Wow – This Book Is Explosive! James & Penny’s Steamy Romantic Suspense ...
Commenté aux États-Unis 🇺🇸 le 20 mai 2021
Is Dripping In Angst As The Couple’s Journey Comes To Its Dramatic Conclusion. There Has Been Such A Build Up To Get To The End Of This Series That It Is Hard To Believe It Is Over.
This is the final of four books in The Hunted series, which is James and Penny’s story. Their romance continues in the three book The Light to my Darkness series. See James as a teenager in the four book Empire High series (Matt’s story), which gives the backstory for the Untouchables - James, his brother Rob, and the Caldwell brothers – Mason and Matt. There are other books that are spinoffs to these books, including the Men of Manhattan series of standalones: City of Sin, Third Chances, and Missing Pieces.
The Men of Manhattan series intersects with The Hunted series. While each series can be enjoyed on its own, each book is even more enjoyable when read collectively because little glimpses of the characters from one book to another add to the depth of their individual stories. Approximating the chronological order, the two series combined should be read as follows (according to the author).
1. Temptation (James Hunter and Penny Taylor’s story, part 1)
2. Addiction (James Hunter and Penny Taylor’s story, part 2)
3. City of Sin (Mason Caldwell and Bridget Cowen’s story)
4. Eruption (James Hunter and Penny Taylor’s story, part 3)
5. Third Chances (Rob Hunter and Daphne Hughes’s story)
6. Devotion (James Hunter and Penny Taylor’s story, part 4)
7. Missing Pieces (Tyler Stevens and Hailey Shaw’s story)
And for those that want to continue reading about James and Penny Hunter, The Light to my Darkness series includes:
1. The Light to my Darkness (James and Penny Hunter, part 1)
2. A Whirlwind of Color (James and Penny Hunter, part 2)
3. This Is Love James and Penny Hunter, part 3)
The review for Devotion, book four, is below. For those that are not reading the series back-to-back, a little summary of the previous books is first included as a refresher.
FROM TEMPTATION, BOOK ONE:
As book one came to a close, James and Penny’s tumultuous relationship had fractured. It had been love at first sight for the pair that first crossed paths in a coffee shop, but the professor-student situation they found themselves in the next day had them fighting their feelings for one another. Penny dated a little, including a double date with her roommate Melissa and her new boyfriend Josh that paired Penny with her ex from last year, Austin. Then there is Tyler. He is Josh’s Sigma Pi fraternity brother and sits beside Penny in Comm 212, which is the course Professor Hunter teaches. Tyler and Penny definitely have chemistry, but for Penny, it is not quite enough to pull her past the heartbreak that Austin caused her. They become good friends, though Tyler clearly wants more. He is sweet and thoughtful, but he definitely makes a few big mistakes. What makes Tyler so forgivable is the fact that he is sincerely apologetic. If Tyler and Penny were given time, they would most likely become a couple. Unfortunately for Tyler, time is not on his side when it comes to Penny. Though Tyler may be older than Penny, as a senior he is still a child in comparison to Professor Hunter.
The heartbreak that Penny experienced last spring is all but forgotten in Professor Hunter’s presence. Eventually, neither Professor Hunter nor Penny can maintain the appropriate professor-student boundaries. This puts them both in the position of hiding their forbidden relationship from everyone – not a healthy place for a new relationship to start. But James had kept the fact that he was technically still a married man from Penny, and she struggled to trust him again once she found out. They took a break, but when they got back together and James indicated he would like her to move in with him, Penny finally shared her own secret – that she was not a senior as he had presumed, but a sophomore just turning twenty. James has a past that still remains somewhat of a mystery, but trust is an issue he struggles with himself. He ends things with Penny on the spot, sending her back to her dorm room to nurse her broken heart. By this time Penny’s secret relationship with Professor Hunter had become known to Tyler and Melissa, neither of which is pleased with Penny.
