A romantic reunion…threatened by their past.
Amina Kelly broke Sergeant Maxwell Layton's heart when she married his best friend. But the detective never forgot her…or the sizzling attraction they never acted on. Years later, while Maxwell and Amina work together to find her ex's killer, Maxwell finds his desire for the nurse stronger than ever. As he puts his life on the line to keep Amina safe, Maxwell realizes that the greatest risk of all might be to his heart.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 288
Date of Publication: December 28, 2021
My Rating: 4 Stars
Amina and Max hit it off from first glance. The problem was that Max's best friend Jeremy also liked Amina. In fact, Jeremy swept Amina off her feet and she married him. However, things did not turn out well and that marriage did not last. It is a few years later and police officers Jeremy and Max are on a call and Jeremy was killed in the line of duty.
The story evolved like this. While Jeremy and Amina did not stay married for long, Amina and Max still did not have a chance. In fact, Amina knew pretty early on that she chose the wrong man, but there was not much she could do to change what happened. Max has to tell Amina what happened to Jeremy. Of course, she was saddened by Jeremy's death, but there was no love left in her heart for him by that time. What of the feelings that Max and Amina once shared? Could the timing for them be right at this point in their lives, even with the grief facing them?
Feelings of hurt, anger, resentment and sadness go right along with warmth, attraction and soon love. In fact, there is more than a bit of intrigue in this story as Jeremy's past begins to be unearthed. In fact, there are some minor characters who played a role in this story that just might have the answers as to what happened to Jeremy, his brief marriage to Amina, and what possible future that might exist for Max and Amina.
This is more than a second-chance romance. It is an exploration of recovering old feelings while building a stronger foundation for what promised to be a lasting relationship.
Many thanks to Harlequin Romantic Suspense and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Excerpt, HIS TO DEFEND by Sharon C. Cooper
“Do you think the break-in is connected to the mugging?” Amina asked.
Maxwell’s eyebrows shot up. If he didn’t know better, he would’ve thought she was a mind reader. Earlier, when he considered the two incidences might’ve been connected, he hadn’t planned to say anything to her just yet. But in case they were, he needed to do some digging. What he didn’t want to do was scare her, but he also wanted her to be on alert.
“Yes,” he said honestly. “It’s too much of a coincidence. I’m even wondering if that botched mugging wasn’t an attempted kidnapping.”
Her hand went to her chest. “If you’re trying to scare me, it’s working.”
“Sweetheart, the last thing I want to do is scare you, but something is going on. Until we figure out what, I think you should stay here. In the meantime, can you think of anything you have that someone might want? A family heirloom? Gold? Bonds? A limited-edition book? Anything?”
“No, nothing like that. I have a pair of diamond earrings that my parents gave me when I graduated from high school.”
“I might be way off with this next question, but I have to ask. Do you have anything of Jeremy’s?”
She frowned. “Not that I can think of—why?”
“I don’t know. I might be way off, but I wonder if any of this has to do with his murder?” Maxwell wiped his hands and grabbed his cell phone off the counter. About a half an hour ago, Danny had texted him a still shot of the suspect.
Maxwell held up his phone to her. “Do you recognize this guy?”
Amina stared at the photo for a few minutes. The quality wasn’t great, and much of the man’s face was hard to make out, but she might know him.
She eventually shook her head. “He doesn’t look familiar. Should I know him? Who is he?”
“The suspected killer.”
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