Genre: romantic suspense
How far will ordinary people go to protect their secrets? The Collectors' games are as much about manipulating lives as finding lost treasure. Everyone is expendable as the ruthless C7 pushes people into gambling with their lives in order to find priceless objects lost to history.
Samantha Crowe's secrets could ruin her career, while Brody Parker's could get him killed. They become pawns for two Collectors seeking Bad King John's crown jewels, which disappeared in rural England back when Robin Hood roamed Nottingham. This time, however, the Collectors - a ruthless dotcom billionaire and a desperate London detective - might not be playing for the same team, leaving Sam and Brody trapped in the middle.
One thing's for sure: If either hopes to survive, Sam and Brody will have to find a way to overcome their distrust - and their growing attraction - in order to succeed on this winner-take-all treasure hunt.
Samantha Crowe is an American grad student in London, studying ancient history. After being courted by a rich American businessman in the past week, she accompanied him to his rich hotel last night, and now she is alone and hung over. How could she have fallen for a bad guy once again? But at least he paid for the room, and ordered her breakfast.
But when she looks inside the envelope he also left for her, her appetite is gone. He knows everything about her, her childhood and her most recent bad past. If she doesn’t do as he wants her to, he will ruin her, her mother and her previous lover …
She should have known he was too good to be true, what businessman would have been interested in her old research? But apparently he believes she is onto something, and now he orders her to find the lost Crown Jewels of Bad King John, within 30 days, or else …
He has left her a pile of cash and has arranged for one of his buddies to rent her a car, so she can go to Swineshead, the place where King John died. Some think the monks killed him, after he slept with the abbot’s wife, others think he was ill already when he went to the Abbey.
Tom has become a member from the C7 because of his gambling debts, and the other members think he can be useful to them. He is not a millionaire or a megalomaniac like the others, he is just as trapped as Sam is. And so he will arrange for Sam to have a place to stay, but he really does not want her to find the Crown Jewels and see them leave England into the gready hands of “mr. Smith”. And so he finds Brody, who is hiding in the witness protection program, and blackmails him into working against Sam while pretending to help her.
Feeling really bad about it all, he finally confesses to his beloved wife, and hopes she will forgive him. Donna is not happy with him, but it is she who enjoys living beyond their means and she will not give up her beautiful home. To his surprise, she is even more ruthless than he is, when it comes to protecting themselves. And he is not sure he can live with that …
Sam and Brody meet, and Brody certainly feels homesick after talking to Sam for a while. He has not had contact with another American in 7 years. But he doesn’t trust her, thanks to Tom’s story. He thinks she is just a gold digger, working for her rich boyfriend.
But when the elements conspire to push them together, they finally start trusting each other, and sharing their story, or at least a part of it. And when they work together, they just might be able to win …
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but I think this one is a lot better. The characters are acting a bit more natural, and I could feel the attraction between them. Brody has been badly injured in the past, and he still has a limp. He is a good man, and he had to give up his whole life for it. But he has made a new life for himself here in England, as a painter, and made some good friends. And now danger has come to his door again, in the form of a pretty young woman in trouble.
Sam had a really bad childhood, with a junkie for a mother, and her being the one who took care there was food on the table and rent money, no matter how she did it. Her mother still depends on her to help her out financially, even though Sam has to work multiple jobs to support herself through college. And now she has gotten herself in this mess, will they survive it? Or will they just be killed as they know too much and might figure out who “mr. Smith” really is?
The treasure hunt became a bit of a side story, while the relationship between Sam and Brody and them fighting Tom and his cronies took the stage. I would have liked to learn a bit more about the treasure though, and I certainly would have liked a little bit different ending. Still, it was a very enjoyable read and journey to follow. I did not foresee a lot of the things that happened, and I love being surprised by a good story. It has a lot of action and danger and mud, but also some emotional scenes and some nice love scenes.
I look forward to reading the next book … and then there were 5 …
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian