First I would like to give a HUGE thanks to Maya Blake for not only writing this amazing book, but to Kym Roberts and Entangled Publishing for the e-arc and for having me be apart of this blog tour!! There are lots of tid bits in this blog post. Information about Maya herself, as well as ways to stalk her over the Internet. A little blurb about Hostage to Love, a guest post from Belle, my review and a giveaway!!! Sooo many things...so make sure you keep reading!!
About the Author:
Maya Blake's dreams of becoming a romance author began when she picked up her first romance novel at age thirteen. She eventually realized this dream in 2007 when her first romantic suspense was published. Maya lives in Kent, Southeastern England, with her husband and two kids and an endless supply of romance novels.
How to Stalk Maya:
*On an idyllic Greek island, danger surfaces...and passion re-ignites.*
During a charity mission to a war-torn African country, Belle Jones is kidnapped by the vicious rebel leader determined to make her his. Belle’s estranged husband, Greek billionaire Nick Andreakos, stages a daring rescue, saving her from the horror.
To hide her from the obsessed kidnapper—-and to repair their broken relationship—-Nick whisks Belle away to his private island paradise. But she still won’t put up with his controlling ways...even if she’s still defenseless against their scorching-hot chemistry. With the brutal killer hot on their heels, Nick knows he must earn Belle’s trust again—-and *fast*. Even if it means risking everything. And losing his heart forever.
Guest Post: An Interview with Belle Winkworth Jones, heroine of Hostage To Love :
From reading the blurb of your story, it looks like your plans to volunteer as a charity worker in Nawaka, Africa, turned into a little bit more of an adventure than you anticipated.
Belle: Yes, it did, much to my surprise. I attracted the unwanted attentions of a rebel leader. Go me! Seriously though, it was quite a scary time.
I bet it was. Was there anything in particular that attracted you to this spine-chiller?
Belle: I think his primary reason for kidnapping me was for ransom. My estranged husband, Nick Andreakos is a Greek shipping billionaire, so I guess I was a juicy prospect for a rebel leader looking to fund his army.
Estranged, you say? How come?
Belle: *gives a sad laugh* Where do I start? Nick has a few control issues that made our marriage very, umm, trying. When it seemed like there was no ready solution to our problems, I walked out.
But now you’re back here, on Althea, yours and Nick’s private island, where I believe you spent your honeymoon? Have things changed?
Belle: Nick rescued me from Nawaka and Charles Mwana but personally, we’re trying to work things out, find the right compromise that works for both of us. I can’t return to England because the paparazzi will be all over me. It’s private here on Althea, and also saver.
You’re working through your issues. That’s great. But Mwana’s still out there. Do you think he stands in the way of your happiness?
Belle: He’s still a threat, certainly. And he’s certainly not to be underestimated. But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that Nick is also not to be underestimated. He’s determined, he’s strong, and come hell or high water, he always gets what he wants.
Is that how Nick got you to marry him in the first place?
Belle: He certainly knows how to turn on the charm, plus he’s drop dead gorgeous, and he’s not bad in the sack either.
Whew! *fans self* I believe you. So what happens now?
Belle: Nick and I intend to track down this madman and put him away for good. Then we will work on our marriage. I believe what we have is worth saving, and I don’t intend to give up until I have what I want, which is a loving husband who isn’t afraid to let me in and who meets me on equal terms.
Now onto my review. This book has a few HAWT factors that happen right off the bat.
Hawt Factor #1 - Nick (and Alex his cousin) served in the United States Marine Corps. So I will say that I am slightly partial to the Marines....especially since my father served as a Marine. They not only top the hot factor of the military for me, I just...I'm not sure how to describe it, but I've always leaned a little more toward them, even though I do have family in pretty much every branch of the military. And of course their core value that all Marines live by; Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful). This bond goes beyond teamwork -it is a brotherhood that can always be counted on. This motto guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what. The transformation in becoming a Marine is one that cannot be undone, once made a Marine will forever live by the ethics and values of the Corps. Along with this the other core values that Marines live by is; honor, courage and commitment. This decides how every Marine thinks, acts and fights. (I know that was a little long, but you'll see why that's important later)
Hawt Factor #2 - Nick is the only one who calls Belle by her real name and makes it sound sexy. Belle's real name/title is Lady Tinkerelle Poppy Winkworth-Jones, sixth Earl of Edenhall. And let me tell you I'd change my name to Tinkerbelle if I had a guy who when he said it, it would roll off of the tongue, the way it does in my head when Nick says it.
