ROMANCE

Leave Me Breathless

Forever: Grand Central. (Protector, Bk. 2). Nov. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9781538745212. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781538745229. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
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After an assignment nearly goes horribly wrong, Ryan Willis leaves the protection business, retiring to his tiny cabin in the woods with his ten-year-old daughter. His sleepy hometown is comforting and familiar—except for newcomer Hannah Bright. On the run from her past, Hannah is looking for a temporary refuge. She knows starting a relationship with anyone—let alone Ryan—is dangerous, yet she can’t resist his pull. The characters are realistic and relatable; though much of the conflict is created by Hannah keeping secrets, her reasons for doing so feel more valid than contrived. There is a vague sense of dread woven throughout the narrative, but events are rather tranquil until the last quarter of the story, when the tension ratchets up to its explosive conclusion.
VERDICT Fans of Malpas’s previous book, The Protector, will appreciate seeing those characters playing minor roles here, but for anyone who enjoys Sleeping with the Enemy–style stories, this is a perfect choice.

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