A traumatized Toronto heiress experiences new dangers and first love with a mysterious, covert operative in this debut romantic thriller.
In a prologue, Maddison Brooks muses upon being held captive seven years ago, after she startled a burglar who was likely after her green diamond Fabergé egg. After a shadowy figure freed her, she was put under psychiatric care by her rich Toronto businessman father and has since been plagued by visions that cause bleeding wounds on her body. In the present day, 22-year-old Maddison is on her way to meet her visiting older sister at a Toronto restaurant. Matthew Stoke, who’s getting ready for a covert assignment, spots Maddison, is struck by her beauty, and is shocked to learn her identity as the woman he once rescued. The couple has a brief yet powerful encounter, and Maddison is dazzled by his “money green” eyes. That night, she awakens to find Matthew in her house, and he saves her from arriving murderous thugs. He brings her to his home, where he witnesses one of her bleeding episodes. She loses her virginity to him, and the couple enjoys multiple bouts of mind-blowing sex. They also investigate the thugs, although Maddison chafes under Matthew’s protection, which includes security teams and surveillance. A blowout birthday party for Maddison’s father at the Metropolitan Museum of Art becomes the setting for a final, violent showdown. Author Brade turns up the heat in this first installment of a planned series, which includes many racy descriptions of the leading couple’s sexual fireworks, such as spanking and other love play (“He spanked me again, softer than before, but this time hungrier, his intensity stronger”). However, the book doesn’t fully explain the mystery of the missing egg, which takes a back seat to the romantic interludes, although the author may intend to connect the dots further in a follow-up. Overall, though, this is a rollicking, intriguing start.
A sexy suspense novel despite some loose plot threads.