Slow-burn romance and suspense
Securing Ava is my first book by this author, it is an entertaining mix of suspense and romance. I was pleasantly surprised to find out Anne Shade is a BIPOC author and reading about non-white characters was an added bonus.
Ava Prescott, the daughter of the founder of Diamond Unlimited Wealth Management, has spent her life working towards taking over the family legacy and continuing the company as successfully as her father. After the dissolution of a fake relationship which was only modeled to maintain her father’s old-fashioned family image, suddenly unusual things start happening. Apparently, someone objects to her inheriting the company. That person will stop at nothing to achieve the goal of destroying the Prescott family. As a result, Ava is forced into hiding for a while.
Paige Richards, a private investigator, now only takes on jobs that aren’t dangerous, and often they are favors to her former boss. As an ex-Marine and counterintelligence specialist, she has seen enough violence for more than a lifetime. But the supposedly simple mission to find and bring back Ava Prescott gets complicated and puts them both in great danger.
The thriller part is exciting and entertaining and will keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot is written fluidly but has a few inconsistencies, which I do not want to go into detail, otherwise, I would give too much away. However, that didn’t bother me much, the story captivated me. The scenes escaping from danger were thrilling as well as seeing how both main characters got closer and opened up to each other.
I enjoyed the slow-burn quality of the love story. Both women are drawn to each other in a way they had never experienced before, and both feel genuinely seen and understood. But since they both believe there is no point in a relationship since they lead totally different lives, they fight their budding feelings. Paige mostly wants to enjoy the peace and serenity of her ranch near a small town in Oklahoma and recover from all the horrors she has seen. Ava was born into the financial world of Chicago and knew nothing but working hard for the family business. She didn’t want to do anything else until she was forced into it and learned to appreciate a quieter lifestyle.
I liked both MCs, they are strong and independent women with a determined will but still vulnerable. As much as I love Paige the badass fighter, I liked that she’s not infallible and that she can’t just put aside all that she’s experienced like it’s nothing. Written from the point of view of both main characters, we can empathize with them and understand what holds them back and keeps them from giving in to temptation. They question if their feelings are really genuine, or born out of gratitude from Ava’s perspective and overprotectiveness on Paige’s part. At first glance, I doubted how the two could reconcile their lives, as their lifestyles are too different. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – as the saying goes. 4 stars.
Thanks to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC for an honest review.