What I Read Recently
Captive by Brighton Walsh
ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Captor/captive stories aren't usually something I gravitate towards, but something in the blurb of Captive piqued my interested. I am so glad I gave this book a chance, because it really surprised me with its rather sweet romance. Madison Frost doesn't have the easiest life, sure her family is well known and rich, but they are hiding secrets that Madison is the one dealing with. My heart went out to her from the very first page. One night she is kidnapped by a man who goes by Ghost. Ghost is used to picking up real criminals and harsh men, not innocent women and when what is only supposed to be a 24 hour hold turns into a few weeks, things change for these two as they are holed up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Madison and Ghost really get to know one another and see past the image they have for the other. There was never a time their relationship felt anything but natural. It felt right, not dirty or wrong like some captive stories have to me. They have amazing chemistry which led to some very sexy scenes that blended into the story perfectly.
There is a bit of a mystery in Captive with who had Ghost kidnap Madison, while it wasn't a surprise to me, I was anxious to know how this information would affect Madison. I am actually proud of her reaction, I love the decision Madison made in the end and how she took charge of her life. Honestly, I loved Madison pretty much the entire book, she's not as vulnerable as you would think, and she has a backbone when she needs it, but she has insecurities as well, making her that much more relatable. And Ghost, holy swoon. He was nothing like I expected. I loved seeing the change that took place in him as he got to know Madison.
There was never a dull moment while reading this book. The pacing was spot-on and kept me glued to the pages. Walsh's writing read with such ease, pulling me in to the story from the get-go. Captive may have been my first Brighton Walsh read but it will not be my last.
"And even though we'd come from two different paths, at the core, we still dealt with the same pain."
Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn
ARC provided by publisher
I've been a Caisey Quinn fan since her debut novel, Girl with Guitar, was released and since then she's always delivered incredible stories. Leaving Amarillo is no different. It's intense and emotional and I wasn't ready for it to be over, especially not with that ending. Dixie Lark, her brother Dallas, and their friend Gavin are trying to hit it big with their band Leaving Amarillo. Dixie has been in love with Gavin for years, but never acting on her feelings knowing Gavin's promised Dallas that he would stay away. The sexual tension between these two is off the charts and when Dixie decides it's time to act on it, just for one night to work him out of her system no matter the consequences, HOLY HOTNESS. There's so much more to this book than Dixie and Gavin's relationship though; there's so much going on with the band and tensions are running high, Gavin is having his own family issues, and Dixie is constantly worried about her grandfather. It took me a few chapters to really get into the story, but once I did I was completely hooked and this story ended up going place I wasn't expecting. Leaving Amarillo was angsty and moving, pulling at my heartstrings often. Caisey Quinn books and music seem to go hand in hand, it felt as if I was hearing the music and songs come up from the pages as I read; Quinn's talent here will never cease to amaze me. I wish the next book was more of Dixie and Gavin's story, but at the same time I'm excited to get to really know Dallas.
Redemption Lane by Rachel Blaufeld
ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Between the cover, blurb, and rave reviews I was very intrigued by Redemption Lane and looking forward to reading it. I feel like Redemption Lane was supposed to be deeply emotional and meaningful, but it wasn't for me. Bess is a recovering addict and living a simple and quiet life with her dog until Lane enters the picture. Lane is a stranger to Bess, but he knows more about her than he admits. I never really connected to either character, sure, I felt bad for what they went through but I wasn't attached to their story or relationship. I think that was partly because of the time jumps, every time something happened the story just jumped to the next major thing without really allowing me to get into what was taking place or the character's feelings. This book was told through Bess and Lane's POV, but there was another also thrown in a few times and I didn't care for that. It made that story line in the book become predictable. While Redemption Lane didn't quite live up to my expectations, I was interested enough to keep reading to know what happened with Bess and Lane and I enjoyed Blaufeld's writing. And I'm actually interested in reading the next book in the series which is Jake's (Lane's brother) story.