Hawt Factor #3 - Nick will do anything and I mean ANYTHING to save Belle from danger. Which is why he goes guns blazing, with help, to save Belle's life from a rebel leader in Africa.
Hawt Factor # 4 - Nick speaks little Greek sayings to Belle that are terms of endearment and shows his love for her.
Hawt Factor #5 - Dude is tall, dark, sexy and BUILT!!! O.M.G. the way Nick's body is described....I'm pretty sure I had drool coming out of my mouth...especially when the scenes got pretty steamy!!!!
Anyways back to my review. I'm going to try to not give too much away....I want to give you a little to read or at least it being a surprise when you read it. The book starts out with Belle and a few others walking as prisoners, to meet up with the rebel leader, Charles Mwana in Africa. Once they finally arrive at his camp Belle is separated from the rest of the group and is given her own quarters. She also quickly learns that Mwana doesn't really care if he receives the ransom money or not for Belle, because he is attracted to Belle. Mwana constantly tells Belle different things such as, "Don't underestimate the power of your charms, Belle, or the time and effort it's taken to bring you here." He also wants to come to some type of an arrangement with her. Belle starts to get to Mwana and he warms up to her. For her this is all survival and she says anything and everything to make sure to stay on his good side. During a game of chess Mwana shares a lot of details about his future plans for Africa, what his part will be and how he wants Belle there with him.
Next, we get to read how upset Nick is because Belle has been missing for five days. He takes his cousin, Alex, a fellow marine and a group of men he hired and goes in search of Belle, guns blazing. After they find the camp and after some gun fire, Nick finds his estranged wife and next to her ear says, "Hello, Tinkerbelle" and carries her away from the horrors she recently went through in Africa. The biggest thing about Nick is that he is a HUGE control freak. And when I say control freak that is putting it mildly. Instead of taking her back to London, where her current apartment is (since leaving her husband 6 months ago) he takes her to his island Althea.
Belle had nightmares at first about her whole experience in Africa and when she awoke, Nick would be right there with strong and protective arms around her. He would whisper in her ear sweet nothings and Greek endearments. It's super sweet....I want a Greek man who whispers Greek romantic things to me; such as glikia mou which means my sweetheart. The first few days between these two are UGLY!!!! Belle wants to leave the island and Nick wants her to stay. We finally find out why Belle left Nick 6 months ago and we also find out that Nick isn't willing to let her go, no matter what. They got married and that's the end of it. But Nick also makes a proposition for Belle. Nick wants a truce for the next seven days and then they have their "talk" about their marriage and what each of them wants. Or they can have wild, no holds-barred sex.
So of course which option is going to be the one taken? The wild, no holds-barred sex of course. And O.M.G. they have some pretty steamy scenes. My favorite is when Nick goes for a swim in the ocean and she goes for a swim in the pool and when she gets out she goes to shower off a little and Nick comes in and ahhh......he just loses it!!!
Belle's biggest argument with Nick is that she feels that he doesn't truly care about her, that he doesnnt love her. He's never said I love you, she doesn't know much of anything about his past or his family, and she feels he married her under false pretenses. More than anything in the world Belle wants children and Nick has a different opinion about children. Furthermore, we also learn that Nick tried to change a lot about Belle when they got married; her job, spending time with family and friends and other little things that add up to big things.
So while Belle and Nick work on patching up their marriage and surviving on the island without killing each other, Mwana has made it known that he plans on getting what is his back and with that he will get Belle back. Well of course that angers Nick and we see how things play out when Belle's life is threatened right before his eyes.
The world that Maya creates pulls the reader in right from the beginning and keeps them guessing till the end what is going to happen. There are so many times that I want to smack Belle across her face because again I feel the need to yell at women for not listening to that little voice in the back of their head. Or the one coming from deep in their gut. When little voices or gut feelings come over you, and you're a woman, LISTEN TO THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With that said the questions that need to be answered are; can Nick ever truly love Belle? Not using Greek endearments, but true love? Does Belle still love Nick? And if she does can she stay with him knowing he doesn't want children and is a super control freak? What is going to happen if Mwana gets her? OMG what will Nick do? (Although the thought of that type of scene would be interesting). What if they can't catch Mwana? Soooooooo many questions that need to be answered and by the time you get to the end everything is put into place and leaves the reader content and wanting more. I want to know what will happen in the next chapter of Belle's life. So...maybe sometime down the road a squeal? Or a little novella? Just over here wishing for more of these characters because I fell in love with them. Overall, this was a great read and I highly recommend this book to others....so go pick one up and get lost in Nick and Belle's characters.
Hostage to Love Giveaway: