read and review.

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