Book Review: Blank Space by Jennifer Young

blank-spaceBronte O’Hara lives an unremarkable life in Edinburgh, working for the Caledonian Bank. Her world is thrown into confusion when she returns home to finds an injured and bleeding man in her kitchen. Marcus is suffering from memory loss, so she has no way of knowing whether he means her harm, or who attacked him. However, their paths are destined to cross again, and when they do, Bronte begins to realise that everything is tied into her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Eden, an anarchist who’s part of the anti-capitalism movement. With the G8 summit due to take place in Edinburgh, the city’s about to become a hotbed of not-so-peaceful protest, and as Bronte’s feelings for Marcus deepen, she’s left wondering who, if anyone, she can really trust.

Blank Space is one of those novels where it’s best to know as little about it as you can before you read it, so you can best enjoy the twists and turns as they arrive, though it’s not spoiling things too much to reveal that almost everyone in this book is hiding major secrets. Jennifer Young uses contemporary political and economic events as the backdrop for a fade-to-black romantic suspense storyline that explores questions of identity, trust, and moral principles. Bronte’s dilemma is simple and believable– given how badly her relationship with Eden ended, how can she love Marcus when she’s not entirely sure who he really is or what his true motives are? The “ooh, banks are evil” sentiment is occasionally ladled on a little too thickly, but it’s contrasted with some wry comments about those with anti-corporate sentiments who need people to work for banks and the like to give them something to protest against. Bronte is an appealingly feisty heroine, her budding attraction to Marcus is low-key but realistically handled, and there are moments of genuinely scary tension in a story will keep you gripped to the end. The book is billed as the first in a series, so it will be interesting to see whether Book Two develops Bronte and Marcus’ romance, or, as the previous Lake Garda series by Jennifer Young has done, introduces new characters to the set-up. Either way, it’s bound to be interesting.

Blank Space is available from Amazon UK and US. I was given a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Sunday Snog – One Night In Brussels

Here’s a snog with a continental flavour, from One Night In Brussels, a hot romantic suspense tale that’s now available from Tirgearr Publishing.

One_Night_in_Brussels_by_Elizabeth_Coldwell-500Saskia has bunked off from her boring job at the European Commission to spend the afternoon with businessman Dominic. After an incident in a jeweller’s shop she’s starting to believe he’s not all he seems, but in his plush hotel room things are about to become more intimate between them.

He comes to sit beside her, so close his thigh rests against her own. Even through the layers of clothing, she can feel the heat his body gives off. Her pulse has quickened and her nipples are tight knots against the cups of her bra.

“Look, about the necklace…” Dominic begins, but Saskia doesn’t want to hear another word on the matter. Their faces are a matter of inches apart, and her focus is solely on those soft lips of his. He must be aware she isn’t listening to what he’s trying to tell her, because he takes one big gulp from his glass before setting it on the nightstand.

“Like I said,” he goes on, “this is an adventure, and I want you to enjoy it.” He takes the point of her chin in his hand, and runs his thumb over her pouting lips. The motion is gentle, hypnotic, and Saskia lets her mouth fall open a little further.

“You want this, don’t you?”

As far as she’s concerned, he doesn’t need to ask her permission to go further, but she gives it anyway. She nods then lets her tongue flicker over the pad of his thumb. Her gaze meets his, and the depth of the desire she sees there causes her heart to skip a beat.

“Kiss me,” she murmurs.

Dominic takes the glass from her hand, placing it beside his own. He plants a kiss by the corner of her mouth, as if testing the waters, and then another, full on her lips.

She melts under the strength of that kiss, as Dominic pushes his tongue into her mouth, claiming it for himself. He tastes of the sparkling wine they’ve been drinking, and along with sandalwood, his cologne carries a faint aroma of pipe tobacco and leather, how she imagines the interior of an old-fashioned gentlemen’s club to be.

Saskia brings her fingers up to tangle in Dominic’s hair, pulling his lips even more firmly on to hers. When they finally break apart, she’s breathless and wildly excited.

“You really know how to kiss a girl,” she comments. It’s not flattery, just the truth. With Dominic, there’s no awkward bumping of noses or clashing of teeth; none of those awful, slobbery, over-eager kisses Saskia dreads.

“That’s not all I know how to do,” Dominic quips. He pushes Saskia’s caramel-coloured curls out of the way so he can nuzzle the sensitive place at the nape of her neck. She loves to be kissed there, and she lets out a little purr of delight as Dominic nibbles at her skin. She kicks off her shoes then draws her legs up on to the bed,
making herself more comfortable.

Almost without her being aware of it, Dominic has unfastened the top two buttons of her blouse. If he glances down, he’ll have a perfect view of the upper curves of her tits, cradled in the saucy bra. Saskia leans back against his chest, allowing him to undo her blouse the rest of the way. She slips a hand down to Dominic’s crotch, where the material of his trousers strains to contain the heft of his erection. When she runs her fingers over the twill-covered bulge, Dominic hisses out a breath.

You can find out more about One Night In Brussels here, and don’t forget there are always plenty of hot Sunday Snogs over at Blissekiss.

Cover Reveal – One Night In Brussels

I have a beautiful cover for One Night In Brussels, my novella in Tirgearr Publishing’s City Nights erotic romance series. The artist has done a great job of bringing to life the two central characters, Dominic and Saskia, and capturing the strange, fairytale character of the buildings in Brussel’s Grand-Place. Here it is:

One_Night_in_Brussels_by_Elizabeth_Coldwell-500The story has more than a dash of romantic suspense, as a simple afternoon’s sightseeing turns into the hottest, most dangerous night of Saskia’s life. Here’s the blurb:

Saskia van Gaal works as a translator for the European Commission, dreaming of a life filled with excitement and hot sex. When she bumps into suave, sexy Englishman, Dominic May, and offers to be his tour guide in the beautiful city of Brussels, she doesn’t realise she’s about to embark on the wildest night of her life.

A stolen necklace is only the beginning of the adventure, and when Dominic and Saskia are threatened by a knife-wielding robber, things threaten to spiral out of control.

Has Saskia misjudged Dominic? Should she trust him? And as their sex games grow hotter and ever more inventive, can she ever guess how this night will end?

The novella is released at the end of September, but it’s currently available for pre-order from retailers including Amazon UK, Amazon US and Smashwords. You can read an excerpt from the story at the Tirgearr site, and I’ll be sharing more snippets and the inspiration for the story nearer the official release date.