Monday 13 November 2017


The Sweetheart Mystery
Brash & Brazen #4
by Cheryl Ann Smith
Releasing November 14th, 2017
Lyrical Shine

In The Sweetheart Mystery (Brash & Brazen #4) by Cheryl Ann Smith, Cheerleader Harper Evans is having the worst day of her life when she discovers her team's manager dead and then finds herself arrested for the crime. Luckily, she has someone she can call on to help her out of the mess she finds herself in. However, the more time Harper spends with her ex, the more Harper finds herself doing the one thing she swore she'd never do -- fall for Noah all over again. Will Noah be able to win back the woman he loves, or will they lose their second chance at happy ever after?

The first three books of this series are wonderful reads, but this fourth book of the series is the best by far. Really, the main characters are fantastic; the dialogue was a wonderful mix of intense moments and teasing banter that had me smiling or laughing a lot; and everything the heroine goes through because of the bad guy had me continually wondering if Harper would ever be able to untangle herself from the web of blame pointing to her as the killer. Will Noah be able to discover the truth before Harper finds herself in prison for good? The way this story started opened the story brilliantly, as Harper finds herself in trouble and not knowing how to find a way out, especially with how Noah reacts initially to her needing his help. However, it was from the moment the hero and heroine come face-to-face for the first time that had me wondering if the hero would ever be able to make things right with Harper because of what she discovers in that moment that takes her back to the past.

As for the dialogue, it was intense and compelling and I loved every moment between the main characters. They had me laughing at times, especially when it came to a friendly goat that was a tad obsessed with one of the main characters or when they were in places that made it uncomfortable in getting up close and personal together. Moreover, the heroine is resilient, courageous and I liked how determined she was to clear her name since it seems the police aren't doing much to help her. I also liked how Harper handles everything she goes through, especially when it comes to Noah and whether she can give him a second chance. While the hero, he's been through a lot in his life and it's understandable why he reacts the way he does to the heroine when they first come face-to-face. He's also confident, smart, protective of the heroine and I liked how determined he was to help Harper because he knows she's innocent. Will Noah be able to find the proof Harper needs to clear her name?

Overall, Ms. Smith has penned a superb read in this book where the chemistry between this couple was off-the-charts; the romance full of heat and heart, proving that these two still have strong feelings for each other; and the ending wrapped this story up perfectly, as the hero is determined to fight for a future with the heroine. Besides, how could she possibly turn Noah down with the surprises he has in store for her? I would recommend The Sweetheart Mystery by Cheryl Ann Smith, if you enjoy romantic suspense, second chance romances or books by authors AJ Nuest, Lee Kilraine, Cynthia Tennent and Elisabeth Naughton.

Harper Jane Evans is so over pro cheerleading but she’s not quite ready for prison. Good thing she’s got a badass ex-boyfriend ready to go to bat for her ...
Sure, Harper made a few unsavory threats against her team’s manager—she’d had a few drinks and she despised the skimpy uniform he expected her to wear. That didn’t mean she wanted him dead. But when the sleazy dude is found murdered in his tighty whiteys, Harper is the number one suspect—and former FBI agent Noah Slade is the one man who can help. Too bad she once told Noah she never wanted to see him again . . .

Noah may have done a number on Harper’s heart all those years ago, but he’s determined to do right by her now. Yet the fiery beauty isn’t the only demon from his past, which makes hunting down a murderer by her side . . . complicated—never mind the powerful attraction still pulsing between them. Good thing he’s willing to do just about anything to keep from losing Harper again. And an old love just might bring her a new career—assuming she can stay out of jail . . .

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Harper dug through her closet and pulled out a little red dress that she’d been saving for a special occasion. A charity event with Noah was the perfect place to dust it off. Small crystals edged the hem and bodice, giving the dress sparkle and she needed sparkle. After his comment in the car, she wanted to knock Noah’s feet out from under him.

              Since his confession, she’d been feeling warm and fuzzy. Despite locking down her heart with a chain Noah couldn’t break, she just couldn’t completely shake him off.

              Yes, she agreed to sex, no frills, all fun, sex. But she couldn’t quite fully give him her trust.

              What if they dated, got married, and had kids? Then something crappy happened. Would Noah run for refuge with another woman? He had before. Could she take that risk?

              Equal parts of her were worried, and ready, to take the next step. She so wanted to test his lovemaking skills.

              With the tide turning away from her as his best suspect, Mignon was unlikely to interrupt her and Noah again. By the end of the evening, she hoped to be knee deep in the sheets with a warm and naked Noah.

              After showering and flat ironing her hair for a different look, she put on makeup and a barely-there red bra and matching tiny panties. Next, she slipped into the dress and loved the feel of the satin against her bare skin.

              Shoes with sparkles on the straps completed the picture. She’d just found her dress clutch when Noah arrived. She’d left the door unlocked. “You ready?” he called out.

              Taking a deep breath with her hand on her chest, she walked into the living room on high heels.

Noah went still. “Wow.”

              Dressed in a tux with a white shirt and bowtie, he was heart-stoppingly handsome. Not only had he shaved, but he’d had his hair trimmed. “Yeah, wow back.”

              She joined him. He took her hand and kissed the inside of her wrist, sending tingles up her arm. Up close, he smelled spicy and male. If not for the chance to speak to Betty Anne, and having spent too much time on her hair, she would’ve chucked their plans and taken him right to the bedroom.

              Noah offered her his arm. “Is it appropriate to be very aroused right now?”

              Laughing, she linked her arm through his. “I hear you.” She steered him to the door before she lost her resolve to behave. Going with an attempted baseball analogy, she said, “You’re pitching pheromones that I’m catching.”

National bestselling author Cheryl Ann Smith became hooked on romance at age fourteen when she stayed up all night to read The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Her own writing journey happened much later, when one afternoon she ran out of books and decided to write her own. Previously, she has published five sexy Regency novels and one novella with Berkley in her School for Brides series.

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