Exposing the Heiress by Jennifer Apodaca
Overview by Netgalley:
This Marine will protect her at all costs…
When wealthy heiress Alyssa Brooks finds out her stepfather has been paying her fiancé to marry her, she’s humiliated and betrayed. She quickly breaks the engagement, only to be blackmailed by her now ex-fiancé, who threatens both Alyssa and the son she gave up for adoption. With nowhere to go, she turns to the one man she can trust.
Former Marine sniper Hunter Reece’s lethal skills could save Alyssa’s life. But his little sister’s best friend has turned into a woman, who is an irresistible mix of secrets and sexiness. And while Hunter can trust himself to protect her, he can’t trust himself to keep his attraction hidden…or even pretend to be the man that Alyssa remembers.
Because the only way to keep the lovely heiress safe is to become the one thing he knows she could never love…a killer.
There is a lot to really recommend about this book. The lead characters are interesting and have a lot of emotional baggage that they work through. The plot is creative and has those delicious surprise elements that make a book really work. The villain in the story is exactly what a bad guy should be – sneaky, unhinged and dangerous.
What worked in this book was the reunion between Alyssa and her childhood crush Hunter. She needs protection and he is more than willing to provide it. Alyssa finds out that her life has been manipulated by the people she trusted the most. After her mother’s death, Alyssa has had to step into her shoes and run her company. This means she is in the tabloids daily and her life is full of projecting a carefully crafted image. It almost reminded me of how the Kardashians have to present themselves to the world – no cracks, no peek beneath the veneer and no disloyalty. It’s exhausting Alyssa and when she realizes she can break free she does with all haste. I loved that Hunter was there to help her transition to her new life and to protect her.
She certainly needs the protection. Her former fiancé is crazy. He doesn’t just make threats, he follows through. His intricate web of deceit and lies is untangled and it reveals just how naïve Alyssa was to let him into her life. He is the best villain – unpredictable, dangerous and definitely crazy. The author must have had so much fun plotting out his moves, which further the story and create excellent conflict.
Hunter is such an interesting character. He comes from an artistic family who are pacifists. He just finished up as a Marine, where he was a lethal sniper. He is also artistic and it is his art that is saving his soul and humanity. He struggles with how easy killing has become and is fearful that he will never be able to live a normal life.
So, you have two characters that are damaged in certain ways. They feel immense attraction to each other and it turns into caring. The sex is smoking hot. I loved how Hunter would state his intentions and tell Alyssa that he wouldn’t and couldn’t hold back with her.
This story moves fast, but that is a great thing. There is a lot to take in, but the plot never gets bogged down. This was a great contemporary novel with excellent characters and an exciting plot.