Review: “Dangerous Beauty” by Melissa Koslin

Thanks for stopping by to read my review of Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin, a thrilling new romantic suspense standalone story that combines action, a great twist, and a marriage of convenience.

About the Book
Cover image of Dangerous Beauty showing a woman facing away from the viewer with a cityscape in the background in tones of blue.

Liliana Vela hates the term victim. She’s not a victim, she’s a fighter. Stubborn and strong with a quiet elegance, she’s determined to take back her life after escaping the clutches of human traffickers in her poor Mexican village. But she can’t stay safely over the border in America–unless the man who aided in her rescue is serious about his unconventional proposal to marry her.

Meric Toledan was just stopping at a service station for a bottle of water. Assessing the situation, he steps in to rescue Liliana from traffickers. If he can keep his secrets at bay, his wealth and position afford him many resources to help her. But the mysterious buyer who funded her capture will not sit idly by while his prize is stolen from him.

Melissa Koslin throws you right into the middle of the action in this high-stakes thriller that poses the question: What is the price of freedom?

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Review

Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin is a story that delivers in the suspense and romantic drama genres, with moments of action balanced with great depth when an impulsive marriage of convenience (!!!) grows into a situation involving secrets, risk, trust, and emotional healing — with a story twist, of course!

I thought it clever that the reader gets Liliana’s POV mostly at first, letting the mystery of Meric, his unknown business activities, and other secrets uncover slowly along with her learning of each circumstance. The reader will gradually sense his involvement in something bigger and the danger surrounding it. While the subject matter of human trafficking is a sad reality, Koslin handles its portrayal with a balance of sorrow and hopefulness in the form of the people stepping in to stop its cycle.

Liliana is an admirable and smart heroine, and I was instantly in her corner. I appreciate how she grows throughout the story, overcoming much while facing some harrowing truths. Meric hides behind an enigmatic, cold exterior, but underneath is a vulnerable and fiercely protective hero whose own past motivates his work for good. His championing of Liliana and her strengths from the very beginning had me falling for his tortured heart right along with her :).

Fans of Susan May Warren and Dani Pettrey will enjoy Koslin’s captivating writing style — this is the first book of hers I’ve read, but it won’t be the last!

Thank you to Revell Reads for the copy of this novel. This is my honest review.

Review: “The Last Way Home” by Liz Johnson

Paperback copy of The Last Way Home on a table next to a vase of multicolored flowers (zinnias)

Welcome to my post about Liz Johnson’s latest book, The Last Way Home! It’s the second book in her Prince Edward Island Shores series, set on the idyllic and quaint Canadian island. Read on for more about the book and my thoughts…

About the Book

When Eli Ross left Prince Edward Island to join the NHL, he left a broken family behind. More than a decade later, he’s broke and headed home to an uncertain welcome. He wants to make things right with the family he wronged, but his mom’s business partner isn’t making it easy. To top it off, the coaching job he’s accepted turns out to be far more difficult than he anticipated.

For years, Violet Donaghy has put everything she had into making Eli’s mom’s ceramics shop a success, and she’s not eager to forgive the man who hurt the family that’s taken her in as one of their own. But when the kiln at the shop starts a fire that nearly destroys the studio, she’ll need all the help she can get to save the business and their summer income.

Can these two strong-willed people come together to mend the broken pieces of the Ross family? Or will the ghosts of the past continue to haunt them?

Return to Prince Edward Island for a romantic story of family, forgiveness, and the power of love.

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Review

The Last Way Home is another fantastic, must-read contemporary romance by perennial favorite, Liz Johnson. With a transportive setting (Prince Edward Island!), a prodigal son homecoming, a prickly-at-first-but-totally-compassionate heroine, and strong themes of forgiveness and mercy, The Last Way Home balances lighter moments, a fun bit of hockey, dreams, and the protective force of family.

This story is so much more than the synopsis hints! I am pleased with the direction it goes, and how it draws Eli’s brothers (and mom) in to his life again. If you’ve read book 1, Beyond the Tides, it continues a mending of the brothers’ relationships and the thread of mercy began in that story.

The romantic relationship between Eli and Violet begins with a prickly partnership, develops into a sincere friendship, and sparks into the best kind of romance. I love every second of their journey, from their clever banter to their serious, soul-sharing conversations. They are the perfect complement for each other, especially as each of them comes to understand the common brokenness they share and their need for forgiveness and closure life. (And I LOVE how Liz Johnson uses their history to explore different kinds of forgiveness.) Besides their emotional connection, their kisses are pretty heart-stopping, too.

One other thing I want to mention is the bit of an unexpected road trip on which Eli and Violet embark. It provides for some interesting sharing between them because of their proximity, AND it sets up cameos from other by other PEI characters from Johnson’s Prince Edward Island Dreams series. I seriously smiled about a few things they get into involving mention of taco meat and Caden’s amazing pancakes.

Thank you to Revell Reads for the paperback copy of this novel. I voluntarily purchased an ebook copy. This is my honest review.