Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Kensington (April 1, 2006)
In Behind Closed Doors and Standing in the Shadows, Shannon McKenna introduced the McCloud Brothers: intense, rugged, super-sexy, and deliciously sensual. Now, Davy McCloud is about to meet a woman he can't trust--or live without . . .
Disillusioned P.I Davy McCloud has learned the hard way not to follow blind impulse when it comes to women. He'd rather play it safe, and keep his life simple, calm and uncomplicated. But he's prepared to make an exception when Margot Vetter shows up to teach at the gym next door. The luscious, mysterious woman stirs a hunger he hasn't felt in a long time, as well as a fierce protectiveness he can't quite explain, expecially when her background check reveals she's hiding secrets--secrets of the ugly, deadly kind.
Margot is at the end of her rope. It's bad enough that she's broke and on the run, framed for a murder she didn't commit. Now, she's being terrorized by a malevolent stalker. The only person she dares to turn to is buff, scarily gorgeous Davy McCloud, a man who seems like nothing on earth could intimidate him. But Davy has questions of his own, and the closer she gets to him, the more Margot discovers that she can't hold herself back from this enigmatic, sensual man in any way.
Neither of them expected passion to flare this quickly--or to drag them into a danger as real as their love. Margot's past has finally caught up with her. And for Davy McCloud, life is about to get more than complicated . . .
It's turning deadly . . .
Davy is the oldest of the McCloud tribe, he is righteous, honorable and poised…until he met Margot Vetter.
Margot Vetter is an aerobics instructor, the days when she had a career in web design, a two hundred dollar haircut and quality clothing caressing her skin felt like a life time ago. Thanks to her former boyfriend she witnessed torture and death and was now on the run from the law. In a spurt of the moment she walks up to Davy and asks for advise on her stalker problem and from that moment on Davy was lost in the chaos of Margot life.
From the moment I met Davy in Behind Closed Doors I wondered what kind of woman would make him loose his balanced attitude and now I know. A “stubborn as hell”, “doesn’t accept crap from no one”, but still needs somebody to lean on woman named Margot. I witnessed a colliding of two control freaks that also hold on to a level of stubbornness that could aggravate them and me in the process. Though, I must say, it never failed to deliver fireworks, both verbally as physically.
After the death of his parents his extraordinary youth is filled with the responsibility to take care of three younger brothers and Davy is now a poised, in control man. He allows himself few attachments and he doesn’t reserve them for women. What he wants is mutual gratifying sex and just leave without the strings of emotions attached. What he wants with Margot is a civilized, sensible arrangement between two consenting adults.
Margot on the other hand just wants to survive. She is a “tell it like it is” woman with a down-to-earth attitude and humor. She tries to remain strong, a survivor but deep inside her, in a place where not many reach her, she is desperate and in need of a partner. Someone who’s right alongside her in this heap of trouble she’s in.
Davy and Margot bring the best, and sometimes the worst out in each other while a seriously twisted enemy is on the hunt. From the get-go Davy is invading Margot’s personal space and the more she push/pulls him, the more Davy has the need to get under her skin. But whenever Margot hits a personal string Davy retreats and shuts down. Obviously he has a few barriers of his own to battle with as Margot crowds his thoughts and feelings.
The vigorous banter between Davy and Margot was at some points off the charts enthralling, and it often led to a push-me-pull-you seduction of bodies. Nonetheless, it sometimes felt like the communication was a constant battle between them, many actions and opinions that needed a constant explaining and it sometimes tipped the scale to become annoying. What I really missed in the end was Davy sharing his feelings regarding the death of his parents because throughout the novel it is quite an issue between them as a growing couple. Other’s inform Margot of past events or circumstances and while this is fine I missed Davy opening up a bit about his past towards Margot. In my opinion a missed opportunity to create even more emotional depth between them. In the end I understood that Davy was more a - let my actions speak for them as I cannot find the words to express myself - kind of guy and the conclusion of the story left me fulfilled.
There are more things which protrude in this story, besides the vibrant characterization, it is Faris. There is a mind who is leading him that is so twisted, bend on power and deliberate in causing death and pain, that at moments it chilled me to the core. But most of all it was the skill of Faris and the enjoyment he took out of it, what kept me flipping the pages. The suspense is top notch again and delivered in a pace that completes the story as a whole.
Recurring characters like Raine, Miles, Connor and Erin play a part in this novel but it is Sean and Seth who have a larger secondary role to play and I did not object to this. Seth is my ultimate favorite coarse guy of the lot and the intention of Sean with the bridesmaids is forever branded in my memory. Also there is one scene in the end with Sean and Margot that again intrigues me to no end and makes me wonder what makes Sean truly tick. The male bantering is there again and adds to a certain familiarity in McKenna’s novels of the McCloud series. Pure male magnetism dripping from the pages and it is something I lapped up as a reader and can’t get enough of.
The romance had a bump here and there, the suspense fits the story like a glove and the characters unique in their diversity. Again I enjoyed to read a McCloud novel!
Quote: Margot and Davy:
She looked him straight in the eye. “Most guys don’t propose to a woman before they express their feelings for her.” Davy stroked the hair away from her cheekbones. “I figured all that gooey emotional stuff was automatically implied in a formal proposal of marriage.” His voice was low and cautious.
Quote Margot and Davy:
He rolled his eyes. “Tone of voice is subjective. Another way for women to whip themselves into a frenzy over significant issues.” She shoved him until he rolled off. “Welcome to Planet Female,” she said sweetly. “Enjoy your stay. The first stop on our tour will be Insignificant Issues. Please open your guide books to page 317.” He clapped his hands over his eyes. “Oh, God, why me?”
Sean shook his head. “This is the last time I try matchmaking.” He muttered. “That shit can get you killed.”
Quote Faris – He isn’t supposed to be funny but this quote just made me smile:
Bridesmaid: Romantic isn’t it?” She gestured at the newlyweds.
Faris: “Terribly, I keep looking for Disney birds and butterflies.”