Pleasure with a price.
A high-profile celebrity wedding in Monaco is the kind of A-list event security specialist Rand Maguire excels at. Everything goes like clockwork, until guests start inexplicably losing all their inhibitions. . . .
Painful secrets from the past.
Rand is no stranger to the effects of Rapture. His chemist father’s attempt at a cure for depression caused Rand’s mother’s death years ago, and put his father away for her murder. Now, someone is circulating Rapture in a campaign of terror, intending to manufacture and sell it on a global scale. But with no leads, Rand feels the heat.
Passion with no limits.
Sexy Lodestone agent Dakota North is sent to help Rand kickstart his search, armed only with her uncanny sixth-sense. But what they discover in their race across Europe is more far-reaching and lethal than an erotic street drug. From a Barcelona bank heist to a million-dollar arms deal in Paris, Dakota and Rand giving in to an insatiable craving for each other in nights of pure carnal delight, no senses left untouched. No Rapture necessary.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I’ve long been a fan of Adair and I know when I pick up one of her books, I’m in for a good read. While I still haven’t gotten the chance to read the first book in this series, Hush, it’s waiting for me on my nook, and I can’t wait to see how this series started off.
Dakota lost everything she had going for her in a short amount of time, her fiance left her, she lost her job and was caught in an explosion that put her int he hospital for months. Now that she is being called in on a case to look into the appearance of a very deadly drug she worked to develop, she will be thrust back into the world that she lost all those years ago.
Rand’s security firm is beyond successful, until a drug is released at a high-profile wedding that causes Hollywood’s elite to turn into sex fiends. When he calls in for help, the last person he expects to see is his ex Dakota. The two of them soon find themselves on a wild goose chase across Europe, hunting the men who released the drug and are now trying to kill them. But when the truth begins to unfold, will these two be able to get past their history together and face the uncertain future?
First let me begin by saying that usually I am not a huge fan of paranormal aspects in my contemporary settings. However, I’ve found that whenever Adair adds a flair of paranormal, it ends up working for me. I liked that she didn’t go to any kind of extreme with it, and didn’t describe it in detail. Instead, it was sort of like an unexplained phenomena that came across to me as believable and real within the world.
The story begins with Rand and starts with the wedding (which let me just tell you, had me cracking smiles left and right with all the “stories” from those under the influence of the drug Rapture). Just as I was getting a feel for Rand and really enjoying his character, Dakota is introduced and Rand does not paint her in the best light. It was painfully obvious they split on horrific terms, and Rand describes her as this horrible person. But once the POV switches to Dakota and more of the story unfolds, I found myself quickly siding with Dakota, and hoping she would knock Rand down a few notches. Their history, as it unfolds, is almost on the level of soap-opera dramaish, and creates for a lot of tension between them.
Despite all that tension though, the two are quick to fall into bed together. I didn’t always understand their readiness to get naked together, and honestly, a few times I wanted to smack Dakota for giving it up while Rand was still acting like a jerk. These two lacked any kind of real communication between them, and once it did all come out, it was painfully obvious that a simple conversation would have done leaps and bounds for their relationship.
I really did enjoy the aspect of these two coming back together and re-kindling their romance. One thing that occasionally irritates me in romantic suspense books is that the hero and heroine only get a few short days to meet, allude the bad guys and fall in love. In most books, it doesn’t always feel as if that is enough to sustain a long-standing relationship. But with Rand and Dakota, it was obvious the two still had intense feelings for one another from the start. While they were constantly on the run, I felt as if they really did have the time to get over their past and move forward with the life they both wanted. I just wish that Dakota would have made Rand apologize a bit more for their past. So much happened between them, and I wanted her to get a little more of a “big gesture” from him before forgiving and forgetting.
One thing that I think Adair does so incredibly well is weave in such intricate plot lines and subplot lines. I was never really sure who the bad guy was, or how all the players wove together. When the big reveal happened at the end, I had my suspicion on who the bad guy was, but was absolutely floored by how it all came together. It was crazy and insane and something that came from so far in left field that my head literally spun around a few times. It was such a great ending to a fast paced and high-octane read.
All in all I was floored by Afterglow. Everything I’ve come to love in my romantic suspense books was done beautifully. The suspense was off the charts, the plot twisted and turned all over the place and the romance was sweet and sexy and fulfilling. The second chance at love was done so well, and I absolutely LOVED Dakota’s character. I could have used a little more groveling from Rand, but was pleased with how this story wrapped up.
I give Afterglow a B+