Series: Off The Grid: FBI #1
on 1 August 2017
Genres: Adult Romance
Format: ARC eBook
Source: Given for Review
It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren't supposed to see each other ever again…
Four years later, Sophie's FBI father, who is also Damon's mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn't sure if he's friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.
The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she's in trouble, her father's reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there's a traitor in their midst.
When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father's innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…
Yesterday I got to celebrate the Release Day of Perilous Trust by Barbara Freethy & tease some of the book to you. Today I have my review of this romance suspense and another longer excerpt to share! As I’ve mentioned over the past couple of weeks, mystery/thriller/suspense have been my new go-to lately and I love finding romance novels with this cross-genre intermixed with the story. Just last week I reviewed one of the latest romance suspense novels I read this year and today I get to share my thoughts on another great read!
Perilous Trust contained two of my favorite romance tropes: the “protector/bodyguard” trope and of course the “forbidden love” trope much like the last romance suspense book I read. I really can’t resist these tropes and the high action or mystery background of the story. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to obtain an eBook ARC of this novel through InkSlinger PR and participate in this Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review of the book. While I received this eBook ARC for free in exchange for an honest review, this in no way influenced my thoughts on this book. Read on below for my thoughts and for the giveaway hosted by the author!
Ownership: ARC of eBook
Genre: Romance Suspense/Contemporary
Series: Standalone + 1st in the FBI Off the Grid series
Pages: 303 pages
Places to Buy: Amazon | B & N | GoodReads | Google | iBooks | Kobo
In PERILOUS TRUST, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy brings you the first book in a new romantic suspense series! OFF THE GRID: An FBI Trilogy offers three breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.
It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren’t supposed to see each other ever again…
Four years later, Sophie’s FBI father, who is also Damon’s mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn’t sure if he’s friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.
The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she’s in trouble, her father’s reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there’s a traitor in their midst.
When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father’s innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…
This novel was definitely action packed! Right away we’re thrown into the fray of action with Sophie’s dad and then Sophie on the run. The suspense and action continued throughout the whole novel really keeping the pacing going strong and the reader engaged. I flew through this story as Sophie and Damon went from escaping one danger into having to fend off another.
The mystery behind what happened to Sophie’s dad and why she was in danger really pulled me in as a reader. I wanted to know what happened and unravel her dad’s secrets just as much as Sophie did. I really felt like Freethy captured the ‘I don’t know who to trust’ atmosphere throughout the novel. Just like Sophie, I wasn’t sure who to trust in the story–who was friend and who was foe? Luckily through the multiple POVs the story is told through, it was easy to see early on that Damon was someone both Sophie and I as the reader could trust.
Sophie and Damon definitely had a lot of chemistry between the two of them and their past together definitely lent to that chemistry. I also enjoyed how while their relationship was ‘heating up’, it was also getting stronger on a personal level. Both Sophie and Damon learned to trust each other and mend old pain through the strengthening of their relationship. I really enjoyed seeing how both of them grew closer in an emotional way alongside the physical.
Sophie was a pretty strong female character. She was smart and didn’t completely lose her cool while on the run. She questioned Damon for a day or two before really trusting him and her actions & reactions seemed realistic throughout the novel. She had some ‘life sucks’ moments, but she wasn’t fully bitter like some other characters can get. She trusted her dad and later Damon and did her best.
Damon never seemed to let Sophie go from his mind after their chance encounter four years earlier. His first instinct was to try and find her once news hit of her dad and I like that while he remained aloof, the reader could tell he was already half in love with her from their first meeting. I’m not a big fan of instant love, so knowing that these two characters had feelings from before really made their relationship progression realistic to me. I also enjoyed how Damon included Sophie on his plans and thought process. The key to their success on the run was the trust they had for each other. While Sophie took a little longer in trusting Damon, Damon offered his trust from the beginning and I really enjoyed seeing that from a male character. Damon also did his best to keep Sophie safe and calm throughout their ordeal and I like seeing him open up to her and him grow just as much as Sophie.
