[BookStrand Romantic Suspense, HEA]
One violent night shatters Lauren Biltmore’s life. As an anchorwoman, she's accustomed to reporting the news rather than being the lead story. She escapes the spotlight by fleeing to her brother's home in the Cayman Islands. Haunted by nightmares, all she wants is a distraction from reality.
Distraction arrives via sexy screenwriter Noah Reynolds. His take-me-to-bed looks mask a past ripe with scandal. He knows he should stay away from Lauren, especially when the worst night of her life unlocks his writer's block and while he's dealing with a stalker of his own, but ethics are his weakness.
Attraction sizzles beneath Caribbean sunshine. As their relationship grows, Noah's stalker intensifies her torment. Lauren wonders if her paranoia is justified or a carryover from her past. What's real? What's imagined?
Tentative trust is tested as their love is swept up against a riptide of deceit, murder, and revenge.
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
5 STARS: "The book was chocked full of action at every turn of the page. There is romance, intrigue, murder, mystery, and all the trappings that come with love and disaster. I can honestly say that this book held surprises that kept me guessing every time I turned the page. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the author threw in the proverbial wrench, and then the screwdriver and then hammer. The characters were well written and had the reader rooting for them as they tried to overcome their emotional baggage. In addition to the main characters, there were a host of supporting characters. There was Austin, Lauren's brother and his girlfriend, Erin, as well as the best friend Larry (and just whose side is he on will keep you guessing until the end), and a few old friends from the past who show up to cause what else, but trouble. In conclusion, I would have to say that this is great book. It was truly well written and encompassed several different genres without sacrificing any of them. It had a great plot and loads of action and suspense as well as romance. It is worth everyone of the five stars that I am giving it." -- Donna McBroom-Theriot, My Life. One Story at a Time
5 STARS: "I really liked this story. I would love to see the friends of the main characters in a sequel, especially Larry! The ending was a great fit to the storyline and the characters. No one is who they seem, and ghosts are not always stuck in the past." -- Deal Sharing Aunt Reviews
5 BOOKS: "When I read romantic suspense, I want them to be exactly as Ms. Easton’s book is. She’s created an absolutely breathtakingly gripping plot line, and complex characters, melding them together in a way that will flow brilliantly. She instantly captivated me from the start of this fast paced novel, and held me til the end. Each page turn brought a new conflict, a new twist, and each page turn had me dying to know what happens next, both suspense wise and with the characters and their hearts. Lauren Biltmore is an anchorwoman who just wants to live peacefully and only give the news. But, tragically, it’s all turned upside on her one night and she escapes to the Cayman Islands to find that peace she desperately craves. The beautiful scenery helps, but even more so, the sexy as sin Noah Reynolds enters her life. Instantly, there’s an attraction there that she feels, but he comes with complications. Noah Reynolds is a screenwriter whose trying to escape a scandal. Being stalked by a crazed woman, he tries to fight the sizzling feelings he feels for the sexy Lauren Biltmore. Attraction drives him, yes, but he’s hoping to overcome the scandal and his downed writing time. But, the closer he gets to Lauren, the crazier things get. His past prevents him from being a man that Lauren could always need, but will that be enough to keep him away from her? Or will his heart tell him otherwise and break through the rip tide of emotions he feels and protect her at all costs? I loved this story! Fast paced, addictive and hot passion, this book will keep you grounded til the last page. Ms. Easton has more than earned a 5 Book worthy spot on my favorite authors list and I can’t wait to read more books like this from her. With heated emotions, sparks of attraction, undeniable sizzle, this whirlwind of ups, downs, twists and turns, this book is one of my favorite summer reading books of 2012. Well done, Ms. Easton!" -- Reviews by Molly
5 STARS: "Both Lauren and Noah are strong characters that I enjoyed immensely. Both had a past trying to cope the best they can but when they came together it was unforgettable. Their journey began at the beach of sunny Cayman Island fixated with each other from the start. Knowing they were all the right wrongs but yet finding happiness being together. Their trails making them stronger as they started to trust each other binding them and learn to say 'I Love You' The plot executed well flowing through the pages and held you captivated. Coming together dramatically to give you a wonderful ending. The other characters played their roles well adding to the main characters acredibility making the story believable. Larry that did not like Lauren, thinking she was a pit of need. Austin her brother who thought she was fragile. Alicia dead or alive she broke people as far as she went. Tamara that held a grudge, David?? Read the story and found out for yourself. Smile. The setting of the Cayman island inter-flowing with the drama unfolding left me craving. Ready to book the next flight. The steamy scenes was part of the story but not overly done and not crude. I loved it. The author done a wonderful work bringing a story you would love to read and recommend to fellow suspense romance readers. Well done Amber Lea." -- Lynelle Clark, Aspired Writer
4.5 STARS: "Riptide is a well written modern story that has everything a good Contemporary Romance & Suspense is supposed to have. It has a great plot, one that will make you speculate and will definitely challenge the reader to draw conclusions. The characters felt as if you were witnessing a conversation between close friends. I enjoyed how well the story flowed and how well the characters were developed. Both Noah & Lauren have gone through terrible times in their life and all they want is to scape from reality and find peace in the Cayman Islands. But the island is far from being paradise. These two characters have gone through rough situations, I really like how well researched and thought out this story was, great details of scenery, awesome job describing the characters’ moods, feelings and desires. Their differences and the circumstances in life made them more credible and real. The story feels credible because it feels as if it was brought out of the newspaper. Crime, betrayal, romance and trust are just some of the things you will experience when reading Riptide. There is a bit of everything and that makes the story much more entertaining. Expect a few surprises, great characters, romance and true love." -- ReadingDiva
