Book 1, The Serafina: Sin City Series
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He’s dangerous, sexy, and everything she wants…
Sierra hit it off with Hayden from the moment they met. The dangerously sexy, tattooed ex-SEAL is one of the best friends she’s ever had—and the main star in her wildest fantasies. But he doesn’t see her that way. And she’d die of embarrassment if he found out she was still a virgin.
And he’s about to make his claim…
Hayden’s struggled to keep his attraction to the beautiful, dark haired casino chef a secret. He’s not good enough for her. But when an attacker targets Sierra, Hayden’s protective instincts go into overdrive. With the attraction between them burning out of control, he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her and convince her they’re meant to be together.
SEALS & Chefs
I read this book as a part of the Wicked Firsts anthology. I REALLY wanted to like this story, but I am torn between 2 and 3 stars. I went with 3 stars because I feel like if had read more of the universe this story is set in, it would be better. I do want to read more of Katie's stories, so I am sure I will explore more of this universe. I loved the idea of both of the secretly in love with each other, but afraid to admit it. I loved the characters, but the "sins of convenience" for the plot really took away from the story. I know it was a short book, but I felt like she could have stronger plot lines for these characters. I thought Sierra and Hayden deserved more.
AudioBook Review Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
The first book in the Serafina, Sin City series is a wonderful novella and one of the better introductions to an author’s work that I have experienced. My first option to review a Katie Reus title starts in a Las Vegas casino and features characters that are familiar (I am told) from her Red Stone Security Series.
Sierra is the head chef at the casino’s restaurant, and over the past year she and Hayden have formed a great friendship, although both have a closer relationship in mind. When she is attacked leaving work one night Hayden feels the need to step in and take care of her. Security is ramping up, and the questions about the ‘who’ and ‘why’ are on everyone’s mind.
Hayden didn’t want Sierra to be alone, so he brought her home with him. While his intentions were leaning to seduction, his absorbed claiming of her, the comfort he feels with her, and the desire to share thoughts, feelings and his past with her have him confused. Always attracted to her, he was more than a bit broken when he retired from his military service, and she was the only one to call him on his bad behavior. Unknown to him, she was also fantasizing about him, and wanting to get closer, the only thing stopping her was her own issues with self-esteem. Growing up she was in the shadow of her older sister, always feeling chubby and less, and still believed that men would want her sister, not her, for romance.
While there are a couple of steamy scenes, the more heartwarming moments are the honest communication and Hayden’s willingness to try to answer questions that are not easy, and his obvious desire to claim her for his very own.
Narration is provided by Ryan Hudson, and he manages to balance soft moments with the harsher responses or action scenes without over-acting or overly emphatic expletives, tone changes or voice manipulation to indicate the different characters. It’s the perfect tone and presentation for a story told predominantly in Hayden’s point of view, and feels natural.
My first Katie Reus book, and it will not be my last – she may even convert me from my lack of interest in ex-military stories, a trope that has never really stirred me to read.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility
Had me from the first sentence. First book i've read by this author. Will be reading more!!