Release Date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Book one in the CARELESS WHISPERS series. This is a standalone spin-off of the INSIDE OUT series (soon to be a TV show) that follows Ella Ferguson, Sara McMillan's best friend.
Ella Ferguson awakes alone in Italy, unsure of who she is, and a gorgeous man has claimed her as his own. He’s tall, dark, and sexy, with money and power, the kind of man who makes a girl want to be possessed. And he does possess her, whispering wicked wonderful promises to her, stealing her trust and her heart. Soon though, the past finds her, yanking her from a cocoon of passion and safety. Everything is not how it seems. The truth will shatter her world, but it can set her free, if it doesn't destroy her first.
|4.5 Cauldrons to be accurate|
- Ella Furguson is nothing like I expected her to be. I briefly met her Inside Out as Sara's bubbly bestie who gave her Rebecca's Journals. My first impression of Ella was she's a ditzy gorgeous girl who's superficial, excitable, normal, and outside LRJones' "dark world". I'm still undecided on the firts, but Ella's a great narator. While reading DENIAL, I felt like I am Ella. I felt her confusion about the whole thing, her fear, her strong attraction to Kayden, and her fervent desire to reclaim what little she remembers of her life.
- Kayden. Alpha male but no dominant Master, or at least I don't think so. He's nothing like Mark or Chris in Inside Out, commanding and controlling. He's protective, somewhat possessing, very charming, but is he trustworthy? There's so much about him that's in the shadows such as his instant investment in Ella. Surely there's more to him than just her alley way savior.
- No BDSM... yet (?). It might be too soon to say this definitively, but as I'm tired of kink, I appreciate its absence in DENIAL.
- Romantic suspense/mystery elements are on point! If there's anything LRJones is a master at, it's writing this gut-twisting, mind-boggling puzzles. She'll give you enough to get you curious, make you salivate, then she'll torture you with your own cravings until almost the end. Like how the heck did Ella end up in Italy with no records of her leaving the U.S.? Why isn't she in the databases? Why is a mobster after her? Gah! So many questions with only a few clues to speculate. Plus her amnesia no thanks to a head trauma isn't helping things either.
- Italy and organized crime. Kayden's job is a rogue treasure hunter of sorts, and Ella's abductor is supposedly a mob boss. Combined, these two forces are underground groups and maybe something Ella shouldn't be a part of yet by some strange luck, she's now caught in the middle. I guess a lot of us are familiar with the Godfather or have some knowledge of how these organized crime groups can do. Suffice to say we're in for a ride in Careless Whispers and it's obviously going to be a bumpy, and super sexy, one.
Though I have much love for DENIAL, there's a few things that defies logical reasoning IMO. Like Kayden is connected, but why go the roundabout way in trying to figure out who Ella is? One of the first things a tourist should do in case s/he is in trouble in a foreign country is to go to the nearest embassy. Surely Italy has one, so why not bring Ella there? There's no issue pointing to a government conspiracy... unless Kayden is hiding something about himself? It might be small, but it's also telling of Ella's character IMO.
DENIAL is far from disappointing. LRJones' muse is really on a roll with this world they created which started in Inside Out and I'm excited for the books ahead. Again, I have a lot of speculations and I can't wait for Ella and Kayden to prove or disprove it and for LRJones to surprise me. DENIAL is such a page-turning braintease, it's impossible to put it down so don't make the mistake of starting this novel at bedtime not unless you're ready to lose sleep.