The romance and relationship development between the two main characters was really strong in this novel. Freethy also did a great job utilizing her secondary characters and setting the scene. I really felt engrossed in the storyline and the action/suspense kept me turning the pages. What I felt was a little off with the story was the ending of ‘who done it’. It seemed a little bit out of left field. It was definitely a plausible ‘who done it,’ but I felt there weren’t a whole lot of clues (outside of one main one) that really lead to that ending. I don’t want to get too much into it (we’re spoiler free here 😉 ), so if you’ve read this one let’s discuss!!! ;). Any way, that was the only real draw back for the novel. I was satisfied with the ending, just a little thrown for a bit on how we got to that person so late in the game without much pointing in their direction.
Overall this was a fun, fast read! It was my first Freethy novel, so I’ll definitely be looking up some of her other works as well as looking forward to the next installment in this series! I’m excited to see who will be getting stories from this one 😉 I’d definitely recommend this novel to anyone who like suspense romance or even contemporary romance. Its fast paced, entertaining and filled with sexually tense moments that would appeal to any romance lover!
“Why did you run away from your apartment, your friends, your father’s coworkers? Why did you just disappear, Sophie?” Damon asked.
“Because someone killed my dad.”
“It’s possible it was an accident.”
“You don’t believe that any more than I do.”
“Maybe not, but I think something specific spooked you.”
“You mean like the two men I saw going into my apartment building?”
“You saw the men who broke into your apartment?” he asked in surprise.
“I don’t know if they were the ones, but they could have been.”
“What did they look like?”
“Law enforcement, maybe—I don’t know.”
Damon stared back at her, and she could see him running through her words in his head. “Why would you be afraid of law enforcement when your father is FBI?”
“Gut instinct,” she lied, knowing she wouldn’t have been afraid at all if her father hadn’t told her to be. “And it looks like I was right to run. If I’d gone to my apartment, who knows what would have happened?”
His lips drew into a hard line. “Look, Sophie, I want to help you.”
“Why? Why on earth would you want to help me?”
His gaze darkened, and the air sizzled between them as they found themselves back in a place probably neither of them wanted to revisit, but they were there all the same.
“We’re not friends,” she said quickly, needing to break the tension. “We’re not anything. We haven’t seen each other in four years. Why do you care where I am, what I’m doing? Is it because of loyalty to my dad? That has to be it, right? Nothing else could have made you drive all the way up here.”
“I should have called you after that night,” he said.
“I’m not looking for an apology.”
“No. Maybe. No,” she said, hating to sound so uncertain. “None of that is important now. I have bigger problems.”
“Then let’s talk about now,” he said, relief in his eyes as he changed the subject. “I respected your father. He was a mentor to me. I owe him for that, and I know that he would want me to help you. He trusted me, and I hope you can trust me, too.”
“I don’t know if my father trusted you,” she said, shaking her head.
Surprise and anger flared in his eyes. “Why would you say that?”
“Because he told me not to trust anyone from the bureau, and since you’re an agent, that includes you. Please, just go. Just leave me alone,” she pleaded, desperate to get him out of the cabin before she did something even more stupid—like start to trust him. “I’ll disappear. I’ll go somewhere no one else knows about. You don’t have to worry about me. You’ve done your duty. You came after me. You did that for my dad. Now do something for me—leave me alone. You’ve managed it for four years. You can keep going.”
His mouth tightened. “I’m not leaving you alone. You won’t be safe. You can’t get help from a friend, because you’ll put them in danger, and even if you are very careful, you’ll make a mistake. You don’t know how to stay off the radar, but I do. You’re going to have to trust someone at some point. You’re going to have to put your anger aside and let it be me.”
Before she could answer, she was suddenly hit with a shower of glass from the nearby window.
What the hell had just happened?
Another pane blew out, and something whizzed by her ear.
Damon grabbed her arm and pulled down as a third window exploded.
Someone was shooting at her!
Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists, including one title, SUMMER SECRETS, which hit #1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first Indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble.
Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels DANIEL’S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME.
For more information, visit her website at www.barbarafreethy.com
What do you think about Sophie and Damon? Are you adding Perilous Trust to your TBR? Have you read anything by Freethy? What’s your go-to romance story? Let me know in the comments below!