Watchmaker. Car thief. Heartbreaker extraordinaire.
Rooke Blackheath has spent enough time in juvie to know that he really doesn’t want to go to jail. The food sucks, the clothes itch, and there are absolutely no women in sight. Well…none he wants to fuck, anyway.
He should probably stop boosting cars, but the money is stellar and the high is out of this world. And why should he turn his back on something that sets his soul on fire anyway?
The answer to that question comes in an unexpected form: a petite five-foot-three firecracker named Sasha who refuses to give him the time of day no matter how thick he lays on the charm.
Rooke’s not easily deterred, though. Just like the watches he builds from scratch, Rooke knows all too well how women tick. Women are a game to him. A game he always wins.
Sasha doesn’t stand a chance.
Sasha Cross’s life has been permanently derailed since her son died five years ago. You wouldn’t know it to look at her, of course. She has a great job, a beautiful house, and caring friends. Every week, she hosts a book club featuring the sexiest, most romantic stories on the planet, and every week she falls for a new fictional knight in shining armor.
Fictional men are perfect, though. They don’t hurt you. They don’t break your heart. They don’t cheat on you after your child dies, and they rarely ever leave the toilet seat up.
When Rooke Blackheath shows up at Sasha’s workplace, it’s clear he’s nothing like the men who grace the pages of Sasha’s favorite books. Dangerous, arrogant, sharp-tongued and sarcastic, Rooke’s not the kind of guy she needs in her life. Not to mention the fact that he’s eleven years her junior.
They don’t live in different worlds. As far as Sasha is concerned, Rooke lives in a different galaxy altogether. She’d like to keep it that way, but fate appears to have other plans.
When Cinderella lost her shoe, Prince Charming showed up at her door.
When Sasha Cross loses her book, an entirely different kind of rogue comes a-knocking.
Review by Evelyn
Callie Hart returns with a gritty standalone, loosely linked with her Blood & Roses world through a minor appearance by the one and only Barbieri. No worries if you haven’t read that series yet – this completely stands alone and the links are only there to tickle the fancy of the universe’s biggest fans.
I’ve been in a bit of a book funk recently and this has pulled me out of it. It was a refreshingly suspenseful read, one which genuinely made me feel the threat for those characters, with all the grittiness expected from a Callie Hart novel. Rooke was a wonderfully arrogant, dominant hulk of a man – my ideal book boyfriend. Though, I couldn’t help but feel he followed the general trend of Hart’s heroes, rather than having his own complex personality. Rather, it was refreshing to see Sasha, the heroine, fully fleshed out rather than a shell just to allow the reader to swoon over the hero. Their relationship, chemistry, the sex scenes – all led to a relationship to root for and believe firmly in, exactly the sort of world and relationship to escape to.
Although perhaps formulaic of Hart’s gritty writing and mob-based plot, Rooke offers genuine threat and choking emotion, a much-needed piece of escapism which refuses to bow to the perfect HEA trope of romance novels.
I can’t help but notice that this would be perfect for a sequel. And I can’t help but hope for one, especially if it will explore Rooke’s mother.