Title – Smokescreen
Author – Ahren Sander
Genre – Adult, Romance
Release Date – February 5, 2015
Bright. Dedicated. Loyal.
The day I walked into his boardroom, I had no idea my life was about to change forever. It was supposed to be a simple proposal that would catapult my career. The chance to help Hurst & McCoy save one of their flailing business lines seemed simple enough. However, I never expected that one look at Maxwell McCoy would have me grasping for control. He’s demanding, charming, powerful; most of all he’s beautiful, inside and out. As hard as I fought against the attraction, he broke down my defenses. But he’s hiding things. Even when secrets, lies, and greed threaten everything I have worked so hard for, I couldn’t walk away. There’s no denying, the moment my eyes landed on Maxwell McCoy was the moment I became his.
Rich. Brilliant. Powerful.
People only see me as CEO of Hurst & McCoy. The ruthless businessman whose mere presence demands respect. People don’t know I chose to leave a life I loved in order to protect my father’s legacy and reputation. When my company’s future was threatened, I had no choice but to seek assistance. The day Stella Sullivan walked into my boardroom was the day my heart started beating again. One business proposal, from the topaz-eyed beauty, changed my life. She tried to deny our unyielding chemistry, but I wouldn’t. I should let her go, but I didn’t.
The smokescreen I created soon comes crashing down, forcing me to fight for everything I love.
I’m ashamed to say that Smokescreen was the first of my Ahren Sanders novels because I’ve heard nothing but so many raving reviews about her writing. This is me officially jumping on the band wagon because I really did adore so much about this book. The chemistry between the characters was sizzling and the plot was full of twists and turns that kept me second guessing every motive and every action.
“My heart started beating the minute I laid eyes on her. Anything and everything in my life before became a blur and all I could think about was a future with her.”
Stella was one of those heroines that I’m not likely to forget any time soon. She was spunky, independent, and most definitely not afraid to speak her mind. She pushed boundaries and never succumbed to the pressure around her. There is something so admirable and relatable in a woman who exudes that type of strength. The male lead, Maxwell, commanded attention in whatever situation he was thrown into, but also to the reader. He always seemed to steal the show and that masculinity was so thrilling. However, I also loved seeing the softer, more vulnerable sides of him when it came to Stella or his family. There was something about him that attracted me to his personality, which helped me to relate to Stella even further. Together, these two were complete magic. The way that they complemented each other and what they provided for one another was special and the reader could feel that through the pages. It also has to be said that every single secondary character had a personality and a purpose; they were integral and I’d love to hear more from each of them in the future!
“I make my own decisions, run my own business, and stand on my own two feet. You can complement me, but not control me.”
I was so incredibly intrigued on the ride that was Smokescreen. There continued to be plot twists and turns that I never saw coming. Every time I felt like I could catch my breath and things would smooth out, something came and whacked me into high-anxiety mode. I like that thrilling ride though. It kept me guessing and turning the pages to see how it would all end. Furthermore, the book just forced you to experience a myriad of emotions. I snickered, I got teary-eyed, was angry, and I felt my heart warm. When an author can make the words on a page come to life for you to experience and feel in the depth of your bones, there is no greater escape from the world.
“People may say you are perfect for me, but to me you’re just perfect.”
While this may have been my first Ahren Sanders’ novel, it most definitely will not be my last. Smokescreen had everything I want in a novel: suspense, romance, a little alpha, and to just feel in my heart the words that are written. The writing was excellent and is bound to leave you wanting more and more from every single character in this book!
Stella groans lightly and rolls over. I’ve been watching her from my desk for half an hour, trying not to wake her. But as soon as she realizes my side of the bed is empty, she sits up dazed. Her head turns toward the bathroom and then turns to me.
“What are you doing?” she asks sleepily.
“Working a bit.”
“What time is it?”
“A little after seven.”
“Why the hell are you up? Do you ever sleep?” She falls back onto my bed and the sheets slip down her naked body.
I jump to my feet and make my way to her side of the bed in a second. “Yeah, I slept, then I worked out, showered, and decided to work until you woke up.”
“You worked out? Showered? What the hell is wrong with you? I thought we weren’t going anywhere this morning.”
She throws an arm over her eyes and I take the opportunity to kiss the skin up to her elbow, then pull her arm down so she has no choice but to look at me.
“I didn’t go anywhere. I have a home gym down the hall. I showered because I was gross, and we are staying here this morning. We have a meeting at ten, but until then, it’s us.”
“You have a home gym? Where?”
“Yeah, babe, there’s about two thousand square feet you’ve not seen yet. Two more rooms and a gym.”
“Babe, you’ve only been here a few times, I haven’t had time to show you.”
“This is a whole lot of information for me this early, without coffee. Remember I’m not a morning person.”
“So you keep saying, but I love proving you wrong.” I kiss her softly and slide my hand under the sheets and down until it reaches her pelvic bone.
My fingertips run lightly back and forth from hipbone to hipbone until her breath catches. Every time I hear that small sound, I know she’s getting turned on. Then my hand slinks lower to her slick heat and I press one finger in, sliding her wetness back and forth. “You are the best morning person I know.”
“That’s because you give me orgasms before my coffee.”
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Ahren spent her formative years living in an active volcano. There her family made collectible lava art. She studied rock collecting at the Sorbonne in France. There she met the love of her life-her pet pig Sybil. She returned to the states and started writing. She is happily married to a guy who used to live under a bridge and she met while pole-dancing. They have one amazing daughter.
Now, meet the real me. I grew up in the south and consider myself a true “Southerner”. Most of the special locations mentioned in my books are reflections of my favorite places. Living on the Florida coast, my family spends a lot time at the beach which is where I usually can be found with a book in my hand. I started writing my Surrender Series, in the spring of 2013 and have received incredible support from the Indie community. Throughout this year, I have been privileged to meet some amazing people that I am thankful to have in my life.