Sunday, December 8, 2013

REVIEW: BARELY UNDERCOVER by SARAH CASTILLE

I've been having a hard time with my reviews lately, even for the books I love. So you will notice (or not) that I'm trying out a new review format. I'm hoping this format will help me organize my thoughts in a way that satisfies me, and helps other readers decide if the book being reviewed is for them. This is a work in progress...


Barely Undercover (Legal Heat, #2)Series: Legal Heat #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: 12/3/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 338
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars

When private investigator Lana Parker follows a dangerous biker into an underground sex club, James Hunter is the last man she expects to see. But there he is, all dark looks and chiseled charms, ready to break her heart all over again.

Danger is the name of the game for an undercover cop. And the last thing James wants is for the fiery beauty to come anywhere near the notorious biker gang he's trying to take down. Yet Lana has no intention of giving up her case, which means he'll have to keep her close to keep her safe. A risky proposition-especially when their blazing sexual chemistry reignites an unforgettable passion.

But when a dark terror emerges from the past, Lana goes on the run...and James gives up everything to save her. Backed into a corner, Lana must face her fears, including the one thing that frightens her most...her overwhelming feelings for the man whose searing glance sparks her most hidden desires, the man she should not trust, but cannot resist.

Warning: The book contains violence, explicit sex, light bondage, heavy swearing, motorcycle sexytimes, bad-ass biker naughtytimes, and an exceptionally hot hero who will get down and dirty anywhere but under the covers.
 


First Impression .... This is going to be So. Much. Fun.

The Story... Barely Undercover is the second book in the Legal Heat series, but can easily be read as a standalone, as I did. Lana, a character from Legal Heat, is a PI. On a dangerous job, she follows her mark into a sex club, but when she catches his eyes, Lana is the one being chased. Rex won't take no for an answer. But in walks Lana's ex, James Hunter, who's undercover as a member of Rex's MC. James comes to Lana's rescue, and in order to go with the flow and keep Rex away, she must pretend to be James's -undercover as Ice - Old Lady. This puts the former lovers back within dangerous territory, balancing knowing they should stay apart with the need to keep Lana safe. Throw in the out of control intense chemistry, and Barely Undercover is a suspense and sexy story.

The Characters ... James and Lana were likeable, complex, funny, and intense characters. Lana is a woman with a mysterious past, one she won't share even with her best friend. She is a strong woman who refuses to be beaten down by life. Yes, she's closed off and tends to run, but she can't be blamed in the slightest. Her only weakness is James, but even with him, it's all SASS. And I loved it. The way they sparred and riled each other up was hilarious and sexy. And speaking of sexy, yep, James was that and a whole lot more. An undercover cop, James left Lana to protect her. Life in the MC has changed him, but it's for the better. He was intense, but could make a joke or a wicked come-on in a heartbeat. What I liked about him was that even though he was intense and super Alpha, he was also nice, listened to Lana, and learned how to treat her in the way that worked for them both.

Barely Undercover also had an excellent supporting cast. Jackie, Lana's best friend, matched her head-to-head in the sass and attitude department. I would love to get her story. We also get James/Ice's fellow MC members, most of them awful, except for Kickstand and Ryder. These two were fun and hot and I hope it's not the last I've seen of them either.

The Writing .... Having read Castille's work before, I knew that I liked her writing. While I liked her other book, I really, really liked this one. I even had moments bordering on love. The characters were engaging. The story had a brisk and intense pace that never lagged a bit.  It was so so funny, with me laughing so hard at times my husband came to see what was going on with me.


The Heat ... was smokin'. "Warning: The book contains violence, explicit sex, light bondage, heavy swearing, motorcycle sexytimes, bad-ass biker naughtytimes, and an exceptionally hot hero who will get down and dirty anywhere but under the covers."   <---That just promises a good time, right? Once again, being familiar with Castille's work, I knew she could bring the heat. James and Lana had fabulous chemistry, combined with loaded history. This led to serious sparks on the page. Their intimate moments were plentiful, but never took over the story.


Could I Put Barely Undercover Down? .... I could, when necessary. But I didn't want to. In fact, I stayed up way to late and woke up early so I could get a few more pages in before starting the day.


Did Barely Undercover "Grab My Balls"? (Okay, I know this may be crass -or even offensive, but I have a reason. When we talk books, the first question my friend Jessica asks is "Did it grab your balls?" Is this a book that rips you open, consumes you, won't let you go? It's valid logic.) Barely Undercover didn't exactly grab them, but it did grab my funny bone, and with Lana's vulnerability combined with her resolve, and James's passion/aggression, it hit me right in The Feels.


In the End ...
Barely Undercover was an excellent read. It made me laugh. It got me all steamed up. There was action, adventure, and a winning love story. I will definitely be reading more of the Legal Heat series in the future.


Favorite Quotes:

  "No one has ever riled me up the way you do," he growled. "You are headstrong, stubborn, wild, relentlessly determined and too smart for your own damned good. You're hard on my patience. Hard on my mind. Hard on my heart. But you're so damned soft inside. You see to the heart of people. Accept them for who they are. You light up a room the minute you walk in the door. And you are so beautiful, so fucking sexy I can't get you out of my mind."   ~eARC, 59%


  "James Hunter. I can't believe you. We are not having sex in the forest while we're being hunted by men with guns. Who gets turned on in life-threatening situations?"
  "You." He slid his hand between them and under her dress. Shoving aside her panties he pressed a finger into her center and then trailed her wetness along her inner thigh.
  "That was from before," she spat out, her cheeks flaming. "It doesn't just evaporate."   ~eARC, 61%


 
The Legal Heat Series
 
Legal Heat (Legal Heat, #1)  Barely Undercover (Legal Heat, #2)
 
 
Purchase Barely Undercover



About the author
Sarah CastilleRecovering lawyer, karate practitioner, and caffeine addict, Sarah Castille worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. Her steamy, contemporary romantic tales feature blazingly hot alpha heroes tormented or tattooed for your reading pleasure.
 
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17 comments:

  1. Great review, Andrea. I love this new review format.

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  2. I am really liking this new format... it tells me exactly what I need to know when deciding whether to read a book or not. I may have to check this series out. Great review!

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  3. Likeable, complex and funny characters sounds great to me.

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  4. Ha Andrea I loved your review, and balls aside I think I would like this :)

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  5. Those quotes proved what you said about James and Lana - their banter and chemistry sound great! *sigh* Another book you're making me add to my TBR, Andrea.

    Oh, and I love your reviews no matter the format...but I like your new style. Excellent review!

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  6. Can I have that cover model girls' hair? Because it's GORGEOUS. And holy man bicep! I want to bite it. Ok, wow. I have the flu, so clearly my brain is addled from that. LOL. DANGIT. Adding this to TBR right now. And I love the grab your balls comment- that is hilarious. Not crass- you're just channeling your inner Drew Evans right?!

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    1. Lana does have badass hair! And that bicep? You and me both, babe.

      Flu medicine or not, that's the best comment of the day!

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  7. I have these in my tbr, looks like my kind of book.
    Btw, I saw your Rule updates on GR, so so happy you loved it. I still need to read Jet and Rome, so excited for ROME!

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  8. Another great review Andrea. This sound hot!

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  9. I love the new review style! I think it works great! I don't remember hearing of these before, but I do love when there's some humor thrown in!

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  10. Oooh! This sounds like a good one! i love a story that is sexy, suspenseful, and can make me laugh. The MC Club books have really been grabbing my attention lately! Awesome Review, you totally made me want to read this one!!!

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