Tuesday, July 9, 2013



A second divorce and a new baby wasn’t the vision Alison Hayes had for her future. Now a single mother with two young boys, she wants to focus on her kids and what’s left of her stagnate career.

When Detective Johnny Rhay Bennett breezes into her life with his country-boy accent, she wants to run. She doesn’t need another man in her life, or another reason to make people talk. But when her worst nightmare becomes a reality, Johnny is the only person who can pull Ali out of her despair, forcing her to stay strong and not give up hope of finding her missing child.


Who falls in love after a one-night stand? Johnny Rhay doesn’t believe it’s possible until it happens to him. With Nashville in his rear-view mirror, he’s determined to convince Alison she loves him too, even if it means moving to the West Coast.

Ali’s not easy, and she’s living on just this side of bitter after her divorce, but Johnny doesn’t care. He’s up for the challenge. At least, he believes he’s up for it until baby Micah is stolen right out from under his nose. Now Johnny has to keep it together and get that sweet little boy home safe before his dreams of having a family vanish too.


This is a second book of The Embrace Series. Dana does a fantastic job and knocks it right out of the park. She is able to capture me, get me hooked and make me feel a part of the story right from the beginning.  There are definitely a lot of twists and turns that I did not see coming and I was completely emotionally invested.  In her first novel, Dangerous Embrace, we get to know all the characters as the story focuses on Mark and Sarah. In this story you get to know Ali, Mark’s ex-wife and Johnny, who happens to be Sarah’s old friend and one time boyfriend. This ends up being more of a “love square instead of a love triangle.”

Ali is a mother of two boys, Jamie and Micah, who is going through her second divorce. Being a single mother with a newborn makes it a lot harder to do everything on her own. Carl, the ex-husband, has wanted nothing to do with Micah from the moment she found out she was pregnant. He never wanted kids (Jamie is Mark’s son), but Micah ended up being a birth control baby. Feeling defeated with her love life, she decides to swear off men and focus on her boys and her career.

Johnny is a detective in Nashville. A one night stand with Ali in Hawaii for Mark and Sarah’s wedding has him wanting more. He can’t get her out of his mind and these strong feelings for her won’t go away. When the opportunity presents itself, he packs his bags and moves to California, not only for a job, but mainly for her.

Thinking she would never see Johnny again, she is very surprised to see him at her doorstep.  Her house is a mess and she is overwhelmed with a fussy baby, (Jamie is on vacation with Mark) so Johnny is the last person she wants to see right now. Johnny realizes how worn out Ali is so he takes Micah and tries to soothe him. Micah instantly calms down and a bond between the two is formed. Johnny is really good with Micah. Ali goes to take a quick shower and falls asleep. Johnny is such a sweetheart; he lets her sleep, takes care of Micah and cleans up around the house for her. He makes his intentions perfectly clear. He wants Ali, heck he moved to be closer to her. There is no doubt that Ali feels something for him, she hasn’t been able to stop thinking of him since their time together. But she can’t do it again. She can’t involve herself to another relationship that will probably end up failing. She’s currently going through a divorce and she’s seeing someone else? What will people think of her?

As much as Ali keeps telling herself she can’t be involved with Johnny, she can’t stop thinking of him and she can’t seem to stay away. Johnny falls in love with Micah and can’t fight the feeling of wanting to be with the two of them all the time. The more time Johnny spends with Ali, the more he falls in love with her and the more scared she gets because her feelings for him are growing stronger. The three of them fall into a normal, comfortable routine. Through the eyes of the public, it looks as if they are your typical family.  He is very possessive over Ali, but damn that just makes him sexier. Johnny is so natural with Micah, that Ali is overwhelmed by this kind of help, especially with him. She has never had that kind of help with him; she has always done it herself. Johnny understands that being with Ali is a package deal and he is completely fine with the idea; he wouldn’t want it any other way. He loves and treats Micah as if he is his own child. He would do anything for him. Being with Micah and Ali, brings back feelings that Johnny has tucked into the back of his heart; feelings of regret, sadness and remorse.  Being with Ali makes him feel alive again and gives him hope for having the family he’s always wanted.

Carl wants Ali back, but his feelings about not wanting to have a baby are still present. He doesn’t understand that having Ali, he must have Micah and Jaime too, no discussion there. He weasels his way back into her life; making me hate him even more. You definitely can see the love that Ali has for her children. Her strength on doing it alone amazes me. When a mother’s worse nightmare happens before her very eyes, it breaks Ali. Watching your own child get taken away from you by a complete stranger will do that to you. Johnny is totally broken by this and blames himself for not protecting him, even if he got hurt and saved Ali and Micah from getting hurt in the process. Ali is completely lost and terrified for the safety for her son as each moment passes. She is on the verge of shutting down, but Johnny never leaves her side and encourages her to stay strong, she depends on him to be there. He feels hopeless since he can’t do anything to find the kidnappers. He is so emotionally invested in the situation that they will not allow him to help with the investigation. The only thing he can do is to be there for Ali. As each day passes that Micah is missing, their hope dwindles as no leads arise.

After days of nothing, Micah is finally returned safe and sound. But this entire situation has put Ali on edge. She will not leave her house at all and will not let Micah out of her sight. Johnny takes control and tricks her out of the house and out in public. Baby steps he says. If you didn’t swoon over Johnny yet, you definitely will. All these things he does for her just tugs at my heart. He tries to get her back to her old routine and trying to be more aware of her surroundings so that she is fully capable of being out alone before he goes back to work. When everyone thinks their lives are back to normal, an unpredicted situation occurs throwing everything into limbo.

Will Ali be able to live life normally again after everything that has happened? Will she finally act on her feelings towards Johnny? Is Johnny willing to wait until she is ready? Will Carl finally change his mind and be the father he should be or is it too late? Is Ali willing to make things work with Carl since he Micah’s father? Will Johnny be able to put up with Carl or will he let Ali go? Will all these situations strengthen or ruin them all?

The idea of having any one of my children missing is one of my biggest fears, especially if the entire scene happens before my eyes leaving me helpless to help. That entire part of the book really hit close to home for me. I felt really bad for her as a mother having to go through that type of situation, yet I admired her for the strength she had to go on each day. I loved how Johnny made himself a fixture in their lives and did everything in his power to support her. I actually woke up from a dream that night where my kids were taken away from me. I was terrified that I ran to their rooms to make sure they were there. I loved seeing the support Ali has from everyone around her. She has a great group of men always protecting her. It amazes me that even after all that happened between her and Mark, they are still able to have such a close relationship with one another. Dana does a great job with this series. Even though at the end of the book it left my emotions messed up and all over the damn place, I still want more!

I received an ARC for my honest review.

Review done by Jennelyn.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so late with this thank you note! I'm so sorry. I came to pick up the link for my website and realized I hadn't left a comment yet.
    THANK YOU so much for all your support with Dangerous Embrace and Precious Embrace. We indie and small press authors rely so heavily on the support of awesome book bloggers like you, I hope you know how much you're appreciated. This is a fabulous review, Jennelyn, thank you again. I do hope you'll take the time to post it to Amazon and Goodreads, if you haven't already. Thank you again.