by Lauren Blakely
Series: Jewel #1
Published by: Brilliance Audio
Narrator: Sebastian York
Length: 6 hours and 24 minutes
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N
Bounty hunter Jake Harlowe knows how to track a criminal. So when a group of swindled shareholders hires him to trail their former CEO, Jake expects a quick trip to the Cayman Islands to close another case. Until a devastatingly beautiful woman gets in the way.
Steph Anderson is visiting the Caymans for a rock climbing and dive trip—or so she tells Jake. She’s really trying to find out whether or not her stepfather embezzled money from his company. The last thing Steph needs is the distraction of a sexy, charming man whose kisses drive her wild.
Soon, the pair discover they’re after the same target—and millions in jewels. While Jake can’t be certain Steph isn’t working for her stepfather, and Steph can’t be certain Jake isn’t after the diamonds for himself, they can agree the heat between them is intense, and neither can deny the passion for long.
But the morning after, Steph discovers that she just might have slept with the enemy, and now she’ll have to outwit him to get everything she needs…
I have been having a blast listening to Lauren Blakely’s contemporary romances, so when an opportunity to review The Sapphire Affair the first in her romantic suspense series Jewel happened, I jumped. Narrated by Sebastian York, and set in the Cayman Islands with a sexy bounty hunter this is the perfect way to spend the evening.
The Sapphire Affair has a fun setup for the romance and an interesting suspense angle. This is the first of three books, and I will warn you as the synopsis does that this ends on a cliffhanger. Thankfully it looks like they will all release close to one another.
Jake Harlowe is a bounty hunter who was hired to investigate an ex-CEO that his former firm believes swindled them out of millions. His investigation takes him to the Cayman Islands. After a day of recon, he finds himself enjoying a drink at a local bar and pondering his next steps. In walks Steph Anderson and she is a beauty. Jake and Steph strike up a conversation filled with flirtatious banter. It is important to note that Jake doesn’t know Steph’s name at this point. He gets distracted and when he returns to the bar, she is gone. She leaves a message on a cocktail napkin and yeah he still does not know her name, but he is intrigued. Can he mix a little business with pleasure? I had to swallow the little blue pill here, since I felt as an investigator Jake should have recognized Steph, but their banter was fun, the chemistry felt real and I am in the Caymans so let’s go with it.
Steph told Jake she is here for a rock climbing and diving trip. It’s not technically a lie, but the truth is she is trying to find out if her stepfather embezzled money from his company. All of this means that Jake and Steph will cross pass again, and at this point, I am all in. York is whispering in my ear, the pacing is great and I am anxious to see how it all plays out.
As these two follow leads, they soon realized they are looking for millions in jewels. I loved when they discovered who the other is and why they are on the island. The banter between them was fantastic. Both are confident and strong willed making their conversations a little snarky at times. Neither truly trusts the other, but the chemistry between them is sizzling. The two agree to work together platonically. Bwahaha! I would not bet on that.
The mystery, clues, twists and tight situations as they pieced together clues was engaging and their attraction continued to escalate until they were tearing at each other’s clothes. Holy hotness! The audiobook is arounds six hours in length and I easily listened in two sittings. Since this is the first in the Jewel series, Barkley provided the reader with a slow building relationship and mystery.
Despite finally tangling in the sheets, we end on cliffhanger that makes both the characters and the reader question Jake and Steph’s motives. The Sapphire Heist (Jewel #2) releases this month and I for one cannot wait to see what happens next.
If you are looking for a fun, sexy romantic suspense The Sapphire Affair is a good place to start.
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