NEW RELEASE! Fervent by Claudia Burgoa ~ Sarah A’s Review

As a former Army Ranger who works for a high intelligence, private security company, I’ve seen my fair share of death, betrayal, and pain.
I’ve lived them.
I trust no one, only my brothers, and my best friend.
I wasn’t always like that. Everything changed the day my parents died and my nation was attacked.
Since then, family comes first. Work is my mistress.
Nothing else matters.
That is, until she walked into my life.
Short dress, long, tanned legs, and honey eyes that make me weak.
She’s chaos.
She’s sunshine and daffodils.
She’s loud.
She’s a fighter.
She’s a dreamer.
She’s everything I hate.
Why is it so hard to walk away from her?

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After reading Flawed (originally published as All of You, All of Me), I was ecstatic to get a book about one of the other Everhart brothers. They appealed so greatly to me; I knew their stories needed to be told. I went into the book expecting the same intensity, the same heavy themes, the same emotion as I got in Flawed, but it didn’t quite stand up to its predecessor. It was still a good book; it only fell short of my expectations.

Fervent is a far lighter book than Flawed was. It focused on learning to trust and letting go of all those defenses people use to protect themselves from being hurt by another human being. Family was also a huge player in this book, both in the way they help heal and how they can hurt.

Luna was an enigma; as an FBI agent, she was tough and smart and highly logical. Her personal life and beliefs belied that persona though, as she relied heavily on horoscopes, palm reading, and superstitions when going about her day to day life. She filled both roles seamlessly, which was fascinating. After learning about her past and the way, she was raised – the things she was told time and again – it was apparent why she had taken two vastly different paths in life.

When I began reading Fervent, I thought Harrison was going to be a total bad boy. Hard edges, deeply flawed, gruff, and unfeeling. The more I read, however, I learned he was actually a kind, caring, compassionate soul. He had been hurt deeply – on more than one occasion – and did everything in his control to keep most people at arm’s length to keep from getting hurt again. Harrison, while still a bad boy on the surface, was revealed to be so much more once those layers of protection were peeled back.

The back and forth between Luna and Harrison was entertaining. Their chemistry was evident from their first, slightly violent, interaction. I loved witnessing them fight the connection they had, both swearing their relationship would only be casual when they obviously were working toward something epic together. Theirs was a slow, very slow, burn romance. The time they took to break through walls, to learn to trust one another, to show one another their deepest secrets, was worth it. They built something beautiful and lasting during that time.

My wish for this book is that the storyline that brought Luna to New York would have been completed. It seemed to have been abandoned fairly early on with only a few brief mentions of it later in the book. There was no resolution or satisfaction of that thread of the novel, and I found it disappointing as it had SO much potential.

Claudia Burgoa drew me into this story and made me want to go back and read her previously published Unexpected series with her inclusion of those characters as Harrison’s coworkers. She did a great job of keeping me interested in both her primary and secondary characters and I can’t wait to read about the other brothers and Hazel. The world she’s built in this series is excellent, and I am eagerly anticipating whoever’s story comes next.

Stretched t-shirt, dry blood, and badass attitude looked good on him. That’s nothing compared to Harrison Everhart wearing a suit. His tall, broad, body wrapped in a dark gray is a site I want to photograph, frame and stare at it forever. He’s the type of man who behaves differently depending on the place and time. For the past five hours, we chatted pleasantly about our families. Nothing too superficial but nothing too intimate, either. If I had time to date, he’d be the kind of man I’d choose. Easy to talk to, funny, and a gentleman.

A refreshing touch from the guys who I hook up with when I have time to go out with my friends. Which lately it’s been never. Maybe I have time, but I don’t want to waste it by doing the same thing over and over again. Meeting a guy who has little social skills, only talks about himself, and by the end of the date is the only one who is satisfied isn’t great. I have my little friendly toys that to do a better job and I don’t have to listen to nonsense.

This would be a great subject for a sociology class; the interactions between humans, and how out of touch they are with one another that dating has become a joke. What happened to love letters? The chase is so much different now than it was back when my parents dated. I should quit the Bureau and go back to school. Finish my psychology degree, go into anthropology or sociology. I would enjoy doing that more than having to jump through hoops to show that I’m capable of more things than my superiors like to acknowledge. If anything, I can write a book with Mom’s letters and notes.

A manual on how it’s done.

“Everything okay?” Harrison asks when the service car stops, and the driver opens my door. “You’ve been quiet since we left the party.”

Define okay? My skin tingles every time you touch me. Your deep voice makes me shiver, and dancing in your arms was a bit torturous because everything inside me wanted you to touch more than my bare shoulders and my waist. But yeah, I’m cool.

“Your brother and Hazel never arrived at the party,” I comment, not disclosing that I’d like to find out how my fake future boyfriend kisses. “Gia wasn’t there either.”

 “I’m sorry about that. If you want, I can try to find out her whereabouts. My people can hack her phone and track her daily activities. He smirks and winks. “We can start stalking her.”

“Stalking?” I boom, laughing and covering my mouth when a couple walking close to us turns to glare at me.

“Yeah, that’s the word and you know what they say, ‘couples that stalk together stay together.’” He grins, his blue-crystal eyes shining with the post light.

That grin is addictive. I shouldn’t mind pretending to be with him while I’m working. A little fun on the side, some sexy times. Sex. I haven’t had that in a long time. So long that I can only remember what my toys can do for me. But I care. He’s a distraction. Each time he smirks, touches me or talks with the low-bedroom voice I want to jump him. That’s not only unprofessional but also illogical.

“Anything for the sake of the case, right?” My voice comes out a little throaty, needy.

He clears his throat, looking around and poking the elevator. “We should do this again,” he says, leaning closer to me.

“Technically, we have to do it again.”

Have I mentioned this is the best case I’ve ever worked on in my entire life.” He leans forward, kissing my cheek. His lips lingering close to my ear for one too many seconds. His musk-wood scent making my stomach flutter.

“Thank you,” I swallow hard, turning around and stepping into the elevator. “We can discuss our next move tomorrow.”

I poke the elevator, looking at the doors that start closing his gaze locks with mine.  His eyes darken, the intensity of that gaze makes me feel vulnerable, bare. I imagine my skin searing with the touch of his big hands. As the doors close, my phone rings. An incoming message. Unknown number reads the screen.

Unknown: This was the best first date I’ve had in a long time. Thank you.

Flawed (previously titled All of You All of Me)
**Available in Kindle Unlimited**
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

Claudia grew up with a childhood that resembled a caffeine-injected soap opera.

She lives in Colorado working for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, her geek husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

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