Monday, June 6, 2016

Review: Hanging by a Thread by Jenna Sutton

Hanging by a Thread by Jenna Sutton
Series: Riley O’Brien & Co., Book 3
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780425279977
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jenna Sutton Reading Order

Love is not one size fits all…

Thirty-year-old Bebe Banerjee is desperate to get rid of two things: her fiancé and her virginity. Escaping her arranged marriage might be impossible, but she refuses to give her firsts to an entitled jerk who lives on another continent. Instead, she devises a plan that guarantees another man will get her momentous firsts. But she never imagined that man would be Cal O’Brien, the gorgeous heir to the Riley O’Brien & Co. denim empire…

Although Cal has always been fascinated by Bebe’s brilliant mind and beautiful eyes, he’s never pursued her. She can’t stand the sight of him, and every time they’re in the same room, they end up trading insults. Yet when he finds out about Bebe’s bold plan, he makes his move, unaware of her upcoming nuptials. He promises to make her firsts unforgettable, but he doesn’t know how hard it will be to forget her when their arrangement ends.

Sparks fly right and left in Hanging by a Thread. I was so excited to see Bebe and Cal finally give into their mutual attraction that has long been obvious to everyone but them. Author Jenna Sutton does not disappoint. Bebe and Cal’s story is romantic, sensual, and simply lovely to read.

I absolutely adored Bebe. She is utterly brilliant, but all her life she’s focused her studies and then her work at the cost of her personal life. She’s also someone who has been beaten down by those who should have loved her, and thus she doesn’t see the true value of all that she is (which broke my heart). Yet though Bebe is a bit vulnerable, she doesn’t cave under pressure. When she finds she cannot escape her arranged marriage (for reasons I won’t spoil), she doesn’t meekly give into her jerk of a fiancé’s wishes. Rather, she uses the little bit of time she has to claim her sexuality. She wants to find a man to be her first, but she never imagined that man would be her best friend’s brother…

It’s easy to see why Bebe has been attracted to Cal for years. He’s pretty much the perfect hero. Cal is smart, hardworking, sexy, caring, and heck, he’s even a talented chef – what more could you ask for? I loved the way he was completely gone over Bebe, even before he realized it. The two of them have been circling each other for years, trading barbs to mask the attraction each is too afraid to reveal to the other. When Cal offers to be Bebe’s lover, everything between them changes in the very best way. I loved watching their relationship unfold, because despite their attraction and the deal they make, Ms. Sutton lets things develop organically. While there are plenty of heated encounters in Hanging by a Thread, Cal and Bebe’s relationship isn’t all about sex. Cal doesn’t just want to be her first lover; he wants to be the one to show her a number of firsts. Their romance is a great mix of sensual highs and quietly sweet moments that made me smile more than once.

Normally I’m not a fan of the dreaded “big secret,” in this case Bebe hiding her engagement. However, Ms. Sutton handled Bebe’s predicament in such a way that while it was important to the tale, it never dragged the story down. My only wish is that we’d seen more of the climax of the story, as I think it would have made Bebe’s personal journey stronger. Even with this minor quibble, I adored Hanging by a Thread because Cal and Bebe are just that great together.

Hanging by a Thread is the third Riley O’Brien & Co. book, but it can easily be read as a standalone. That being said, the O’Brien family is definitely out in full force, much to my delight. The love the characters have for one another in this series – whether it’s romantic, familial, or the love between friends – adds an extra layer to the stories, making them that much more appealing. Even though the final O’Brien sibling has fallen in love, I hope this isn’t the last of the Riley O’Brien & Co. stories, because I’m just not ready to leave this world or these characters behind.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.