on April 14, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Series: Barefoot Bay Kindle World Romance
Published by Kindle Worlds
Copy for review provided by Author in exchange for an honest review.
Wild on the Road
Driven by wanderlust and insatiable curiosity, Quinn Forrester views every new gig for her mixologist business as another chance for adventure. Until the night she wanders down the wrong hallway and witnesses a mob murder. After a week on the run, lack of funds and few options land Quinn in Barefoot Bay where she takes a job tending bar at the swanky Casa Blanca resort…and hopes no wise guys show up to make her sleep with the fishes. But nothing whacks a low profile like having your Navy SEAL ex-husband walk through the door—especially when he’s the love of your life you left behind.
Wild on the Beach
Discovering his restless ex-wife at Casa Blanca—and still going by his name—is enough to drive Lieutenant Commander Jasper McQueen wild. When she ran out on their marriage, Quinn left him a broken man. Now with his career in jeopardy and his sexy ex-wife at hand, Jasper is ready to chuck responsibility and submerse himself in a hedonistic affair—all sex, zero emotions—with the woman he won’t forgive and can never forget. And this time, when they’re done, it’ll be Jasper who does the leaving.
Wild on the Rocks
But a mob enforcer has tracked Quinn to Barefoot Bay. With her days numbered, Jasper may be her only shot at living through the night—if Quinn can get him to believe in her one last time.
Barefoot Bay is a setting created by author Roxanne St. Claire, and has been opened up as its own Kindle World with several authors writing standalone stories set in this lush beachfront location in Florida. This is the debut novel for author Kiersten Hallie Krum, and she has really set the bar high with an action packed and sexy story of two ex-spouses who meet again under surprising circumstances. Drink mixer extraordinaire Quinn and Navy SEAL Jasper met in Vegas, had a whirlwind courtship and marriage, and lasted for a full six months together before Quinn called it quits, hightailing it out of town while Jasper was away on a mission (yet another one where he’d not let her know ahead of time that he was leaving). Tired of being left behind (and hurt to discover that Jasper hadn’t even told the Navy he was married!), she figures she’s better off on her own after all. Getting her mojo back, she’s in the middle of setting up her business as a specialty cocktail bartender when she witnesses a murder committed by a member of the Russian mafia. On the move once again, and trying to stay a step ahead of the nasty guys chasing her, she makes her way down to Florida and the laid back resort town of Barefoot Bay, where she uses her skills to get a weekend job mixing drinks for a high class wedding. As it turns out, her ex-husband Jasper is there, on leave from the Navy over a traumatic incident for which he feels partly responsible. He’s helping a friend provide security for the wedding, and the mantra of beaches, babes and booze sounds like a fantastic way to get a little down time from all the stress he’s been under – at least until he lays eyes on the woman he still loves, the one who disappeared a year ago with no forwarding address. In this idyllic location, Quinn can’t resist when Jasper makes it clear he wants her back, though only to relive their compatibility in the bedroom. But when he finds out she’s in trouble, all bets are off. Can this volatile couple make it stick the second time around?
I loved this story! It starts out with a bang and doesn’t let up, as Quinn is on the run from page one and Jasper’s own problems are quickly made known. By the first quarter of the book, I was already making a list of the secondary characters I’m hoping to get stories of their own. (Though the author may not have planned a motorcycle club series, or an FBI/Russian mafia one, I’m going to do my best to convince her otherwise). When the two of them meet up again in Barefoot Bay (where Quinn has reclaimed her married name for the small sense of security it gives her, never expecting the man who gave it to her to show up), the sparks fly right away. It’s clear that sex was never an issue for them, but also why their marriage didn’t last. They lack trust in each other, and never opened up meaningful lines of communication. Quinn never shared her past with Jasper, and Jasper never trusted Quinn’s wild side enough to hope she’d stick with him as his own childhood taught him not to expect much from anyone. They’re a matched pair in that regard, with walls up around their hearts that never got the chance to be broken down. As luck or fate would have it, they’ve got a second chance to change things for the better.
Both characters were really appealing to me. Quinn is feisty and opinionated, yet friendly and personable. She doesn’t back down from a challenge, and she’s able to use her wits to extract herself from sticky situations (like, for example, escaping mob henchmen). Of course on the inside, there is a hurt and sometimes scared inner child that would love to be able to rely on someone, and had hoped that someone would be Jasper. When he shows up in Florida, she is at first stunned but overwhelmingly happy to see him, even though she knows she has to protect her heart from being hurt again. For Jasper, after a year of worrying about Quinn, and being angry (and frustrated and hurt) that she left without a goodbye, it’s at least a balm to his ego that she’s obviously still as attracted to him as he is to her. They are explosive together – both in words (their arguments and banter were such fun to read!) and in the bedroom. They have serious chemistry, and there were some super sexy scenes in this story. Neither of them is particularly shy, and the fact that their sex life was never an issue when they were married is pretty clear, as they take up right where they left off on that front. But it’s when they start to actually talk about their relationship and why Quinn left – that’s when it becomes clear to both of them that if they are willing to let down their guards all the way, they could actually have a future together.
Naturally just when Quinn and Jasper are sorting things out, the Russian mafia tracks her down, and we get some intense, action-packed scenes to finish off the story. But we get a definite happy ending too, as Jasper and Quinn make it to the finish line in one piece and decide that being together is worth the effort. There were several secondary characters of note, some of whom have been featured in the Barefoot Bay Brides Trilogy by Roxanne St. Claire, a series I’ve added to my reading list! As for this story itself, Jasper’s best friend Twist is definitely going to be a reader favourite with his sense of humor and uncompromising loyalty. I hear he’ll be featured in a story later this year, and I can’t wait to see what woman will capture his heart. Overall I found this story to be a highly entertaining, fast-paced and sexy romance. 5 stars, and it’s going on my best reads of 2016 list.