FROM PROFESSOR HUNTER:
The free bonus mini book in Professor Hunter’s POV is available via the link at the back of Temptation. It gives some insight into James. A few minor facts from Addiction are thrown in below to give a more detailed summary.
James is trying to make a change in his life, and teaching makes him happy. He misses the busy lifestyle that his NYC home has to offer, but staying was no longer an option. He needs real change. He had partied away his undergrad years at Harvard as an escape from his parents’ plans for him to marry the dreaded ice queen Isabella, the daughter of a family friend. The pair had attended high school together and he had never taken to her. He had a girlfriend in high school that his parents forced him to give up. The arrangement with Isabella was supposedly ideal since like James, Isabella came from money. The logic was that Isabella therefore wouldn’t be marrying him for his money. After college, at twenty-two, James began a tech startup, Blive Tech International, which is now a Fortune 500 publicly traded company. He then finally bit the bullet and married Isabella as planned. Despite his best efforts to turn it into a real marriage, he suspected Isabella had never been faithful to him. Things were definitely bad when he chose to sell his company last year and only keep his seat on the board. He got 2.8 billion dollars from the sale, but Isabella hadn’t wanted him to sell and become a lowly professor. Apparently she was mostly into the marriage because of the money after all.
He began teaching in New York and found that he loved it, but last December he found Isabella in their bed with the dean of admissions at his college, Jared Halloway. That was the end of his job and his marriage. He filed for divorce, and he had relocated to the University of New Castle spring semester of last year. It made him happy for a time, but he had begun to feel empty inside. James suffers from addiction. His whole life he felt pressured to be the perfect son, and he escaped the pressure by drifting from one addiction to another. His therapist wants him to work on his breathing – slow breaths – but Delaware was beginning to feel stifling until he ran into the beautiful redhead in the coffee shop on Main Street. Suddenly he could breathe again. When she showed up in his classroom he knew it was fate, and yet it was wrong. He was no good for her, but his obsession couldn’t be helped. She was a temptation he couldn’t ignore. Just as it looked like they might have something real together, though, he learned that like him, she had lied. James has difficulty trusting people, which is why he had become so isolated. The truth had shattered him.
FROM ADDICTION, BOOK TWO:
As book two opens, it is October fourteenth, the day before Penny’s birthday.
Penny Taylor, just turning twenty, is in the middle of the fall semester of her sophomore year of college at the University of New Castle in Newark, Delaware. She feels entirely alone. It seems everyone is disappointed in her. Two weeks have passed since Professor Hunter sent her away. Since then, Penny has spiraled downhill. She felt the sting of not being able to fully explain herself to James and has since let herself and her academics slip. Meanwhile, she has watched as Professor Hunter ignores her yet looks completely put together and unaffected by their breakup. Penny needs to make a change before she flunks her classes and loses her scholarship, and Melissa’s advice keeps coming back to her: the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. Penny’s birthday party is epic in so many ways. It ends in disaster, but it also opens the door for her and James to get back together. A lot went on during their two weeks apart, and much must be forgiven by the two if they are to pick back up where they left off. And there is one truth that James shares with her that makes her doubt what they have is real. James is an addict, and one might argue that Penny is his new addiction.
