Rude Awakening by Veronica Chadwick

Rude Awakening by Veronica Chadwick
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (234 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by: Fern

His training didn’t cover how to win back a woman’s trust…

Jaimee Turner spent most of her life trying to be an unassuming pillar of virtue and submissive wife to a man who demanded nothing of her—especially physically. A year after his unexpected death, she’s finally finding her own footing, only to find herself thrown completely off balance by Lucas, a man who awakens desires she never knew she had.

FBI agent Lucas Grayson is relentless in his quest to bring down those who prey on the innocent. The Turner case is unlike anything he’s dealt with before, and so is the widow Turner. One thing’s for sure: Brent Turner was blind to think he could outsmart the Collective. And blind to the fact Jaimee was a gift he threw away.

The Collective has dirty fingers in all sorts of bad pies, and the FBI suspects Brent’s “accident” was anything but. Jaimee knows more than she thinks she does. Lucas would sell his soul to extract that information and keep her safe. But he can’t save her from the devastating betrayal she’ll have to face.

Warning: Some mild violence, a very sarcastic best friend, sneaky massages, inappropriate use of caramel and some occasional back door lovin’.

Rude Awakening is a story that has all of the essential elements: a relatable heroine, a kick-ass hero, a well developed plot with a slathering of suspense, and tons of heart. There is a wealth of emotion contained within, and you’ll fall hard for the Jaimee and Lucas–just as they fall for each other.
Jaimee is a woman you can’t help but like.

Following her husband’s death, she is attempting to put the pieces back together. She’s beautiful, but not in a plastic way. Full-figured and lush, she works out to be healthy, not stick thin. We first meet her at the gym, and it’s during this time we get to delve inside her mind. Her inner dialogue is dead-on hilarious, and at times, heartbreaking. She makes no apologies about who she is, but deep down, you can sense that desire to please that eats at her. It will tug at your heart time after time, and is a vital component of the story when she learns the truth about Lucas.

Lucas is equally memorable as an undercover agent that finds himself in a spot of trouble for the first time in his career. He’s always been able to seduce the women on his watch without falling for them, but there is something about Jaimee that brings out a protective part of him he wasn’t aware existed. He knows the luscious woman with the face of an angel is in extreme danger and that getting close is the best way to care for her, but damn if it doesn’t hurt like hell to know she’ll cut him loose when she learns of his betrayal. You’ll ache for Lucas as he makes love to this woman he’s falling in love with, even as you want to scream at him to be honest about the situation before he ruins everything.

While the entire murder/mystery involving Jaimee’s husband, Brent, is important, and is wonderfully plotted, it’s the romance between the protagonists that takes center stage. It’s like watching two trains that are set to collide. You know it’s going to hurt and will undoubtedly leave destruction, but maybe, just maybe, there will be enough of the wreckage left behind to begin anew and start again. Without spoiling, I would like to mention my absolute delight that Ms. Chadwick approached the resolution between Jaimee and Lucas in such a true and honest manner. There is no need to build more walls between two people that love one another, and she delivers beautifully.

If you’re looking for a super-steamy romance that has characters that will remain on your mind long after that last page is turned, be sure to put Rude Awakening on your TBR list. You won’t be disappointed.

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