Narrated by Sophie Eastlake
I’m a big fan of Sophie Eastlake’s narrations and I’ve enjoyed listening to her narrate a couple of Katie Reus titles before. So I happily requested Deadly Fallout for review. I’ve found Ms. Reus’ romantic suspense stories to have a good-for-me balance between romance and suspense, with the added bonus of no too-stupid-to-live activities (such as bonking when the bullets are flying).
The Red Stone Security series are all novella length books, which translates to audios of between 4 and 5 hours long generally. It’s a great length for a “palate cleanser” in between other listens and I find I can easily knock one over in a day or two of regular listening.
Dr. Zoe Hanson (sister of the hero, Vincent, from Protecting His Witness), has a stalker. After leaving her public hospital job to get away from the creepy and violent behaviour of a fellow surgeon there, she had a brief reprieve when Mr. Stalker left the country for six months to work with Doctors Without Borders. Now, he’s back and the first thing he does is stop by Zoe’s new workplace to harass her some more.
Zoe is friends with people who work for Red Stone Security (Mina and Blue from Sinful Seduction) and, after filing for a restraining order, she heads to their place for some TLC and spends the night there for safety reasons.
New Red Stone employee Sawyer McCabe comes home with Blue and sees Zoe and is instantly smitten. He is given the task of keeping an eye on Zoe the next day as Blue is busy with other projects and, it so happens he is with Zoe when she is arrested for the murder of Mr. Stalker.
It quickly becomes clear that Zoe is not guilty and she is released. Zoe’s brush with danger and jail has her relaxing her usual cautious romantic self; she decides to seize the day and take advantage of the sizzling chemistry between her and Sawyer. And, if her brother, Vincent, hates Sawyer for something to do with a woman, well, that’s just too damn bad.
However, the danger is not over – it seems Mr. Stalker had a stalker of his own. Sawyer and Zoe get close very quickly, as the danger ratchets up when the stalker’s stalker makes it clear Zoe is the next target.
Sawyer and Zoe are both in their mid-thirties so, while I am not usually a fan of insta-love, I found I could buy it here. They both came across to me as people who knew themselves well and knew what worked for them. Also, as Sawyer muses to himself, as a former SEAL, he is used to making important decisions somewhat on the fly. (Of course, the length of the story kind of necessitates the fast pace of the romance even if his SEAL background might too.)
Sophie Eastlake’s narrations are always entertaining for me. Here, my only (small) concern was the accent she gave to Zoe’s mother, a woman from Jamaica but who had been in the US for a long time. While I remember liking the depiction of that same character in Protecting His Witness, I think something changed with this book – because she sounded kind of Irish and it was all kinds of wrong to my ear. That said, Zoe’s mother had only a very few lines in the story so it did not impact greatly on the listen.
Ms. Eastlake is good at portraying a Latina accent for males and females and I like the way she lowers her voice for the guys. While some of the men do sound very similar, I had no trouble working out who was who.
The tension of the story was heightened by the narration I think and, as always, Ms. Eastlake delivered on the smouldering sexual heat between the main characters, making the listen a sexy, suspenseful story and another win.
Book Content: B
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Violence Rating: Escalated Fighting
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: KR Press LLC
Deadly Fallout was provided to AudioGals for a review.
A Kindle preview: