4 out of 5 Stars
Thirty-four-year-old Ryan Chase returns to her hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska, with her tail between her legs after thirteen years of living in New York City. She goes back for her father’s funeral, but also to escape her abusive husband and to start a new life since she failed at her dream of becoming an actress.
Shea Michaels, the eight-year-old hellion Ryan used to babysit, is all grown up now, and Ryan finds herself confused by the pull this gorgeous man has over her. Shea has loved Ryan his whole life, and now that she’s home he’s going to do everything in his power to make her his, age difference and former babysitter be damned.
Bite & Release is a hot and sexy romance that will leave you breathless at times. Ryan is confused for a while over her feelings for Shea, but once she gives in, the two set the pages on fire. Shea’s dirty mouth definitely adds fuel to this scorcher, but there are also times where I could feel his heartbreak as if it were my own.
Ryan’s character is supposed to be the older, more mature person in the relationship. Many times, it seems that Shea, though only twenty-one, is the mature one. Shea believes in their relationship from the get-go, while Ryan wants to hide it from the townsfolk and Shea’s mother. It takes some convincing before Ryan is ready to open herself up to the scrutiny, and with good reason. Not only does Ryan have to worry about the judgment due to their age difference and the fact that she used to babysit Shea, but she also has to deal with still being married. She hides this little fact from Shea for too long, and then we get the cliché of the lie exploding at the wrong time. This was one of the things I didn’t like about the story. I kept rooting for this book to be different and have the truth come out naturally to set it apart from all the others. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Shea learned about Ryan’s marriage through his ex-girlfriend, and at the worst possible moment.
I also wasn’t thrilled with the added drama. These characters had plenty of drama to deal with just within their relationship, and then a brand new problem surfaced, causing another rift between them. Although the story was written well and it pulled me through the drama, it could have done without this extra dose.
There were some editing mistakes, which thankfully weren’t more than minor annoyances, but it was enough that I feel the need to point it out. Things like tense changes, double or missing punctuation, missing words, and incorrect words—“by” instead of “my,” “Tina” instead of “Trina”—did somewhat take me out of the story as I was reading.
Overall, I really loved these two characters and the older female/younger male romance. The Alaskan setting was unique, adding another layer to the adventure. I would read more by this author.