Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I’m hosting USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart’s latest release Prison Break Hostage, book five in the Honor Bound series, a romantic suspense.  Be sure to read my review.  And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

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Title: Prison Break Hostage
Series: Honor Bound Book 5
Author: Anna J. Stewart
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 288 Pages
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Publisher Harlequin Romantic Suspense

She’s dedicated to helping others…
Now she’s the one in need of rescue.

Blurb:  As a witness to a prison bus crash, Dr. Ashley McTavish is only concerned with saving lives. But when she’s taken hostage, her own life is threatened. Ashley is undeniably attracted to her sole protector, a convict called Lucky. But when Lucky’s true identity as undercover agent Slade Palmer is revealed, he and Ashley must flee for their lives. Can they protect one another as feelings grow and danger looms?

From Harlequin Romantic Suspense: Danger. Passion. Drama.

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“If you’re going to sleep this close to me, can you at least turn off your brain?” Ashley flopped onto her back and nearly caught Sawyer in the face. She didn’t apologize for it. She wasn’t going to apologize for anything. She couldn’t believe he’d dragged her back here. Couldn’t believe he hadn’t let her go. So much for her big plan that relied on his wanting her to be safe.

“I’m thinking.”

“No kidding. I can hear the wheels grinding.” She stared up at the ceiling.

“Get some sleep, Ashley.”

She recognized that tone. He was just about at the end of his rope with her. The resignation. The frustration. It was a tone she’d elicited frequently over the years. From her ex-husband especially. “What are you thinking about?”

“Right now? I’m considering locking you in the bathroom so I can figure stuff out.”

She smirked, rolled onto her side and looked at him. Even in the darkness he was a striking figure. In other circumstances she’d have considered him attractive. She didn’t have vast experience when it came to men, she admitted. And her sex life with Adam for the few years they were married had been…adequate. Not adequate enough for him, given he had cheated on her. A lot. So yeah, maybe when it came to men her judgment was a bit off.

That didn’t mean she couldn’t appreciate Lucky—no, Sawyer—from his shaggy, too-long brown hair, to his tight, toned, tattooed body, to his complicated character. Wow, she was starting to lose all common sense, wasn’t she? She tucked her hands under her cheek. “What are you really thinking about?”

“This might have escaped your notice, but this is not a slumber party and I am not a twelve-year-old girl.”

Oh, she knew. Especially the last bit. “Back in the woods. When you held me close. I assume that was to throw Badger off the scent?”

“Clearly it didn’t work.”

“You wanted Badger to think we’d gone out there for something other than to look at the lake?”

“No one thought we were looking at the lake.” He turned his head, his hair rustling on the pillow. Even in the darkness, she knew he was looking at her.

“If Badger had heard me guess about your brother, he’d have done something about it right then and there. You understand me, Ashley?”

She swallowed hard. He was right, of course. “Jack can help you, Lu—Sawyer,” she corrected quickly. “I promise he’ll listen to me. If you help me, I’ll tell him. He can get you a reduced sentence.” The urge to touch him overwhelmed her and she reached out and laid a gentle hand on his chest.

“He’d talk to the judge. Or the DA. I know one in the Sacramento office. Simone would listen to me, too. You don’t have to stay with Valeri. There’s another way.”

While still looking at her, he lifted a hand and covered hers. “There’s not another way for me, Ashley. I’m where I am because I chose it. And while I appreciate the offer of leniency, you can’t promise anything. Because of me, a prison guard is dead. Whatever happens down the road, I’m in for life. And you need to stop seeing me as if I’m some misunderstood victim who is worthy of redemption. I’m not.”

“Everyone’s worthy of—Well, maybe not everyone.” She brushed a hand over his forehead. “I’m sorry I hurt you.”

He took her hand away. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what? Don’t touch you?” But she wanted to. In the worst way. She didn’t even care if it was wrong.

“Don’t go making me out to be something I’m not. I’m not a knight on a white horse. I am not a good man. No matter how much you want to pretend.”

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I’ve been reading a lot of romantic suspense lately, so when this book came up for a chance to review, I was all for it, and the author didn’t disappoint.  You don’t need to read the other books in the Honor Bound series because Prison Break Hostage is a standalone.

First, I enjoyed the two main characters.  They are opposites and balance each other.  Ashley is very caring, extremely independent, and very impulsive.  She marries and divorces on the quick, she jumps out of her car to help a busload of dangerous convicts on the quick, she even blazes into the bus without taking her safety into account on the quick, and of course she falls in love on the quick for who she assumes to be a dangerous criminal.

Slade on the other hand is an undercover FBI agent and is full of self-control, cautiousness, and his thinking is based on long term implications.  Having these characteristics makes him perfect and GOOD at his job.

Ashley is also good at her job.  She didn’t let anything dissuade her from breaking the oath she took as a doctor.  The lady has courage, that’s for sure, even when she’s shaking in her boots full of fear.

The duo shared great chemistry as they got to know each other in their surroundings under dangerous circumstances.  There is a lot going on, and the novel moved at a fast pace with no lags.  The author really knows how to keep things tight.  The romance is very believable as Ashley and Slade get to know each other and eventually fall hard for each other.

I also really enjoyed the prisoners, especially the bad-ass Olena who came close to upstaging the heroine because I found this dead-eyed cold woman so very interesting.  I kept wanting to know what was behind those dead eyes.

The dialogue is realistic that you feel as if you’re standing to the side watching everything unfold.  The writing is excellent.  My only quibble is the unnecessary POVs from the “good guy” secondary characters that took up way too much novel time.  I would have much preferred the author concentrate on Ashley and Slade, and shared everything through their POVs.  And the ending with Olena.  That felt out of character for Olena.

Other than that, this is a wonderful novel with a great cast of characters.  Do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy.

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USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart writes sweet to sexy romances for Harlequin and ARC Manor’s Caezik Romance. Her sweet Heartwarming books include the Butterfly Harbor series as well as the ongoing Blackwell saga. She also writes the Honor Bound series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense and contributes to the bestselling Coltons. A former Golden Heart, Daphne, and National Reader’s Choice finalist, Anna loves writing big community stories where family found is always the theme. Since her first published novella with Harlequin in 2014, Anna has released more than forty novels and novellas and hopes to branch out even more thanks to Caezik Romance.

Anna lives in Northern California where (at the best times) she loves going to the movies, attending fan conventions, and heading to Disneyland, her favorite place on earth. When she’s not writing, she is usually binge-watching her newest TV addiction, re-watching her all-time favorite show, Supernatural, and wrangling two monstrous cats named Rosie and Sherlock.  You can read more about Anna at her website, www.AuthorAnnaStewart.com.

Find Anna:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub | Amazon | Goodreads

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Enter for a chance to win:
– $20 Amazon – 1 winner!
– First 3 e-books of the Honor Bound series – 2 winners!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5 thoughts on “Anna J. Stewart – Prison Break Hostage

  1. Beatrice LaRocca says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful review of this book, I love the cover, synopsis and excerpt, I am looking forward to reading this story myself

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rita Wray says:

    Great review, sounds like a good book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks for a great post. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

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