Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Mean girl. Goddess. Bitch. Supermodel Sofie Baston has earned those labels . . . yet they don't scratch the surface of who she really is. Before she can follow her own dreams, Sophie must do her daughterly duty and reel in a "fish" for her father's business-a tall, brown-eyed entrepreneur who immediately hooks her. He's a big guy with an even bigger heart . . . but will that heart be open to Sofie once her darkest secret is revealed?

To Trevor Bishop, Sofie is a beautiful mystery he would gladly spend his life solving. He figures her tough demeanor is armor against a world that's hurt her too many times. Then Sofie's deepest wounds are reopened by the powerful, ruthless man who made them. When she musters the courage to take him down, her world shatters. Now Trevor is determined to help Sofie pick up the pieces so they can build a future together. The challenge will be convincing his ice princess that it's safe to melt in his arms . 

Shel: Sofie is the girl we all loved to hate in this series so when Kennedy decided to write her story I was immediately interested. I was very prepared to not like Sofie and there were definitely parts that made her unlikeable but seriously...SERIOUSLY KENNEDY RYAN?!! How do you make me like someone who I absolutely abhorred before? You and your word magic...gah. Court: I hated her attitude before, but I definitely was so excited for more words from Kennedy and more of this world. We both loved it so much, and it was interesting to finally delve into what made Sofie tick. She was an incredible surprise, and I laughed with her, and shed tears for her...and I just all around loved this book.

Shel: Anyway. 

Shel: Very early on, you will probably find yourself in my shoes which is to say you'll be completely immersed in Sofie and Trevor's story and will have forgotten all of those hateful things you had to say about Sofie and her shenanigans. I'd even go as far as to say that you'll actually be TEAM SOFIE and hoping that Trevor is able to break through her icey exterior early and often. Speaking of Trevor...that guy. GAHHHD. He's so good. So kind. So patient and just everything you want for Sofie. He's strong and bold and clever and persistent. He's the kind of person you want in your corner and I'm so glad Kennedy put him in Sofie's. Court: I love their moniker...sinner and saint. Because it really exemplifies our characters, but the most interesting part is that Sofie is the max antiheroine. And oh how we love those. Sofie tries so hard to resist everything that is Trevor...who also underestimated her. These characters are deep, y'all, and really make our story shine.

Shel: As with Kerris and Cam's stories, Kennedy includes diverse characters who are well rounded and important and I love her for it. She never writes characters of color or of diverse backgrounds as if she's trying to check off a box or resorting to stereotypes; nope, she breathes life and character and richness into each and every one and it's a huge reason I'll always read her novels. Another reason is the thoroughness and care in which she tackles the trauma her characters have lived through. I appreciate that these very real and horrific things are treated with respect and not a throwaway plot point that only serves to add drama. Not every author is as careful and considerate and it's something that I respect in Kennedy's plotting and writing. Court: I completely agree. There are a lot of things packed into this book, and lesser writing wouldn't have been able to conquer it. But Kennedy did. And she does. Every book. I am still in awe of 1) how quickly I devoured these pages and 2) how much went on for each character and how amazing the words brought each scene to life. For reals, there is a huge scene that brought me to tears. It was intense, and shattered me...and you'll just have to wait and see if Kennedy can put everything back together again! 

Shel: If you have read all three books in this series and weren't sure about Sofie's book, I'm here to tell you that you must read it; you will not be disappointed! Court: 1000% agree! This woman writes wonderfully diverse characters, and delves into every emotion we could think of feeling. I am in awe of her, and I loved this book...even if you haven't read anything else by her, you must read this book! 


