Title: “Sting” (Spark, #4)
Author: Jennifer Ryder
Genre: Steamy Erotic Romance
Release Date: 27th February, 2015.
Going undercover has its challenges. When Detective Ryan Clark is sent to the sleepy coastal town of Fremantle to dismantle the country’s most lethal drug syndicate, it’s worth the risk. Even if he becomes a fatality in the war against drugs.
Ryan finds himself coming back to the same coffee shop. Blondie, the local barista, has him hot under the collar and reaching for his piece. He knows the attraction isn’t just one-sided.
She’s trying to keep her distance.
It only makes him want her more.
Willow Asher left it all behind, but not by choice.
After two long years, she’s finally getting somewhere. Willow has a busy café with her buxom business partner, Gabby, who is the closest thing she has to family.
Although Willow’s past still plagues her thoughts, she’s determined to have her happily-ever-after. As soon as her demons stop haunting her.
What she doesn’t need is the complication of Mr Sexy-Brown-Eyes, who seems to be drinking more and more coffee.
She doesn’t want the questions.
She’s still trying to get her story straight.
*** For over 18 years. Contains Adult themes. CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE***
Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
I have been a fan of Jennifer Ryder’s work ever since her first book, “Spark”, came out last year. Her ability to create stories with believable and relatable characters always draw me in, and ever since she introduced us to Detective Ryan Clark in “Spike”, I have been very curious to find out if this very sexy man would end up surprising me. I am happy to say that he has – and in the best possible way.
Being an undercover cop has its ups and downs, but Ryan loves his job, despite the sacrifices he has to make whenever he is working on one. This time, he is moving to the small town of Fremantle in order to bust a major drug cartel, but it does not take long before this charismatic man gets more than he bargained for.
Willow Asher, the local barista is a very guarded, but attractive woman, and Ryan quickly becomes rather intrigued by her. Granted, her beauty is what catches his attention first – he is a man, after all – but the way she conducts herself whenever he is around soon makes him realise that here is a woman who has the ability to make Ryan think about more than his career: could she be the woman he, unknowingly, has been waiting for? Equally important, how is it fair to start a relationship with someone when he cannot be completely honest about whom he is? Finally, what secrets is Willow keeping, and will she find herself able to confide in Ryan eventually?
Read the book and these questions will be answered. 😉
Like I said in the beginning of this review, Ryan took me by surprise. I was already aware of the fact that he loves his job, and that he is very good at it, too, but what made me fall head over heels in love with him was experiencing the love he has for his family, his sense of loyalty to the people closest to him, and, finally, the way he does not seem to be reluctant to let his feelings for Willow develop. This man truly has the biggest heart rarely seen: he is a protector, a friend, and, yes, a very sexual man – but what woman in their right mind does not long for these three character traits in a partner? I cannot think of a single one. Moreover, he has a wicked sense of humour that made me snort-giggle, or downright laugh, sometimes; lastly, the fact that he becomes a bit of a romantic sap – his own words, not mine – when he realises the depth of his feelings for Willow made me swoon completely. Ryan felt so real to me, and you all know how much I appreciate that in the books I read.
Willow is quirky, sweet, and rather funny as well when she lets her guard down. Being forced to uproot her life and ending up a successful business owner, making some good out of a horrible situation, made me admire her a great deal. Her circumstances in life also made me very sad, and I found myself glued to my Kindle, near desperate to learn what had happened to her: she is quite a mystery. However, the way she, in the end, allows herself to let go, both emotionally and sexually, was a joy to experience. My romantic heart was almost filled to burst when Willow finally realises that there is not only darkness and fear in the world – no, there is also light and hope, even for her. So, yes, I developed quite a girl crush on her.
As always, Miss Ryder’s storytelling skills are incredible. Her passion for her story and her characters shine through, and her ever-present wit and dry humour made me lose myself, forgetting about the real world for a few hours. If I did not need to sleep sometimes, I believe I would have read “Sting” in one sitting, actually – that is how immersed I was in this romance novel.
This review would not be complete if I failed to mention Gabs – Willow’s friend and business partner – because this character is simply hilarious! Despite her own past heartaches, she has managed to pull herself up and lead a life that is pretty close to perfect for her and her daughter, Sienna. Trust me when I say that the antics of this woman will have you laughing so hard that you will come pretty close to pee your pants. 😉
If you, like me, already are a fan of Miss Ryder, I am sure you have bought a copy of “Sting” by now. However, if you are new to the Spark Series, I will have to urge you to pick them up asap. In my honest opinion, you do not have to read the first three books in the series in order to enjoy “Sting” – it can definitely be read as a standalone novel – but I would still recommend them to all lovers of romance novels: these books will make you laugh, cry, swoon, and even slightly turned on.
Miss Ryder, thank you for giving us the story of Ryan and Willow. It has been a real pleasure getting to know them. ❤
Interested in the Spark Series?
Then check them out below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New Adult and erotic romance writer, and author of the Spark series.
A sexy imagination, a life-long love of books and a sucker for romance, Jennifer Ryder couldn’t stifle her creativity any longer.
Writing steamy adult romance has become her new focus. Living on a rural property in New South Wales, Australia, she enjoys the best of city and country.
Her loving husband is ever willing to provide inspiration, and her two young cherubs, and sheep that don’t see fences as barriers, keep life more than interesting.
Jennifer placed third in the International Stringybark Erotic Short Fiction Award 2013.