Take Me Under
Berkley / June 4, 2013 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital
Ben Hudson had a thing for shy, sexy Reese Monroe from the moment he first saw her three years ago. Back then, she was married and living in Boston—two very good reasons for the Miami detective with a bad-boy reputation to stay away.
But that was then…
Now Reese is divorced and moving to Florida, where her mother has rented her a small beach house—one that happens to be owned by Ben. Living right next door, he can’t get Reese’s soft curves out of his mind. He has waited three long years to touch her in all the ways he’s been dreaming about, and this time he won’t let anything get in his way.
For Reese, Ben’s sudden advances are thrilling but leave her stunned. With her limited experience in the bedroom, she never expected a man with such a wicked reputation to go after her. She knows she should be on guard, but he’s a temptation she can’t resist. And when trouble follows her down from Boston, threatening her life, Ben may be the only one who can help her.
There's something perfect about the mix of erotic romance and romantic suspense—that nail-biting rush of adrenaline with the pitch-perfect, high-intensity love scenes makes for a potent combination. Add in a big, sexy detective with commitment issues and a girl-next-door with a fighting spirit who's coming out of a bad divorce, and the beginning of Rhyannon Byrd's Dangerous Tides series promises an addicting plunge into summer reading.
Ben has had Reese on his radar since they first met, but given that she was very much married, Ben had to shrug it off. Even if somehow that's been harder and harder to do. So when Reese arrives in his cozy beach community following a nasty split from her ex, Ben sees it as the perfect opportunity to seize what he's tried to let go of but can't shake, even if neither of them really know what they're getting into.
“Why are you doing this, Ben?” She licked her lips, breathing hard. “Is this some kind of challenge thing? You're making a play for me because you think you can't have me or something?”
He narrowed his eyes. “Stop being so damn cynical. Is it so hard to believe that I want you simply because you're you?”
“Ah, yes.” Her laugh was brittle. “It is, actually.”
Ben pulled her closer, hating the pain he could see clouding her eyes, like a shadow falling over a flame, dulling the glow. “I plan on spending a lot of time with you, Reese. And yeah, I want to fuck you. But I'm willing to wait if that's –”
“Wait? Wait for what?” she demanded, cutting him off. Her cheeks burned with color.
It took a moment for Ben to figure out what he wanted to say. “For you to realize that it's something you need as badly as I do.”
From the start, Ben and Reese are set up as this inevitable, combustible match, bound to happen, but something almost to be feared because of the repercussionsf or which neither of them are prepared. These are two people who might never logically pair up under any other circumstances—a larger-than-life alpha male and his down-to-earth counterpart, but their scenes together are so well-developed that they feel equally real and like a fantasy.
The sex scenes are hot, hot, hot and lend an urgency not only to how quickly Ben and Reese feel very strongly about each other, but also a wonderful quality to the underlying suspense of it all. They have to make every moment count because so much around them is uncertain.
“You're not going to run off on me, are you?”
His expression bordered on grim, but there was a touch of a grin on his incredible mouth. “Just remember that if you try to leave, I'll track you down. So you might as well stay put.”
She almost snorted. “What? Are you going to handcuff me if I don't?”
Something dangerous and male darkened his eyes. “You ever been handcuffed before, Reese?”
Realizing he wasn't joking—that he liked the idea of handcuffing her during sex —she started breathing a little faster. “Are you really into that kind of thing?” she asked.
The action of their rapidly progressing relationship balances with the action of a stalker after Reese, as well as an old case of Ben's that continues to haunt him. The non-relationship action keeps the readers on edge, but there's never a question about what's at the focus here. In the midst of not knowing which enemy they'll finally have to confront is the very real issue of commitment: When it's the right person, do you just know?
Ben and Reese make us believe this, that even the most rooted, hard-hearted guy can be a true hero when he meets the right girl, and together they can face every internal and external struggle that comes their way.
Learn more about or order a copy of Take Me Under by Rhyannon Byrd, on sale today:
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.