              “And this is his business partner, Trevor Bishop.”
Walsh steps back, and I have my first close up of the fish I’m baiting tonight. Only I’m the one hooked, immediately. I’m careful not to show it, but that stunned look I’m used to seeing on other people’s faces? All over my inside face.
This force of flesh and bone and muscle wrapped in heat looms over me. Trevor Bishop’s presence burns holes in my composure. I could tell from across the room he was attractive and built like a mountain lion, lean and strong and broad. It’s only now with proximity that his absolute confidence meets mine head on. He tilts his head to the left, his chocolate-colored eyes steadily considering me, and I swear he knows. Even though I’m sure my face doesn’t give it away, I swear he knows that as I stand in front of him, inhaling his clean scent and waiting for his first smile, windmills turn in my belly.
“A pleasure to meet you, Miss Baston.” His lips, wide and full, give me a smile punctuated by dimples. And he has a southern drawl.
Fuck me now.
That’s not a figure of speech. I quite literally want him to toss me over that hulking shoulder, find a dark corner somewhere and screw me so deeply into a wall we leave a dent. Or in a bathroom stall. Hell, he could drag me over to the elaborate buffet table and take me from behind right there by the ice sculpture.
One dark brown brow, a few shades darker than his hair, rises. Holy crap, I haven’t responded yet.
“Um, nice to meet you, too, Mr. Bishop.” I take my time so my tongue doesn’t betray the muddled mess of haywire hormones I am right now.
His eyes drift over my shoulder, forcing my mind and manners back to Rip.
“Oh, yes. I’m sorry. How rude.” I turn to Rip, who immediately claims my elbow and draws me into his side. All of a sudden he’s territorial. I can’t blame him. If my girlfriend was within five feet of this man, I’d handcuff her to me for the night. “This is Michael Ripley.”
“Great game Sunday.” Trevor shakes the hand Rip isn’t manacling me with. “I’m a Falcons fan myself, but I can appreciate a good toss no matter the team. That’s some arm you got there.”
Rip’s hold on me relaxes a bit. Clever Trevor, disarming him that way. Well played. Will I be able to strip this fish of his defenses as easily?
Once seated, Rip, Trevor, Harold and Walsh fall into a discussion of football I don’t even try to follow.  Apparently neither does Kerris. She’s texting someone with a small frown on her face, and mumbles something to Walsh about a sitter. I settle into my seat beside Trevor, taking a few moments to compose myself and strategize how I can get that hook in his mouth.
“So you were in Dubai?”
The question startles me a little, I was so lost in my musings. I turn slightly in Trevor’s direction, creasing my lips politely.
“For a shoot, yes.” I toy with the clamp on my clutch resting on the table. “And my friend Ardis married a prince over there. I like to visit her every once in a while.”
“A real live prince, huh?” He teases me with a quirk of those full lips.
“Don’t be too impressed.” I lean a few inches closer to him and lower my voice. “He’s a prince in name only.”
“If he’s a prince in name only, what does that make him in deed?”
              I can’t hold onto the humor when I recall the bruises shackling Ardis’ throat and wrists, or the black and blue mark on her cheek like a brand. I refocus my eyes and sober my mouth.
              “A frog.”
              “I thought you ladies kissed all the frogs to find the prince.”
              “It happens that way in fairy tales, not in Manhattan.” I sip my champagne. “Or in Dubai, apparently.”
“So that accounts for your tan.” His dark eyes make a slow, thorough inspection of my features.
“Hmmm. What accounts for yours?” I toss a skein of silvery blonde hair back so he gets an eyeful of the bare line of my neck and shoulder. His eyes move down my neck, warming the skin like a touch, before he looks back into my eyes.
“Haiti.” He laughs a little, lounges back in his chair and links long fingers across a flat stomach I imagine is corded with muscle. “Well, and my father is Lumbee, so some of my tan’s natural.”
“Lum what?”
He laughs again, his teeth white against his skin. I really like that it’s because of something I said.
“Lumbee Indian, a tribe found mostly in Lumberton, North Carolina.”
“So your mother’s responsible for the red hair?”
“She is.” He brushes a hand over his neat hair, disrupting it into a coppery spill on his forehead. “I was spared the freckles, though.”
“I’m sure there’s one or two.”
His eyes are suddenly hot chocolate, heating up a little as they hold mine.
“You’re welcome to try to find them.”

About Kennedy Ryan
I'm a wife, a mom, a writer, an advocate for families living with autism. That's me in a nutshell. Crack the nut, and you'll find a Southern girl gone Southern California who loves pizza and Diet Coke, and wishes she got to watch a lot more television. You can usually catch me up too late, on social media too much, or FINALLY putting a dent in my ever-growing To Be Read list!

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