Monday, August 3, 2015

Release Blitz and Christie's review: Strong Enough by M. Leighton


Now available: Strong Enough, the first book in the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous trilogy†by M. Leighton! A dark and sexy read in the style of the bestselling Bad Boys novels.


How would I describe myself? Well, Iím Muse Harper. Iím a twenty-something painter who loves red wine, quirky movies, and men with a fatal flaw. But that was before I met Jasper King. He became my fatal flaw. Eight months ago, I had a choice to makeóabandon everything Iíve ever known to protect my family, or stay and risk someone getting hurt. I chose the former. My plan was working just fine until I found out my father had gone missing.

Thatís when I met Jasper. A bounty hunter with the eyes of a tiger and the nose of a bloodhound, he was supposed to help me find my father. What I didnít know was that meeting him was no accident. Hunting people isnít all that Jasper does. And helping me was only part of his plan. I just wish Iíd found out sooner, before my heart got involved. But even then, I donít know if Iíd have done things differently.

Now, I have another choice to makeótrust the man that Iím falling in love with and hope that heíll do the right thing, or run as far away from him as I can get. And is he strong enough to let her?

Is she strong enough to trust the most dangerous man sheís ever met? And is he strong enough to let her?


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author M. Leighton is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, Michelle finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction. Having written over a dozen novels, these days Michelle enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.

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He is heat, he is gravity. He is the center of all my senses. He is consuming.

I struggled with my rating and after a little bit of back and forth, I'm settling on four stars. I had to gather my thoughts a bit before I could give a fair review. I'm not a huge follower of this author, having only read a few of her books, but from what I've read, she likes to write unique storylines with plot twists. I like that. I also enjoy the fact that she doesn't shy away from writing raw and sometimes disturbing scenes-she knows how to evoke emotion from her readers and this book was no exception. While I wasn't the heroine's biggest fan, I couldn't help but hang on and tense for her eventual downfall. Because from page one, it become clear that there would be destruction and disillusionment. The only question was, when?

The prologue is typical M. Leighton-it throws you into a tragic moment in time that completely wrecks you and leaves you with bated breath for what's to come. She did a fantastic job grabbing hold of me and fluently bringing me inside the story. From the tone set in the intro, you're not going to have a problem putting your guard up and anticipating the worst. 

My impression of the heroine Muse's first meet with the hero, Jasper? It was a little bit like a predatory animal stalking his unsuspecting prey. She seems to think that he's there to help her find her missing father. She's in hiding and their last secret scheduled communication he was a no show. Now, she fears that the danger following him has finally caught up to him. But if anyone can find the whereabouts of her father it's Jasper, a man who gets things done in any means necessary.

The thing is, through dual POV we see that nothing is quite what it appears with him. Jasper is a man who fits Dark and Dangerous to a "T". Hard and merciless doesn't even begin to cover it. I was more than a little nervous for the heroine with her naive nature. This was the main issue I had with the story. Knowing how cold and calculating this man is, she was way too trusting of his motives. In fact, the more you learn about what lies under the surface with this man, the more wide-eyed innocent she appears to be. 

I've never met someone more stimulating and handsome and intriguing than Jasper King. I've never met someone who makes me want to ask so many questions. And I've never met someone who makes me feel like I'll never get any of the answers.

I didn't like how easily fooled she was by not only this man, but everyone around her. She was a little bit too damsel-in-distress for my taste. And knowing what I knew, while she was in the dark, (or perhaps stubbornly refused to heed the signs of danger) made my patience with her start to thin. On the other hand, she was very much the opposite of him: bright, optimistic, filled with hope and despite her circumstances retained an innocence to her character. Jasper was none of those things. He was a lost soul. Emotionless and almost machine-like in his single minded determination to reach his goals.

He had no sense of morality that I could see, but Muse was determined to bring him to life and make him see the decency that he thought was long gone. She was a stubborn girl and she never gave up, that was one thing I admired about her. But in reality, it was probably one of her most foolish qualities in the circumstances. 

He didn't want this, but like me, he can no longer resist it. There's something between us, something that has a life of his own.

When they succumb to their attraction, it was with an ominous tenor surrounding it. The backlash was inevitable, but I sure was enjoying it while it lasted. Jasper was a dominating and forceful man. Unleashing his lust and bottled up emotions was not to be missed. Talk about explosive!

He is wild and raw, dangerous and tempting. He's a sleek, powerful animal, seeking to thrill and destroy. He overcomes, he devours, he possesses. He refuses to share his kill with anything else. For a heartbeat, I'm his. His prey. Not necessarily willing, just helpless to fight against him.

As the mystery/suspense unraveled, I discovered that my predictions about what he was hiding was correct. But of course, nothing ends up happening how it was supposed to go. I'm not going to give any more away about the plot, you really need to go into this one blind because of the mysterious nature of certain characters' motivations and where the danger lies. This book builds a strong base for future books. Though there is no cliffhanger for this couple, there are some loose ends left dangling to be tied up in the following books. I'm especially looking forward to Tough Enough, Rogan's story. The tease at the end was just enough to whet my appetite for the next Tall, Dark, and Dangerous man to come. 


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