Author: Emma Hart
Series: Holly Woods Files, #1
Release Date: June 11, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Mystery
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
I’m an Italian-Texan woman in a family full of cops. I’m passionate and shoot before I think. You only f*ck with me if you’re stupid.
Photograph cheating spouses. Hand over the evidence. Cash my check.
That was my plan when I returned home to Holly Woods, Texas, and became a private investigator.
Finding the dead body in my dumpster? Yeah… Given the choice, I think I would have opted out of that little discovery, especially since all three of my brothers are cops. And my Italian grandmother is sure the reason I’m single is because of my job.
Of course, my connection to the victim is entirely coincidental. Until I’m hired by her husband to investigate her murder and shoved bang-smack into the path of Detective Drake Nash.
My nemesis, a persistent pain in my ass, and one hell of a sexy son of a bitch.
Shame he still holds a grudge from that time I shot him in the foot twelve years ago, or we could have something. In another life.
So now all I have to do is avoid my nonna’s blind dates, try not to blackmail my brothers into giving me confidential police files, and absolutely do not point my gun at Drake Nash. Or kiss him. Or jump his bones.
All while I hunt down the killer.
Sounds totally simple—until a second body proves that sometimes things that start as coincidences don’t always end up that way…
(Twisted Bond is book one of the Holly Woods Files series and while it does not end in a cliffhanger, it is not a standalone.)
“Noelle,” Drake calls after me, narrowly avoiding the main door slamming in his face.
“Hold them,” I order when Grecia holds my messages out.
She freezes as I storm past her and up the stairs.
“Later!” I yell at Mike, jamming my key into the hole and turning it violently.
“Noelle!” Drake finally growls.
I shove the door open so harshly that it slams into the wall behind it and then fix him with my gaze. “In there. Now.”
His chest heaves, and a long moment passes between us as he stares at me, both Mike and Bekah staring at us from their office doors.
“Did I not make that clear, Detective?” I tilt my head to the side. “Now means now, not in five fucking minutes.”
Drake’s in front of me in two long strides. “Watch your damn attitude, Noelle,” he warns me quietly, his breath skating across my cheek. “You might get away with sassin’ your family, but you won’t with me.”
“When you’re on my property, I’ll do whatever the hell I want.” I lower my voice. “And you might not realize it, but I’ve been shitting myself ever since I saw that body yesterday, so unless you want me to rip out a pair of stilettos and tear you a new asshole until you’re forced to tell me what I need to know, you’ll drag your ass into my office.”
“Another threat.” He whips his handcuffs out and dangles them in my face. “Want me to use ’em, ma’am?”
I step closer to him, moving the cupcake box out of the way of our bodies, and fix him with a stare that I know is as potent as his. “I dare you to try, sir.”
We stand off against each other, barely a few inches separating our bodies. My heart is thumping in my chest, and hell, I’m turned on. My lower stomach is burning, and the heat is seeping between my legs because all I can think about is Detective Drake Nash putting me in handcuffs.
He lowers the restraints and attaches them to his belt again. Then he nudges me away from the door and slams it shut with his foot. I open my mouth to speak, but he grabs my arm and spins me against the solid wood surface. I gasp and drop the cupcake box as my back collides with the door and his chest presses against mine.
“Don’t ever dare me, Noelle,” he whispers, his tone thick with a seduction that crawls over my skin and joins the heat between my legs. “Because if I get you in cuffs, there’ll be no trying about it. You’ll be beggin’ for it, babe. Keep getting up close and personal and that’ll be sooner rather than later.”
“You wish,” I breathe. Yes. I do. I damn well do.
He dips his head so his mouth is hovering above mine, and every breath coats my lips. “I couldn’t give a fuck if we’re smack-damn in the middle of a murder investigation. You keep pushin’ me the way you are and I will take you. I’m not afraid to give you a real reason to shout my name.”
“You give me a hundred reasons every day.”
“’Bout time I gave you a good one, don’t you think?”
Good logic. Bad execution. “No. I don’t. I think you should tell me what I need to know.”
“I just did,” he murmurs.
How can I put into words the magnitude of sheer bliss I am feeling from having read this book? It was the perfect blend of Kristen Ashley, Tara Sivec (two of my favorite authors BTW), and yet still had a style completely unique to Emma Hart all on her own. This was a deliciously slow burn in the romance department, but you know what, I found myself okay with that. Would I have liked the dirty bird words that Hart is well known for to occur more? Sure, but you know what? There’s always the next book in the series for that, and I have a strong suspicion we will have filth in abundance! What was phenomenal in my eyes was that with the lack of filth, I was able to truly see the undeniable chemistry between Noelle and Drake. I was able to see that underneath the piss and vinegar there lay a connection neither one was able to deny. The best part for us readers? This is ONLY the beginning. So to answer a burning question you may have; Yes, this is book one in a series. No, it does not end in a cliffhanger. Yes, the next book will be about the same couple. Yes, the case they were working on in this book has been solved. So bring on the sexy times!
One thing that Hart did exceptionally well in this book was to build relationships. Relationships between our main character and her brothers, her parents, her best friends, and her Nonna. These relationships carry the book well past the point of being a good read into being a great read. I love that even through the slow burn, there is still so much to learn about Noelle and Drake. The infamous foot shot? Why she really left the force in Dallas? I would LOVE to get some Drake POV’s thrown in the next book. Just putting my order in 😉 Enough said; read this book! Mystery, suspense, love, friendship, family, and a whole bunch of who-dun-it. You are in for a ride!