Dangerous Embrace

Dana Mason
Dangerous Embrace
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Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date
October 2012
Book 1 of The Embrace Series
Action/Adventure Romance, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Sarah Jennings wants nothing more than a quiet life--alone.
Raised by an eccentric mother, their life on the road only taught her how to run away from hard times. When she finds herself in an abusive relationship, this lesson serves her well.

Eight years later, she's settled back in her hometown and less fearful than she's ever been in her life. She's a first-grade teacher, and with few friends and less family around, she has what she wants, a quiet life under the radar where she can be free of her past and live quietly. Until one night and one brutal act of violence changes everything.

Injured and afraid, Sarah wants to run again, but Mark Summors refuses to let her go.

Mark was born and raised in Santa Rosa. He married his high school sweetheart and never questioned his life, until he found his wife with another man. Now divorced, he wants something more. He's passionate about his job, he wants to protect people, and he devotes his life to it. This time, he's protecting more than just another client, he's protecting his future; at least, Sarah Jennings will be his future, once he convinces her she loves him.

When Sarah agrees to let Mark help, she doesn't anticipate just how important of a role he'll play in her future or how the violence in her past will come back to threaten them both.

Book Review by Victoria Lane (reviewer)
Jul 06, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
125 people found the following review helpful
DANGEROUS EMBRACE by Dana Mason contains both serious danger and lots of embraces, but could use a better title. The current title does not really reflect the domestic and random violence portrayed in the novel, and readers should be aware that if they are at all sensitive to violence against women, this is not the book for them. I give DANGEROUS EMBRACE four stars for the honest and real illustration of this grim topic.

DANGEROUS EMBRACE explodes out of the gate with the attempted rape of Sarah Jennings, an elementary school teacher in Santa Rosa, California. Sarah has some fight in her and is able to injure her attacker and escape, only to run into – literally – handsome ex-cop turned security specialist, Mark Summors. Sarah's attacker has both her house keys and address, and so Mark sticks by Sarah's side in order to protect her.

Sarah's past – abusive relationship with an ex-fiancé and a neglectful con artist mother – haunts her daily, and she does her best to keep Mark at arms' length. Between her nightmares, lack of familial support, and subsequent violent attacks, Mark must persevere to keep Sarah safe, but their proximity lends itself to an intimacy that neither one of them may be ready to accept.

Because of the subject matter, it somehow seems wrong to say that I enjoyed DANGEROUS EMBRACE, even though it is a well-written novel. It is certainly not light or happy reading. The heat rating is a serious 3 due to the graphic nature of attacks as well as the love scenes between Sarah and Mark. I appreciate the way in which the violence is handled, respectfully and honestly. The dialogue and narration are not cheesy in the least. The novel illustrates many aspects of rape survivors' psychological trauma as well as the obvious physical injuries. The plot is gritty, intense and complex; just when you imagine one issue is dealt with, another situation resurrects it.

On the technical side, I felt that the pace was a bit slow after the first attack, but perhaps this was a purposeful tool to illustrate a rape survivor's life immediately after the incident – almost painfully impressing upon the reader the "one day at a time" philosophy. The editing was fairly well done – no distracting grammatical issues or typos.

DANGEROUS EMBRACE is a well-written and serious portrayal of one woman's struggle to free herself from hurtful people, the injuries they inflict, and the inner demons of her own making. I recommend it, but reader beware: this is not a novel for the faint of heart or for the fun, summer reading list.
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