Review: Keep Me Closer by Rhyannon Byrd

Where did you get the book: E-arc from publisher/Bought
Publisher: Berkely Trade in the US and Headline Eternal in the UK
Release Date: Out now

From Rhyannon Byrd, author of Take Me Under, comes yet another sizzling, sensual tale of intrigue, passion, and the most dangerous risk of all…

keepmecloserFive years after the end of his marriage and his career as a detective, Alex Hudson wears a permanent suit of armor to keep the world at bay. Now a PI in South Florida, he believes that he’s better off free of romantic complications—even if a certain beautiful redhead makes him sweat with little more than a look. But he’s determined to steer clear of women and the trouble they bring. Until trouble comes uninvited…

Renowned therapist Brit Cramer has seen her fair share of violence and knows how to handle it. But when a former patient targets Brit as his feminine “ideal,” she finds help in the last place she ever expected—the tall, dark, outrageously sexy Alex Hudson, who saves her from a violent attack. Brit’s been powerfully attracted to Alex from the moment they first met several years ago, but she knew better than to do more than enjoy the view…

The initial uncertainty they both feel shatters in the face of a searing, absolute desire, but their time is running out as they find themselves caught in the sights of a madman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Before they know it, they’re fighting not only for their lives, but for the possibility that they may have both found exactly what they’ve always wanted and needed…in each other.

*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

Lou: Yesterday I had a crappy day. A crappy day that was crappy until the evening. And then I read this book and I was cheered up again because I had been an asshole that evening because of my shitty mood. But I was nowhere as bad an asshole as Alex! Oh boy. Alex was an asshole. No ifs or buts about it. He was crabby, rude, and very demanding. But he was hawt and sexy. With a big peen. Brit disliked Alex intensely. He had been rude to her previously, and she’d seen how rude he’d been to his brother’s wife in the past. But Brit fancied the pants off of rugged Alex. The sexual tension between these two was off the charts. How come I didn’t know Byrd wrote dirty romances like this? WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME, HAS?

Has: Hee! I really enjoyed her early books which were with Ellora’s Cave and they were smoking hot and very, very sexy. I am really glad she’s gone back to writing romantic suspense with her sizzling scenes because Ryhannon Byrd has a great gift in writing raw sexual scenes. I also love that her heroes are uber macho alphaholes, and Alex is no exception. I loved every second of reading him going all caveman towards Brit who was a fabulous heroine and who held own against his overprotective and assholic tendencies.

Lou: Alex was a beast. A raw, sexual beast that totally went down on Brit. Many, many times. For real, you guys. This book was so hot and dirty that I ended up fanning my face a few times. Alex is a possessive caveman. He orders Brit about but she doesn’t give in to him all that easy. Alex is a hard man with a difficult personality. Brit was the perfect person for Alex because she understood what made him tick, but she didn’t allow him to bully her. With his experience as a former police detective–and now as a PI–she listens to him when it comes to her safety. I did think the suspense plot had just the right amount of suspense to keep the plot driving forward while also making how often they had sexy times organic. I didn’t jump out of the novel frustrated with their sexy times when Brit had a stalker after her. I do think at times Alex’s reasoning for his behaviour was…how do I say this? Emo? What his ex-wife did was extremely shitty and he lost everything in the process. While I understood why he became so jaded, I don’t believe in the premise of him treating women like shit because of it. But towards the end he does make amends.

But coming back to the suspense…I do question the idea of having a young male victim of terrible abuse and rape to become the villain. While the protagonists don’t colour him in that light, it just didn’t sit right with me.

Has: I also agree that this had the right balance with the suspense build-up and tension which developed naturally throughout the book, along with the smexy times. But I have to say that I found the ending a bit of an anticlimax and I agree with you about the villains because I had similar feelings about him. I also felt that it resolved too quickly especially since there was a huge build-up towards the suspense plot and how it affected Brit and Alex.

However, I thought Alex’s feelings and behaviour towards his ex was realistic. His revelation about how he handled his marriage was contrasted with the way he interacted and behaved towards Brit, and it was handled really well. I liked that that he knew he had flaws and made mistakes, and despite the fallout he experienced with his ex, he was willing to take another chance so I can understand why he such an alphahole because he didn’t want to be in a vulnerable position. It also doesn’t help the fact that Brit is a woman who is skilled to understand and empathise with his issues once he dropped the asshole demeanor. I think this is why their chemistry was so rich and full of sexual energy. It has been a long while when I actually felt giddy reading a romance which raunchy and raw and this book had that in spades!

Lou: Yeah. Sadly, the suspense became anti-climatic towards the end and there were too many convenient plot turns that made me go, oh jeez, really? How could the police lose a deranged stalker suspect in an ambulance? It wasn’t shown but told in a paragraph and I was a little disappointed in that weakness of the plot. But the sexual energy is taught all through the novel, and I loved it. I loved how Brit welcomes Alex’s possessive demands, and how she learned what she loved through him. It did come across a little as Dom for You because Alex only discovered his kinky side with Brit. Did I mention the sex scenes were hot and dirty? Like really crude and dirty with Alex really adoring going down on Brit?

He fucking consumed her, the taste and texture of her tender flesh and slick juices making him feel like a starved man who’d suddenly been seated at the most decadent feast he’d ever scene. Then she let out a soft, keening cry that she tried to choke back, considering where they were, and a primitive growl broke from his throat as he pulled her open with his thumbs again and thrust his tongue inside her as deep as it would go, determined to feel every ripple and pulse, swallowing down as much of her as he could. He shoved his face against her even harder and all he could think was Oh, fuck.

He was latched on to her, licking as deep into her snug pussy as he could get, tonguing her like his fucking life depended on it. Like he needed those sweet juices to survive.

See what I mean? Fucking hawt. On the romance side I was a happy bunny. I don’t think I’ve come across an erotic romance in some time where the scenes were just so raw. Brit and Alex go on a journey and they both had decisions to make. Alex, on whether he had to take a chance on Brit and realise that his feelings for her went much deeper than he was willing to admit. Brit had to come to terms that being Alex’s fuck buddy wasn’t enough, and she knew that he could give more, if only he could get over his fears. The ending did feel like a Harlequin Presents romance where both the hero and heroine talk everything out in the last chapter. It felt a little clunky but I loved these characters and was happy to see them get their HEA. Like I said above, the suspense did weaken and it became the weakest plot in the story. But for me, this was a solid B read and I can’t wait to read more of Byrd’s future books and backlist titles.

I give Keep Me Closer a B.

Has: I think the publishers should seriously consider giving this a ‘must use a fan warning’ because it was so scorching. I love Byrd’s love scenes which were primal, raw and very raunchy as you could see in the excerpt above. I also love that her heroes are pure and unadulterated alphaholes because they’re so crackalicious to me. KEEP ME CLOSER was an immensely enjoyable read and I love the combination of engaging characters with sizzling hot sex scenes which makes this an intense and blisteringly hot romance!

I give Keep me Closer a B+

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