Saturday 12 August 2017


Bound by Design #2
by Roxanne Smith
Releasing July 18th, 2017
Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance

In Love on the Vine (Bound by Design #2) by Roxanne Smith, Kay Bing is ready to start her new job at Free Leaf Concepts, but soon after she begins, she finds herself embroiled in a police investigation working alongside Oliver Pierce, the undercover cop assigned to the case. However, neither imagined things could become so dangerous, especially when she's drugged with designer mushrooms. Will Kay and Oliver be able to find whose responsible, so they a shot at happy ever after?

It was hard to decide how many stars I was going to give this story once I finished it, because there were things that I loved such as the investigation and the main characters, especially Oliver; and things that I wasn't fussed on like the acerbic attitude of one of the secondary characters that seemed a little too harsh towards her friends and the animosity Oliver faces from a fellow officer. The way this story started was really good, as one of Kay's good friends is determined to get her out of her funk, even if it means stretching the truth to help Kay achieve her dream job. Will Kay be able to handle things once she starts working?

As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories and what happens to the heroine that has a terrible effect on her. However, there were some light-hearted moments that I loved, especially when the heroine does something that takes the hero by surprise when it comes to his job and he doesn't take too seriously, considering he's not easy to get rid of. Moreover, the heroine is resilient, brave and I liked how determined she was to succeed in her new job. I also liked how she tried to make things right with her ex. Will it assuage the guilt she feels due to what she did to him? Yet, there were moments where the heroine frustrated me, as I found her to be a tad harsh when it came to dealing with people. Why did she feel she needed to assert the tough-girl-I-don't-care-what-you-think-of-me attitude of her friend, Neve.

While the hero, he was a fantastic character and I loved his back story. He has his reasons for taking on the case he has and I liked how determined he was to discover the people responsible for the drug ring. Sneaking around and wondering if he'd get caught made this book very exciting at times. I also liked how protective he was of the heroine and that he would do anything to keep her safe, because he needs her. Not only for his investigation, but for personal reasons. It's palpable how much he's falling for her.

Overall, Ms. Smith has penned a good read in this book where the chemistry between this couple was strong, the romance on the sweet side and the ending had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after. Will Oliver realize that Kay is right when it comes to everything she believes is part of the drug ring? Moreover, I liked how things worked out for Oliver and Kay, especially after Kay gets closure from her past. I would recommend Love on the Vine by Roxanne Smith, if you enjoy contemporary romance with a dash of mystery; or books by authors Mackenzie Crowne, Sharla Lovelace, Kyra Jacobs and Jamie Hollins.

Love is in bloom . . .

Straightforward Kay Bing has never been one for subterfuge, although she did embellish her resume just a bit to land a design job at Free Leaf Concepts, a cutting edge botanicals firm. Determined to make a good first impression, she’s exploring the highly secure company greenhouse when her assistant—the much too attractive Oliver Pierce—confides that he’s actually working undercover to investigate whether Free Leaf has created a potent new street drug. Kay doesn’t believe it for a minute—until someone plants designer mushrooms in her salad. Suddenly she and her sexy colleague are teaming up to unearth the roots of a dangerous operation . . .

Oliver not only has a personal stake in the investigation, his entire career in law enforcement is on the line. Stubborn, sensible Kay is a distraction he can’t afford, but as they dig deeper into the case, they discover a chemistry that’s too heated to deny. When even one wrong move could be deadly, Oliver may have to risk it all to keep Kay from harm—and convince her they should be partners for good.

She fixed her expression into a stone mask of observation, just like she’d seen Neve do a thousand times. It usually meant the gears were turning, calculating budget, measurements, and people all at once, deciding in an instant what, where, when, how, and why. For Kay, the stony façade would be a tool. A shield. At least, for today. Tomorrow, maybe it wouldn’t be a mask, but the real thing.

She tucked her nerves and self-doubts into her back pocket. She straightened the collar of her no-nonsense black button-up. Instead of a tie, she wore a neat silk bow in a muted gray. Professional. Not overly cute. Kay couldn’t dress cute. Dressing cute meant jokes about curfew, and did her parents know where she was. Ha-ha. Yep, she got it. She was little. But she also knew if she wanted to be the queen, she couldn’t dress like the jester. Anything pastel—light pink, pale lavender, baby blue—was out of the question. Hacking off her hair helped to a degree, and recently she’d began wearing heavier makeup, finding it aged her. Scrubbed clean, she could pass for a young teenager. She might be the only woman alive
looking forward to a few wrinkles.
The glass elevator pinged eloquently, like someone had installed a doorbell from one of the homes in the Governor’s Mansion district, when it finally came to a stop. The door slid open.
A handsome man—the kind with an eye-catching appearance that encouraged a second glance—waited just on the other side. His eyes, the same subtle green as the ceiling in the hallway downstairs, scoured her in one quick motion, literally sizing her up. He smiled indulgently, like he wanted to offer her a quarter for the candy machines. But not before she caught the gleam of calculation, there and gone in a blink.
He held out his hand. The smile lingered, relaxing into something with a little more warmth. “Oliver Pierce. But you can call me whatever you like. ‘Fetch that file’ is a big hit. ‘More coffee,’ another favorite.”
Her assistant. He would be charming, good-looking, and not outrageously tall. A tad on the rugged side, with stubble arranged almost artfully across his jaw, and eyes the color of sage under an expressive brow. His gaze held his candid smile.
Kay took his hand without moving a single muscle on her face. God, the effort. She’d never know how Neve kept it up. “Nice to meet you, Oliver.” He seemed put off by her dry greeting. His smile dialed back a few degrees. He had the beginning of a few lines around his eyes. Older than she was. “Likewise,” he said. Then he took off in a sudden energetic burst,
beckoning her to follow. “C’mon, I’ll show you to your office.”

A Florida native, Roxanne Smith has called everywhere from Houston to Cheyenne home. Currently residing in Roswell, New Mexico, she’s an avid reader of every genre, a cat lover, pit bull advocate, and semi-geek. She loves video games, Doctor Who, and her dashing husband. Her two kids are the light of her life and provide ample material for her writing.

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  1. Thanks for sharing! -Janet @ Silver Dagger Book Tours

  2. I agree with your assessment of this book. It was nowhere as good as the first story of the series.