Series: The Inheritance #1
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Challenges: NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
After Madalina Maitland receives a small inheritance from her grandfather—$1,300 and a little knickknack shaped like a Chinese dragon—she heads to Vegas for a much-needed vacation. All she wants to do is to win some cash, enjoy some drinks, and flirt with the sexy stranger she literally stumbles into at the roulette table. But little does she know that her luck is about to change…in a deadly way.
When Chinese assailants attempt to kidnap Madalina from the casino, her broad-shouldered roulette partner comes to her rescue. A tall, dark, and handsome private security specialist, Cole West just met Madalina, but he’s instantly driven to protect the feisty, fashionable beauty.
Now, Madalina and Cole must discover who is after her—and why. Catapulted down a perilous path of danger and deception, their building passion soon threatens to dissolve into distrust. Will they be torn apart just when they need each other the most?
Take one grouchy, mysterious, yet tender hero, add in a smart, brave, loyal woman, some semi-believable adversaries, and a fast paced story and you get "Escaping Vegas". Despite the title I expected at least most of the story to take place in Vegas but in fact, Madalina and Cole leave Vegas quickly and most of the story takes place in and around Madalina's home in California.
"Escaping Vegas" starts off with Madalina being kidnapped just a few pages in, after she and The Grouch, as she initially refers to him, have several encounters. He comes to her aid but finds that she's resourceful and was already freeing herself when he arrived. Still, Cole is quick to offer his services and Madalina is quick to accept. Their attackers are determined and there's a sizable contingent, all of whom are after Madalina, or more specifically,something she possesses. What is it? How far will they go to get it? Is Cole the good guy that he seems to be? Will Cole and Madalina hook up?
Well, duh, of course they do. This is a romance after all, complete with an HEA. There's even a sappy, too sweet epilogue. :( But the journey is not a smooth one. Cole is not completely honest with Madalina, he lies to her and he uses her. She gets furious with him and wants nothing to do with him. I liked that Cole owned up to his mistakes and didn't pressure her to forgive him but understood that it would take time. Madalina has some stupid moments but for the most part she's smart, level-headed, and clever. She and Cole worked well together and when they came together personally, I had to turn up the air conditioning. I really liked that Madalina kept her cool, most of the time, and didn't just react but was proactive. Cole was protective but wasn't blind to Madalina's ability to take care of herself and respected her for it.
I didn't entirely buy the adversaries or their behavior, the premise of the mystery is a little weak, and I guessed Cole's secret early on (Okay, I was like, 90% right) but overall the story was believable, fun, sexy, and even made me laugh. I'll keep my eyes out for the next book.