I was provided with an advance reader copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.
Published by Escape Publishing on May 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Source: the publisher
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She survived years as a gangland wife, sacrificing everything to the family. But now they’re threatening the one thing that she will never, ever give up — her child.
When Maja's abusive gang boss husband Tony is murdered, she takes the opportunity to flee, change her name, and leave her criminal family and her past behind. As Lara Moore, she and her toddler son Petey live quietly in suburban Sydney. Then, one act of kindness threatens to reveal her secrets and unravel the threads of her new life. But Detective Nick is dedicated and determined, the antithesis of everything she was brought up to believe about the police. Slowly, Maja finds herself drawn out of her shell and into his protective embrace.
Investigating Detective Nick Lawson doesn’t know what it is about the prickly, reclusive young mother that attracts and intrigues him, but as the facts about her crime-steeped family emerge, Nick doubts whether his career would survive this relationship, even if she were interested.
Then, to Lara’s horror, her past meets her present, and thoughts of love and a future are lost as the fight for her child begins.
I’ve previously read and enjoyed Elisabeth Rose’s straight contemporary romances, so when I saw that she was branching out towards romantic suspense, I was intrigued to see how this would turn out. Evidence of Love is a great mix of romance, intrigue, redemption and facing your past.
So, here are my thoughts on Evidence of Love:
Life has most definitely not dealt Lara Moore a great hand. Having been brought up in a very sketchy, criminal family, then basically sold to cover family debts, you can’t blame her for not wanting to remain in that world – especially after how her husband treated her. She read to me as a very brave, intelligent woman who just wants to protect the one good thing in her life – her son. It would take a fair amount of guts to escape that life. Even though you can see that she is trying to remain detached, her caring and generous nature is clear to see, particularly in how she is with Ellie and Brooke.
You can feel Nick’s dilemma from the moment he meets Lara. He wants to do his job, is passionate about being a police officer, but he feels this great pull towards the enigmatic Lara, whose past doesn’t exactly mesh with his present. I loved that even when he knows what has happened to her, he still wants to be there for her. Let me tell you, a guy that will be there for you in the dark moments is one to hold onto.
The development of the romance is really well done – they don’t jump straight into sexytimes, and it also doesn’t drag on interminably before things happen. Lara and Nick share a special kind of chemistry, and even with how things track for them throughout the course of the story, I still had that desire to see them get their happy ending.
Suspense-wise, Evidence of Love is great, and you find yourself wanting to turn the pages and see what is around the corner for them. The secondary characters are strong in their own right, and add that little something extra to the story without dominating it. The character of Ivan, Lara’s brother, is one that intrigued me and definitely kept me guessing as to his motivations.
I do hope that Elisabeth Rose continues to write romantic suspense, because if Evidence of Love is anything to go by, I will definitely find a place for them on my bookshelf.