Once again, Penny has several men in her life vying for her attention. They all make their interest known to her. Austin makes a brief appearance again. Tyler continues to wait on the sidelines hoping his friendship with Penny will eventually lead to something more. His devotion is endearing despite the fact that his judgement is sometimes imperfect (fans shouldn’t feel too bad for Tyler; he gets his own HEA in Missing Pieces). Notably, a new man enters Penny’s life – a man that made a brief appearance in book one. Brendan, twenty-nine, is the architect that designed Professor Hunter’s ritzy apartment building. He had witnessed Penny’s half-dressed escape after she had found the wedding ring in Temptation. Here he once again catches her coming and going, and the pair begin an awkward friendship – one that involves advice as well as kisses. Like Tyler, he makes it clear what he wants, but he doesn’t mind being a friend in the meantime. As Professor Hunter and Penny try to work things out, the other men in her life aren’t too far away. And because their relationship is rocky, those men might just find Penny at a vulnerable point and swoop in to help her pick up the pieces. The angst keeps the readers on their toes! As Penny balances the three men in her life – Professor Hunter, Tyler, and Brendan – things become very complicated. As James and Penny get more serious, more characters are introduced. James’s wild and flirty brother Rob enters the story here. Mason Caldwell gets a cameo, and James’s wife Isabella is present as well. Her appearance ramps up the plot as things really begin to get serious in a variety of ways for James and Penny. As the circle that knows about James and Penny increases, so does the danger of discovery. This book is explosive when their secret comes out, and the newly engaged couple relocates to New York to get away from the controversy. They earn a happy for now ending.
FROM ERUPTION, BOOK THREE:
As the book opens it is roughly two and one half years after the couple left the University of New Castle in book two. There have been a lot of changes. James and Penny have since settled into a routine in their New York home with James running a new tech startup – Hunter Technologies – and Penny finishing her degree at NYCU. Rob Hunter frequently visits but has remained in James’s condo back in Newark where he enjoys the coed population. James sometimes hangs out with his friends – Mason, Matt, and his brother Rob. Mason and Bee are now a power couple, running their successful advertising agency together. Penny sometimes hangs out with Bee and her friends, and she continues to be very good friends with Tyler, who is building a successful career in New York. Her old roommate Melissa is now single and graduating back in Delaware; she plans on spending the summer interning in the city. Mason Caldwell has just turned thirty, and James turns thirty as well next month.
Penny, now twenty-two, isn’t good with change. She is graduating with the class of 2018 and facing a whirlwind of change that unsettles her. Despite her many applications, she has not yet landed any interviews. She took a big hit In her self-confidence as a result of the news of her affair with Professor Hunter leaking to the public, and years later it remains an issue. She is overwhelmed because she hasn’t yet found a direction that inspires her. James is determined to have her work for him at all costs, and when Penny accepts a lowly internship at Hunter Technologies, she is faced once again with talk of her not earning her position. It puts her in a negative head space. She is lost and adrift as she begins the countdown to her June 30th wedding.
Penny feels like she has lost herself in James’s world. His home, his friends, his money that pays her tuition – and now his company that she works for. She loves James dearly and his friends have become a family of sorts. That Mrs. And Mrs. Hunter have refused to meet her to this day has been a hardship on both James and Penny. His parents still like Isabella in spite of the divorce, and their attendance at the upcoming nuptials is in question.
When talk of a bachelor party comes up, James is not interested. Penny, however, encourages him to have fun with his friends. But when James ends up whisked away by his friends and taken to a Costa Rica bachelor escape on the weekend before their wedding, Bee’s strong warning begins to eat at Penny. Bee mentions something about Mason being involved in the plans and an unsavory side business he once ran. Between James’s history with addiction, the stupid antics Rob tends to pull James into, Mason’s involvement, and Penny’s inability to reach her fiancé, the weekend begins to drag. To top it all off, a mystery person begins to leave packages for her that threaten to blow up her engagement. As the relationships around her begin to crumble and she finds herself entirely alone, Penny is faced with a crisis. Isabella makes some bold claims, and James’s ex-girlfriend Rachel enters the picture. James has some explaining to do, but then again so does Penny.. Their story takes a devastating twist and ends in a cliffhanger.
FROM DEVOTION, BOOK FOUR:
Fans may choose to read Third Chances from the Men of Manhattan series prior to reading this book. Glimpses of James during his bachelor party weekend in Costa Rica are seen through Rob and Daphne’s POVs.
