“Awakened” by Kate Douglas is a romantic suspense story that does a wonderful job of tying in with the two books that precede it yet provides its own mystery and suspense in a way that allows it to be read as a stand-alone story. I love the way the warmth that exists between the two main characters simmers until it explodes in a delicious combination of passion and love that allows each character to expand and become a strong half of a bond, just as has occurred with the others in their close-knit circle. There is a surprising secondary romance that blossoms as well and it is rewarding to see the connections continue to strengthen and expand. The interesting thing to me was the shift from Marcus being a somewhat shadowy figure with fingers in multiple projects to a person with intriguing (and sometimes heartbreaking) facets. The slightly eerie aspects to certain developments and the unexpected characters who aid in that journey make me hopeful there will be at least a spin-off with cameos from this group in the future. This was an excellent conclusion to an enjoyable trilogy and I can’t wait to find out what else is percolating in this intriguing author’s imagination.
This the final story in the trilogy that includes “Intimate” and “Redemption”, and centers on Marcus (Marc) Reed and Mandy Monroe, who have become accustomed to being roommates during the momentous events detailed in the prior two books. For some reason, although their friends and family have managed to pair up, they are both single and not pursuing the attraction that simmers between them. Mandy finally braves her fear of rejection, only to discover that Marc is harboring secrets that may make it impossible for them to ever have a deeper relationship. Fortunately, Mandy is quiet but determined, and she is determined to help the man who has become so important to her, whether he likes it or not.
Barista Mandy Monroe will never forget the first time she saw the man of her dreams. For months, this impossibly gorgeous hunk would ride his bike past her coffee shop, fueling her wildest romantic fantasies. But when she learns that her crush is none other than vineyard owner Marc Reed, one of American’s hottest young entrepreneurs, Mandy knows her fantasy will never become a reality. That is, until Marc’s apartment burns and he moves in with her...
As a roommate, Marc is as warm, friendly, and down-to-earth as he is rich, famous, and heartstoppingly handsome. But beneath his laidback exterior beats the heart of a red-blooded man with a powerful urge to take Mandy in his arms and make mad, passionate love to her. Mandy is everything he’s ever wanted; she’s sweet, smart, funny, and irresistibly sexy. But how can he tell her the truth about his past? How can he explain the nightmares that haunt him? And how can he tall Mandy he loves her...without putting her heart, and her life, in danger?