Thursday, 17 August 2017

Ethan's Daughter by Rachel Brimble
Series: Templeton Cove # 7
Release Date: 1st August 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance
Genres:  Romantic Suspense

There's safety in solitude…isn't there? 
Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove's most famous recluse…until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world. 
Ethan's first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web—and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn't going anywhere; she's afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn't live with himself if anything happened to Leah…but pushing her away may be even harder..

On the other side of the front door, the kitchen/dining room stretched from the front to the back of the house. Even though it was in semi-darkness, Leah could see straight through to some French doors at the back, the only illumination coming from the overhead light of the stove as it glinted on steel toward the center of the room.
Snapping her gaze to Daisy, Leah’s opinions on personal tastes flew to the wayside. The little girl’s eyes were wide as she chewed her bottom lip. Leah frowned. “Are you all right, sweetheart? Do you want me to knock?”
Daisy nodded and raised her arms toward Leah as though asking to be picked up. “Yes, please. Daddy might be mad.”
“Oh, Daddy won’t be mad.” Leah bent down and picked her up, hitching her onto her hip as Daisy’s arms wound around her shoulders. “If Daddy’s mad, I’ll show him how to calm himself down real quick. Don’t you worry about that.” Leah lifted the brass knocker and let it fall a little harder than necessary.
No answer.
Narrowing her eyes, she knocked again.
She was readying to knock a third time when the door swung open.
“I told you to get the hell out of here and not come back.” The man’s dark hair sprouted from every angle, his raging eyes bulging and his right hand swathed in a blue and white­­––and bloodied––dishtowel. His gaze held Leah’s for a split-second before he snapped his attention to Daisy. “My God, Daisy. What are you…” He cupped Daisy under her armpits, wincing slightly as he pulled her from Leah’s arms to hold her close. He pressed a lingering kiss to her temple, his raging eyes hidden behind his closed lids.
Leah stared, completely stunned by this flannel-shirted, blue jeaned, incredibly good-looking man…despite the bulging eyes. She coughed in a bid to find her voice. “Mr. James?” She planted her hands on her hips. “You’re Daisy’s father, I presume?”
He opened his eyes and Leah stepped back.
Apparently when his eyes had softened and were filled with regret rather than rage, they looked good. Really good.
She stilled. Oh, good Lord. Be damned if those weren’t the eyes of Templeton’s reclusive novelist, Ethan James.

Well, here we are back in good old Templeton Cove. My kind of place! I love how Rachel Brimble has created a town that always invites the reader back with a new story that fits so seamlessly into the series and can always be read as a standalone. If you haven't read any of this series I strongly recommend you do.

In Ethan's daughter we are introduced to feisty and no nonsense nurse Leah Dixon who is thrown together with writer Ethan James when she returns his daughter to him after finding her out alone on the beach. Immediately the chemistry between the two is right there! However, Ethan's past has now become his present and with the unwelcome return of his ex wife into his life and in turn bringing danger to him and his daughter and Ethan does everything he can to keep Leah at arms length. There's too much at stake. Too much danger ahead. However, easier said than done as Leah soon realises how she feels about Ethan and his daughter Daisy and isn't about to walk out of their lives so easily despite Ethan's fears. 

I think that this book is easily my favourite in the series. I just love everything about it! Leah is a strong, brave woman but with her own vulnerabilities which she tries to keep well hidden. She's smart and sensible except when it comes to Ethan James. He's the chink in her armour and she's almost as frightened of being hurt as he is. She battles with her feelings for Ethan and Daisy versus her professional duty to ensure that Ethan does the right thing and protects Daisy. 

Ethan James is a sexy, reclusive novelist. What's not to love! Despite always trying to keep a low profile he has a big presence and that presence is devoured by Leah. He's been hurt so badly by his ex wife that he'd rather be alone to protect Daisy from further hurt and disappointment. But, is it only Daisy he's trying to protect? His heart is fragile and this makes him vulnerable.  When threats start to come in the form of photographs etc left at his  home he knows that this is one situation he can't handle alone despite his best efforts.  His daughter Daisy is simply an adorable character and it was easy to see how Leah became besotted with her so quickly.

Ethan's Daughter is a lovely, romantic novel about two people dancing around the idea of taking their friendship further. Throw into the mix a suspense element with the threat of danger lurking in the background to add to the tension and this is a recommended read for me. Great characterisation. Great scene setting and paced just about right to keep me pulled into the pages. There were times when I did get frustrated with Leah and Ethan and initially wanted to scream at them to just rip each other's clothes off already! I wanted to scream that they were perfect for one another and to just take a chance on their relationship! That's what great writing does to a reader! It brings a whole range of emotions to a story. Great writing from Rachel Brimble once again. 

Signed copy of Ethan’s Daughter & tote bag (open internationally)

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Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eight coming in Feb 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

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