Friday, April 18, 2014

Escape Part 1: Greece

From the Publisher: Former Baltimore accountant Michelle Murphy is supposed to be in hiding, tucked away on a lonely Greek island with a new look and a new identity while she waits to testify in the biggest federal corruption trial Washington has seen in years. Michelle’s not supposed to mingle with strangers, especially ones like the ruggedly handsome Jake Dasher, a fellow American who appears on Michelle’s quiet beach one day. Jake is friendly, outgoing, and much younger than Michelle—all the more reason to keep her distance. But the magnetism is too strong to resist, and Michelle soon finds herself in Jake’s arms.

When a threat from Baltimore casts a dark shadow over their romantic paradise, Michelle is forced to reveal her secret to Jake. But it turns out Jake has a secret as well, with his own reason for hiding out in the middle of the Ionian Sea. When Michelle learns why, she discovers that Jake might be the only man alive with the resources to save her.

My Review: From the very first sentence, this book had me! We meet Michelle Meadows. Except, she is no longer called Michelle, she is now Jenna and is in witness protection because of something she saw at her place of work. Now she has the Russian Mob after her so she is sent to a beautiful island in Greece where she is waiting to be called back to the states to testify. She's learned to stay mostly to herself. Replaying her handlers words in her brain daily "Treat every stranger like a potential enemy." Jenna had grown accustomed to living that way, until one day when she noticed someone swimming to shore from a distance. She had never seen this person before and as he got closer, her suspicions were confirmed. Out of the ocean walks this Greek God...fitting for the location ;)

He walks to his belongings, just steps from Jenna and unwittingly, strikes a pose. Jenna gets to work. She sketches him beautifully. He notices and walks over to her. His name is Jake Dasher. Fitting name, don't you think? ;) He is so impressed by how she, a stranger, sees him that he asks her to dinner. Of course she is very reluctant but she finally accepts. After almost four months with very little human interaction, and a beautiful man asking, how could she say no? The only problem is, he is ten years younger than Jenna and he might be working for Sokolov. The Russian Mobster that is after Michelle.

This is where the story heats up! Jenna learns that Jake is a billionaire that likes his privacy. He and Jenna have sparks from the beginning. After their first date, which ends in a steamy kiss on the beach, they make plans to meet the next morning. Jake takes her to a secluded cavern where they get more intimate....

Jenna feels that she can trust Jake and one night, after steamy sex, she tells him the truth. All of it. And she gets what she's longed for from him. He calls her Michelle. Jake is worried for her safety but she assures him that she is taken care of by the American government. And she doesn't really know how much longer until the case is built and she will have to leave. And he will have to leave soon to go back to the states for his business. The realization of their relationship hits both of them. They don't have much longer together so they make the most of it.

Until one night, when the fairy tale comes to an end. Michelle knows she isn't supposed to contact her family. Her handler, Martha made that very clear before she was relocated. But Jake has a satellite phone and, while he was sleeping, Michelle longs to connect with her family. Just to let them know she is okay. She reasons that she will just leave a message telling her family she loves them and be done in less than 10 seconds. Well, little did she know that her sister would answer the phone. Little did she know that she would talk for almost a minute. And little did she know that satellite phones can be traced. In less than an hour the Mob has located her. Martha calls and tells her they are sending a plane to get her and take her somewhere else. Take her away from Jake. But Jake steps up and offers to take care of her! He is a billionaire after all! So he makes his case that the Mob might get to her before the American government can and he wants to get her to safety. But where?? He asks "Have you ever been to Italy?" It's a cliffhanger ending but it will leave you ready to grab the next book and see how it all turns out!

MJ Meadows has done a great job engaging the reader and making you feel that you can really connect with the characters. You are pulling for them and for the happy ending. Of course, there is more to this story that I didn't touch on here. To purchase on Amazon, click here.

I really liked this book and recommend it to anyone who likes a good romantic suspense. It does have explicit sex scenes so don't leave it lying around for little eyes. The only thing I didn't like was there were a few times the dialog didn't seem realistic. It seemed too young for their characters or not realistic. But it wasn't bad enough for me to stop reading.

                                                                  ****4 Stars

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