As the last book closed, James and Penny had each kept some important developments close to the vest since his return from Costa Rica late Sunday night. Someone had been spying on them and sending threats as well as pictures and letters meant to turn them against one another. Penny is convinced Isabella is behind it all, but James has unfortunately fallen for Isabella’s ploy. The couple’s communication had broken down. Stress and emotions as their wedding day approach may have played a role. Avoidance and wishful thinking likely play a role as well. For James, his need to control things justifies not letting Penny in. Regardless, their lack of communication leads to a major meltdown and a breach of trust – far worse than the issues they ignored. Drunk and heartbroken over the $20 million Penny had transferred to Tyler’s bank account, James refuses believe her explanations and berates her verbally before kicking her to the curb once and for all. Penny worries that James may fall into bad habits in her absence and enlists Rob, Mason, and Ian to watch over him. She also seeks out his parents to confide her concerns to them. Rob finds Penny and takes her back to Delaware for the night, but when morning arrives and James has still not responded to her calls and texts, she plans to leave town per his demands.
This book picks up seamlessly where book three left off. It is early Friday morning, the day before James and Penny are scheduled to be married. Tyler unfortunately gets caught up in the drama, which leads to some heartbreak. Just as Penny is ready to head to the airport and begin anew in Chicago, James makes an appearance. The broken pair are overwhelmed by their desire to make amends, yet both still hold a great deal of anger inside. They finally have the heart to heart that they should have had on Monday morning. James had not canceled the wedding, so they agree to move forward as scheduled. James worries that Isabella will stop at nothing to keep him and Penny apart, and he tightens his security to ensure she is kept at bay. The rehearsal dinner takes place that evening, and there are a few surprises in store for them. The threat of danger becomes real the next day, the day of the wedding. Someone continues to target the couple, but the case is not easily solved. James and Penny face their biggest struggle yet, and their friends pull together to help them through it. This is the final story in this series. James and Penny earn a very well-deserved happy ending.
Tyler Stevens, Penny’s good friend from college, has his own story that spins off from this book. He also comes up in the epilogue of Third Chances as that series segues into Tyler’s HEA. He hasn’t always been painted as the good guy, but it is mostly just that he is human and makes some dumb mistakes (and judging his actions while he is under the influence is probably not entirely fair). After years of not getting over Penny, his story has become very sympathetic. His story is found in Missing Pieces, book three of the Men of Manhattan series..
Note also that the three book series The Light to my Darkness is James and Penny’s second series and a continuation of their story.
Wow! There has been such a build up to get to the end of this series that it is hard to believe it is over. It exciting to know that another series provides a peak at James and Penny’s lives in the future; thus it is not as sad to get to the end as it might be otherwise. This final book is full of drama, but it is great to finally see some resolution. James and Penny repeat some old dysfunctional patterns but appear to work things out and put things into context. The drama with his parents and Isabella Is messy and complicated, to say the least. Tyler and Melissa’s relationship with Penny had become complicated in Eruption, and things continue to be off here. The book does a good job of bringing in friends and family, showing several couples coming together to celebrate. Be prepared for some shocking surprises!
Fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy will enjoy elements of this story that feel familiar. Penny is sometimes maddening in her decision-making here. The book takes place over a very brief period of time, and as the story is told entirely in Penny’s POV, the reader gets to follow along as she vacillates between choices. It sometimes feels tedious, but it is also very real. She is reserved and not quick to make decisions, so the reader experiences her wavering emotions.
James and Penny’s steamy romantic suspense is dripping in angst as the couple’s journey comes to its dramatic conclusion! James and Penny’s story opens as they meet at the beginning of her sophomore year of college. As Professor Hunter, James is taboo but that doesn’t deter Penny from pursuing him. He tries to do the right thing, but she doesn’t make it easy. As they make their home in New York years later and their wedding day approaches, Penny feels overwhelmed by the changes she faces, and a bachelor weekend away opens the door for a crack in their relationship. Ultimately everything explodes when someone begins to threaten them, leading to the exciting conclusion of the series. This story is nicely written. The plot is somewhat complex. The story is written in first person in Penny’s POV. I rate this book four stars.
7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile