The Hunted Series
Saved by the Rancher, Lucky Like Us, The Right Bride
By: Jennifer Ryan
Saved by the Rancher (Book 1 of The Hunted Series)
A million dollar mistake…
Marrying millionaire David Merrick was the biggest mistake of Jenna Caldwell’s life. Two years after their divorce, Jenna is still on the run, relocating to a new place every few months after each terrifying run-in with her ex. No matter where she hides, he always finds her, and each time his temper worsens. Bruised, battered, and bloodied, Jenna takes her lawyer’s advice and relocated to a quiet ranch in Colorado in the hopes that she can finally stop running…
Another chance at finding a safe-haven…
Jack Turner was also running; in the hopes of forgetting about his nightmarish experiences in the army, he’s retreated to his family’s ranch. But Jenna shows up and forces him out of his isolation—and right into her arms. All he wants to do is pull her close and protect her from the world—and especially from her stalker of an ex. But David Merrick is on the hunt for Jenna and he won’t stop until she’s dead.
…And a romance worth the risk
Despite the looming danger posed by Jenna’s ex, Jack and Jenna find themselves inexorably drawn to each other, and just being with one another is healing them—both externally and emotionally. But can Jenna get past the fear factor of giving herself over to another man?
Purchase on Amazon:Saved by the Rancher: Book One: The Hunted Series (ebook)
Lucky Like Us (Book 2 The Hunted Series)
Too sweet for her own good…
Elizabeth Hamilton is almost where she wants to be in life: she’s got the best bakery in town, she’s the daughter of the most feared and respected judge in the country, and business is booming—but she’s got no one to share it with. No one, that is, except a grumpy cat named The Muffin Man, and a social climbing psychotic stalker of an ex-boyfriend.
But all of the sweetness in Elizabeth’s life goes sour when she sees Sam Turner lying unconscious in the street—with car speeding toward him—she saves him without a moment’s hesitation—and unwittingly puts herself in the path of a serial murderer. As the only one who can identify the FBI’s Silver Fox Killer, she’s ended up in the hospital with a target on her back.
A man who could use some sugar…
Special Agent Sam Turner owes Elizabeth Hamilton his life—and now, he’s the only one who can save hers. After the Silver Fox almost killed the both of them, Elizabeth and Sam can’t help but spend time together, and against his better judgment, Sam gets emotionally involved with the charming, brave woman who rescued him from certain death. Hell-bent on protecting her from an ex desperate to get her back—despite a restraining order—and a psychopath bent on silencing her before she can identify him, Sam is prepared to give up all he has to keep Elizabeth safe…even his heart.
They set a trap to catch the killer – putting Elizabeth in his hands, with Sam desperate to save her. If he’s lucky, he’ll get his man…and the girl.
Purchase on Amazon:Lucky Like Us: Book Two: The Hunted Series (ebook)
Review of Lucky Like Us
I started this series with Lucky Like Us because I enjoy reading books with a protagonist working in a Police/Security Role like FBI Special Agent Sam Turner who stars in this story. Sam and his partner Tyler Reed are working undercover to catch a serial killer known as the “Silver Fox” when the book opens. Early in the story, the killer catches Sam off guard, poisons and beats him in the middle of a warehouse district where Elizabeth Hamilton resides.
When Elizabeth hears noises outside of her house, she rushes out to find Sam, barely conscious, lying in the street. When she realizes someone is trying to kill him, she risks her own life to protect his. During this intense encounter, “Silver Fox” brutally attacks Elizabeth for intervening, and, in her desperation to fight back, she removes his facial mask revealing his face. The attack ends with both Sam and Elizabeth sustaining life-threatening injuries and left for dead. Fortunately, they are rescued in time and both survive.
The hospital serves as the setting for much of the story as both Sam and Elizabeth recuperate from their injuries. The pace slows down and more attention is given to character development and the relationship that develops between Sam and Elizabeth as they recover and bond over their shared traumatic ordeal. Once Sam learns he accidentally shot the woman who saved his life, he feels responsible for her well-being and spends a lot of time by Elizabeth’s bedside. Even though she is heavily sedated and constantly in and out of consciousness, they still manage to connect on a deeper level; his calming voice and warm touch soothe her anxiety and distract her from the pain, while her concern, understanding, and acceptance of him draws him even closer to her.
Elizabeth is one of my favorite heroines. She comes from an affluent family, owns a successful bakery, and spends much of her time involved in philanthropic activities. Initially, I expected her to be fragile, passive, and dependent upon others to take care of her, especially in her vulnerable condition. However, this woman is intelligent and strong, both emotionally and physically. She takes action when needed and never once pities her situation. Overall, she is calm, rational, and determined to have a normal life once again, even though she knows the “Silver Fox” is determined to see her dead since she is the only one who can identify him.
Once she recovers, she takes an active role to help apprehend the “Silver Fox,” even risking her life again by setting herself up as bait to lure the killer into the open. However, while waiting to catch the serial killer, Elizabeth is also being stalked by a “wannabe” boyfriend whose disturbing behavior continues to escalate. Although she understands the gravity of her situation regarding the serial killer, I was surprised at how easily she dismissed this stalker who begins to pose a serious threat to her well-being.
The romance and suspense of the plot accelerate once Elizabeth is released from the hospital. Arrangements are made for Sam to resume his role in the investigation by protecting Elizabeth until her life is no longer in danger. As their relationship develops, the attraction between them intensifies into a full-blown passionate love affair. The lines of professional duty and personal interest become blurred once Sam and Elizabeth begin acting like a couple.