4 HEARTS: "Riptide is a very enjoyable read. Easton does a great job of creating well rounded characters and a plot to keep the pages turning. The steaminess of the book is just that steamy... no more no less!! There are twist and turns and lots of action, a little something for everyone!! I definitely recommend this book to others who love suspenseful romance with some action thrown in! I look forward to reading more from Easton!!" -- Melissa Rheinlander, Keeping Up with the Rheinlanders
4 STARS: "Riptide by Amber Lea Easton is a well written, fast paced romantic suspense. With two likable characters, a well thought out mystery and enough romance to keep the story interesting, Ms. Easton grabbed my attention from the first page and never let go. As the action and mystery intensify, Lauren and Noah, who have serious trust issues due to being burned in the past, must work together if they want to stay alive. Watching their romance and chemistry work to bind them closer together, is very well done. Lauren Biltmore has been to hell and back; an anchorwoman by trade, she's unprepared for the spotlight which is turned on her after she survives an attack which leaves her best friend dead. Determined to get away from it all, and work on her recovery, Lauren heads to her brother's home in the Cayman Islands. She plans to get a tan, get in some swimming and get distracted from reality. She never planned on falling in love with a screenwriter, becoming his muse, or having to deal with a stalker who won't take no for an answer. Noah Reynolds got away from Hollywood by going to the Cayman Islands. Suffering from writers block, he never planned on becoming attracted to his friend's damaged sister. Determined to discover the story behind the woman, he realizes he's attracted to Lauren. As Noah and Lauren grow closer, mysterious things begin to happen and Noah's not sure who they can trust. Suddenly staying alive is at the top of Noah and Lauren's list. As the situation grows more dangerous, Noah and Lauren will be faced with issues of trust, betrayal, murder and revenge. Will they make it out alive? You'll have to read Riptide to find out. I enjoyed it and I think you will too. This was the first book I've read by Ms. Easton and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work." -- Queen of the Night Reviews
She slipped the oversized T-shirt over her head and began working side-by-side with him. Rhythm and blues resonated throughout the house. His legs stretched next to hers, and fine dust settled in his dark hair from the meticulous work.
“I like this,” she said.
“Like what? Manual labor?”
It was more than that, but words escaped her.
“I started doing all of this because I needed to keep busy, keep moving, keep my mind distracted.” He fingered the sandpaper, a distant expression on his face. Dust grayed his hair and shirt, bare feet poked out from the frayed hem of his jeans. “Have you done that? Have you purposely distracted yourself from dealing with what happened to you?”
Here we go. Serious discussion. With a sigh, she pressed her back against the cabinet opposite him, their bare feet touching in the middle of the floor.
She didn’t want to go there—to that place of honesty that everyone from her therapist to her best friend Janet had begged her to go for months—but Austin had been right when he’d said Noah was an easy person to talk to. Despite his take-me-to-bed-and-strip-me-naked looks, he exuded compassion.
“Work did that for as long as possible until I couldn’t...do it anymore. And exercise. What is it they say? Endorphins are nature’s anti-depressants? Something like that.”
“It’s paid off.” His gaze slipped over her bare legs.
She melted. “Well, your house looks great. Distraction has paid off for you, too.”
“I suppose it has.” His laugh reminded her of secrets and promises and whispers in the night.
“You’re a proponent of distraction then?” She crawled toward him. Consequences be damned, her hormones screamed. Fear had ruled her life for too long. She wanted her freedom back. She needed a diversion. She craved a taste of him.
“What’re you doing?” He dropped the back of his head against the cabinet and watched her through half-closed eyes. “Don’t come any closer.”
“Why not? Are you scared?” Hands braced over his head. Boldness pumped through her.
“Know what I find irresistible?”
“I have an idea.”
“I’m a real mess, you know.” She had to say it, warn him, give him a chance to push her away.
“So am I. Together we’d be a disaster.” His fingers slid beneath the T-shirt, skimmed her bare back, and teased under the strap of the swimsuit. “Am I your distraction then? Something to keep you busy? Is that what this is about, Lauren? Do you want to use me to distract you?”
His question stopped her from taking what she wanted. A fraction from his lips, she stared into those whiskey-colored eyes. “Maybe. Does that bother you?”
“Probably should, if I had any sense or moral decency, but not really.” He yanked the T-shirt over her head and tossed it aside. “Last chance for you to run away, no hard feelings.”
“I’m tired of running away.” She brushed her lips against his. A taste is what she wanted, needed like oxygen. “No strings. No complications.”
“This could get complicated.” He smiled against her mouth.
“Not if we’re clear about what we want.” With one pull, she tore those two buttons free from his shirt. Finally. Skin. “I don’t want deep or complicated. No plans. Just sex. Easy.”
“Just sex, huh?” He grabbed her ass and pulled her close. “I like easy, uncomplicated, string-free sex.”
Their mouths met and devoured one another, tongues clashing. Her hands were in his hair, on his shoulders, skimming over his chest. She needed more, wanted more. That she barely knew him didn’t matter. What mattered was that he made her feel alive for the first time in months, that he knew about her past and didn’t give a damn.
He rolled her onto her back, thigh slipping between hers. Their mouths never parted. The denim on his leg rubbed against her bare thigh. His weight pressed her into the plastic that covered the hard tiles.
She arched upward, craving contact. She pulled his shirt off, her hands needing to touch the hardness of his shoulders. Touching him, tasting him, feeling his mouth on her skin and his hips pressing into hers reaffirmed that she was alive in every possible way.
“Why do I feel like I’m going to burn in hell for this?” he asked against her open mouth.
“Now who’s overthinking things?” She tugged at his lower lip with her mouth.