Saturday, December 13, 2014

Illusion (Swept Away, #1) by J.S. Cooper

    Title: Illusion (Swept Away)
    Classification: Adult Fiction
    Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance/Erotic
    Series: Swept Away
    Paperback: 368 pages
    Publisher: Gallery Books (November 11, 2014)
    ISBN-10: 1476790981
    ISBN-13: 978-1476790985
    Author's Website:
    Notes: I received an ARC from the publisher. Thanks.

Bianca has been secretly investigating the death of her mother for the past several months when she is kidnapped. One second she's sitting at the bar waiting for her best friend to reappear from the restroom and the next she's waking up in the trunk of a car wondering what in the world is going on. But she's not alone. Jakob, a young man she briefly met at a coffee shop earlier that day is in the trunk with her. Is he an innocent bystander who accidentally got mixed up in this mess by being in the wrong place at the wrong time or is there a connection between the two that neither of them knows? One thing seems clear, they'll have to work together to survive.

This story had one of the best beginnings I've read in a long time. It had a quick pace and I immediately became ensnared by the mystery of what was happening, About 150 or so pages in to the book, however, I kind of figured out the twist and wondered why Bianca didn't as well? She kept making observations, sometimes ones even I didn't pick up on. She just never seemed to connect the dots until someone all but pointed it out to her. I have to admit, however, I loved the story despite guessing what was happening and still ended up enjoying the ride.

Bianca is smart but too trusting, She seems to be ruled by her emotions and very naive. She's obsessed with movies, which is good as she's a movie critic for a newspaper. I found it charming how she tended to associate everything that happened with something that happened in a movie. I have a couple of friends like that.

Jakob is the mystery man in this whole thing. He's good looking and seems to take charge from the very beginning, which Bianca seems to like. She doesn't know him from Adam and that makes me leery of him. I could never get myself to fully trust him as some of his actions seemed rather questionable. Plus, I didn't like the rather possessive nature he had when it came to Bianca. I couldn't figure out for the longest time if he was what he said he was or part of whatever scheme was taking place.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and gave it 4 out of 5 roses It had a good pace, was intriguing, and fairly steamy with some nice twists. There was a small flaw that gave me a good chuckle, but that I won't hold against the author as once upon a time I thought the same thing, Ms. Cooper thought bananas grow on trees which they don't. Banana plants have these huge fleshy type of stalks which are probably made up of about 90 percent water. Their tops end in huge floppy green leaves and there are no branches which would make them difficult to climb. They have long stalks as wide as some small to medium sized trees, but  I wouldn't attempt to climb one as I'd be afraid you would knock them out of the ground as they have a fairly shallow root system. But I have to thank the author because every time I think of Bianca up a banana plant clinging to the stalk and Jakob, a total alpha male, looking up and staring at her from the ground, I break out in fits of giggles. I picture an expression on his face similar to that of an adult finding a child sitting out in the open with their eyes shut thinking no one can see them. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol Oh, and I should probably warn you, this one ends in a cliff hanger that had me wishing I had he next book in hand.

Notes to Keep You in the Know:
This is what a banana plant looks like:
The above fence is approximately 8 feet tall, but if memory serves the parent to my baby banana plants grew to be over twice the height of mine. It resided closer to the gulf where it was a tad bit warmer. I should point out there's a smaller banana plant behind the big one. That is why you see the smaller leaves. I usually wait until the weather is a little colder to cut off the dead leaves because I've found creepy crawlies and snakes in these plants which tend to be less active in cold weather. 


  1. Great review! I'm off to find this book.

  2. Whoops! I'm the book's editor and I clearly didn't know how bananas grew either :). Thanks for the thoughtful read and the botany lesson!


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