Brody Bond. The youngest homicide detective in Holly Woods. My best friend’s younger brother.
Off. Freaking. Limits.
I’ve told myself that for the past five years, and I’m going to keep telling myself that. Besides—I’m kind-of dating Jason. I don’t need Brody. I shouldn’t even want him, but want him, I do.
Not that I have time to think about it. With Noelle and Drake in Mexico for two weeks, I’m holding down the fort at Bond P.I. Or I was… until I stumbled upon a young woman who’d been attacked while walking my dog.
Jason thinks it’s the latest in a long line of gang-rapes happening across three states. Brody thinks I’ve added a target to my back. Getting to the bottom of it is at the top of my to-do list.
Two men, both determined to protect me.
I think I could love one. I’m almost certain I’m in love with the other.
Ride or die just got a whole lot realer.
“Danger! Danger! Danger!” Gio screams. “Danger! Neenaw neenaw neenaw!”
“Jesus Christ, Nonna!” Brody yells, rubbing his ear. “What the hell is that?”
Nonna stops. “He-a likes CSI.”
I blink. Gio watches CSI?
“You let your parrot watch murder TV shows?” I ask.
“Si. He-a likes it.”
“Neenaw neenaw neenaw!” Gio flaps his wings.
“What is the neenaw about?” I say quickly when he stops.
“He-a is-a a police-a car,” Nonna says in the kind of dry tone that says I should know that.
Like it’s totally fucking normal for a parrot to pretend to be a police car.
“Nonna, you need a quieter pet,” Brody tells her. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
She snorts. “He will-a learn-a a fire engine next!”
“I’m leaving.” I grab my purse and stand up.
Nonna grabs my arm, stands me up, and spins me toward the dining room—and away from the wannabe siren with a heartbeat. “No. You-a must-a help me.”
“Nonna,” I say gently, hoping to placate her and trying not to think about the fact that I dropped my purse on the floor. “They haven’t set a wedding date. This can wait until they’re home.”
She shakes her head. “No. She-a does-a not-a care about-a napkins!”
I don’t blame her. I’m not gonna lie. I don’t care about napkins, either. At least, not right now. There are far bigger things to worry about.
“Neenaw!” Gio cries through the house.
Brody slams the dining room door, cutting him off. “That goddamn bird, Nonna.”
Nonna clasps her hand to her chest. “Take-a it-a back!”
“I’m going to damn you if you don’t get on with this. I’m supposed to be on a lunch break, not a torture break,” he grinds out. He grabs the samples and, flicking through them halfheartedly, selects the most god-awful pattern I’ve ever seen. “Here. This is nice.”
“If you’re blind,” I say sarcastically, reaching across and taking them from him.
It’s even uglier at closer look. I don’t know what Nonna was drinking when she picked these, but it must have been Moonshine or something. I can’t even describe the vile mixing of lace and satin on that swatch.
“One of these three.” I pull them from the clip and put them on the table. “Trust me. I’m not being responsible for Noelle having to wipe her mouth with a napkin that looks like it lost a fight with a paper shredder and a glue stick.”
“What’s wrong with the one I picked?” Brody asks me indignantly.
I cast my gaze upward. “It looks like it lost a fight with a paper shredder and a glue stick,” I say slowly so he gets every word. “No. I’ll be held responsible, and it’s not happening.”
Nonna wrinkles her nose as she puts her glasses on and examines the swatches I’ve handed her. Honestly, if she brings them any closer to her face, she’ll be able to feel them. Then she selects a fourth.
“I like-a this one.”
“No,” I say firmly. “One of these.” I hand her the best three.
Brody groans. “Why can’t she just use paper napkins?”
Noelle Bond and her fiancé Drake have finally taken a much-needed vacation, leaving Bek in charge of Bond P.I., and Bek is sure that she’ll screw it up in like, oh, zero seconds. But with the help of the rest of the office gang, things are actually going all right. Until. Yep, always that one little word. Before she knows it, Bek finds herself right in the middle of one heck of a scary case, and soon both Brody Bond, Noelle’s policeman brother, and Bek’s longtime crush, and Jason Walters, FBI agent, and Bek’s sometime boyfriend, are going head to head to solve it.
I absolutely love the Holly Woods series by author Emma Hart. Emma manages to bring it every single time, to write a story that both engages and entertains non-stop. The fact that there is a lot of kick-butt mystery solving mixed in with the romance, characters that are larger than life (yes, Nonna, I’m talking about you!), sexy heroes and women that aren’t afraid to say what’s what, all combine to make this one of my favorite series to read.
Although she figures prominently in all of the books in the series, BURNING BOND is truly Bek’s story. When Bek becomes a prime witness in a series of shocking crimes, she puts herself right in harm’s way. Both Brody and Jason, never the best of friends, and even less so recently because of their feelings for Bek, are working to solve the case before more people die.
One of the reasons that this book, and series, is such a win for me is the personalities of the characters. They are vibrant, funny, snarky, and strong, and the dialogue is truly a testament to Emma’s skill as an author. She’s created a world that it’s both easy and enjoyable to get lost in, and keeps me coming back time and again.
The triangle between Bek, Brody, and Jason finally gets resolved in BURNING BOND, so, yay! I mean, while it’s kind of hot the way that the two alpha-y guys have been fighting over her in their own way, it’s nice to see Bek with the one that she truly belongs with. Because, heat? Oh, yeah. Love? Loads of it. Emma has brought her usual A-game with this book, which is an easy 5-star read, one that should definitely be added to your TBR, along with the rest of the series. And, get cracking with that, because TWINED BOND, the 7th and final book in the Holly Woods series releases just next month, and you wouldn’t want to be unprepared for that. Happy reading!
***ARC generously provided for an honest review.***
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.