If you are looking for a suspense/mystery novel or you simply want to try a debut author, S.M. West is the author you are looking for. ‘Red’, her debut novel is simply awesome. Gripping, well written and action-packed, this story of surviving, finding love and learning to move on kept me at the edge of my seat with its enthralling plot and well-portrayed characters from beginning until the end. S.M. West’s story was engaging, fast-paced and for sure left me wanting more.
“Time is no consequence. Waiting, no burden. I will have my reckoning.”
Tate Conrad’s life changed irrevocably five years ago, when everything good in her life was destroyed by two men. The last five years have been a living hell for Tate, being forced to endure so much. She’s a master at going within, shutting it all out. She’s a fighter and a survivor, no longer fearing abuse or death and all she wants now is to make her tormentors pay for everything they did to her. And she will do it…no matter what.
“I crave their pitiful downfall. I crave vengeance. I crave freedom.”
To make them pay and to get her revenge, Tate teams with the FBI. Everything changes for Tate when she meets Rylan Wolfe, her new handler. Rylan is intrigued by Tate, realizing that there’s more to her than meets the eye. He wants to see more, to get to know the REAL Tate, to help her and protect her, but he also knows he should tell her who he really is. Tate knows she should stay away from the sexy FBI Agent since she doesn’t need a distraction, but he elicits desire and want, both of which she thought had been beaten out of her. Both of them fight the undeniable attraction between them, trying not to cross lines, but as time passes and the connection between them grows, they can’t deny how deep their feelings go.
“This attraction, this hold between us, is undeniable, and deeper than anything I’ve ever felt before. One part of me is spellbound and the other, terrified.”
I can’t say I’m a big fan of romantic suspense, but I really enjoyed this one! Like I mentioned above, the story was gripping, action-packed with some interesting twists and turns that held me captive from start to finish. The suspense and mystery elements are fantastically blended together, making this story very engaging and addictive. One of my favorite aspects of this story is the plot, which is complex, with many layers that kept me on my toes the entire time. While the story, overall, is a romantic suspense novel, you have to know it’s not entirely plot-driven. Sure, the plot is the most important aspect, but there is also strong character development taking place.
“Our meetings are like Russian Roulette. The gun is locked and loaded. The question is, who’ll pull the trigger?”
The two main characters, Tate and Rylan were interesting to read about, endearing and had so much depth. I loved their portrayal, especially Tate’s. I loved our heroine. She’s my kind of gal – strong, determined, a fighter who’s willing to do anything to get what she wants. Her strength was admirable and I have to say that my heart broke for her at times. She was so strong, yet so vulnerable at times. Rylan was an awesome hero. Commanding and alluring he was perfect for our heroine. I loved how sweet, caring and protective he was at times and his tenderness towards her was really heartwarming. I also loved how patient he was with her.
“Our first earth-shattering kiss is the dawn of something…something consuming, forbidden and dangerous.”
The chemistry between these two characters was off the charts hot and palpable. They were good together and I loved them as a couple. The supporting character were skillfully portrayed as well and I’m looking forward to reading their stories in the upcoming books in the series.
Overall, a great debut novel I highly recommend it if you want to read a gripping story filled with action, suspense and steam.