Although none of the characters seem to see this as an issue, I do think it has a negative impact on how the FBI proceeds with the investigation. For example, when Elizabeth realizes that she knows the killer, she and Tyler work together to set a trap for him. They intentionally keep Sam out of the loop, not letting him know the real identity of the killer and about their about their plan to trap him at a charity event until the last minute. Did they do this because they thought Sam’s personal involvement with Elizabeth would hinder their operation to apprehend the killer? Since Sam is officially part of the investigation, I thought he should have been fully aware of all aspects of the case in order to do his job.
Nevertheless, an unpredictable and exciting climax occurs when Elizabeth does come face-to-face with “Silver Fox,” who is determined to eliminate her once and for all. The story continues after the climatic outcome, bringing up more questions to pique my interest until the end. Lovers of romantic suspense will find this to be a great read.
I received a copy of Lucky Like Us from the author via Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
The Right Bride (Book 3 The Hunted Series)
High-powered businessman Cameron Shaw doesn’t believe in love—until he falls head over heels for beautiful, passionate, and intensely private Martina. She’s perfect in so many ways, immediately bonding with his little girl. Martina could be his future bride and a delightful stepmother … if only Cameron weren’t blinded by his belief that Shelly, the gold-digging woman he’s promised to marry, is pregnant with his child.
No matter how much his friends protest his upcoming marriage to Shelly, Cameron knows he has a duty to his children, so he’s determined to see it through. Will he find out in time that Shelly’s lying and Marti’s the one who’s actually carrying his child? It’ll come down to the day of his wedding. After choosing Shelly over Marti at every turn, will he convince Marti she’s his world and the only woman he wants?
Jennifer Ryan writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find. Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three children, dog (Bella), and cat (Shadow). When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one.
Twitter: @JenRyan_author / https://twitter.com/JenRyan_author
Guest Post by Jennifer Ryan for Sun Mountain Reviews
The Hunted Series
Villains: Love to Hate Them
I love a good villain. Writing them is so much fun. Reading about them and hating them is fun too. The first three books in The Hunted Series all open with an ominous introduction to the villain. Enjoy!
Saved by the Rancher
David sat behind his massive desk, his hand wrapped around a tumbler of whiskey instead of his high-priced, highly educated, but still incompetent lawyer’s neck.
“She outmaneuvered us, Mr. Merrick. If we’d known about . . .”
“You should have known,” he bellowed, barely able to contain his temper. “I lost half of everything to that bitch!”
“At least it didn’t go public.”
“Get out.” Voice low, it resonated with his inner rage.
Alone, David stared out the windows of his thirty-sixth floor office at Merrick International. His company, and now she’d taken part of it. The fire of fury from that single thought shot through his veins, enraging him more. He tipped the drink to his mouth and downed a deep gulp, welcoming the familiar sting down his throat. Three men entered. He tracked their progress toward his desk with their reflection in the window. He’d used his elite security team to investigate many corporate deals, but now he needed them for something much more personal.
His back to them, he ordered, “Whatever it takes. Find her.”
They marched out eager to do his bidding.
David turned his focus from the city lights inside to the anger eating away at him. How could she do this? He’d make her regret winning today in court. She’d pay for besting him. No one got away with taking anything from him. No woman left him, especially not his wife.
He held his drink aloft and toasted the San Francisco skyline. “The game is on.”
Lucky Like Us
A wisp of smoke rose from the barrel of his gun. The smell of gunpowder filled the air. Face raised to the night sky, eyes closed, he sucked in a deep breath and let it out slow, enjoying the moment. Adrenaline coursed through his veins with a thrill that left a tingle in his skin. His heart pounded and he felt more alive than he ever remembered feeling in his normal life.
Slowly, he lowered his head to the bloody body lying sprawled on the dirty pavement at his feet. The Silver Fox strikes again. The smile spread across his face. He loved the nickname the press had dubbed him after the police spoke of the elusive killer who had staged eight deaths. Who knew how many more? He did. He remembered every one of them in minute detail.
He kicked the dead guy in the ribs. Son of a bitch almost ruined everything, but you didn’t get to be in his position by leaving the details of a partnership to chance. They had a deal, but the idiot had gotten greedy, making him sloppy. He’d set up a meeting for tonight for a new hit, but hadn’t done the proper background investigation. His death was a direct result of his stupidity.
“You set me up with a cop!” he yelled at the corpse.
He dragged the body by the foot into the steel container, heedless of the man’s face scraping across the rough road. He dropped the guy’s leg. The loud thud echoed through the cavernous interior. He locked the door and walked through the deserted shipyard, indifferent.
Maybe he’d let his fury get the best of him, but anything, or anyone, who threatened to expose him or end his most enjoyable hobby needed to be eliminated. He had too much to lose, and he never lost.
Only one more loose end to tie up.
The Right Bride
Shelly swiped the lip gloss wand across her lips, rolled them in and out to smooth out the color, and grinned at herself in the mirror, satisfied with the results. She pushed up her boobs, exposing just enough flesh to draw a man’s attention—and keep it—but still not look too obvious.
“Perfect. He’ll love it.”
Ah, Cameron Shaw. Rich and powerful, sexy as hell, and kind in a way that made it easy to get what she wanted. Exactly the kind of husband she always dreamed about marrying.
Shelly grew up in a nice, middle-class family. Ordinary. She desperately wanted to be anything but ordinary.
She’d grown up a plump youngster and a fat teenager. At fifteen, she resorted to bingeing and purging and starved herself thin. Skinny and beautiful, boys took notice. You can get a guy to do just about anything when you offer them hot sex. By the time she graduated high school, she’d transformed herself into the most popular girl in the class.
Destined to live a glamorous life in a big house with servants and fancy cars and clothes, meeting Cameron in the restaurant had been a coup. Executives and wealthy businessmen frequented the upscale restaurant. She’d gone fishing and landed her perfect catch. Now she needed to hold on and reel in a marriage proposal.
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