by Cherry Adair
Published by Gallery Books on April 7, 2015
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Suspense
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In the same pulse-pounding style as Maya Banks and Kresley Cole, New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair delivers a sizzling erotic romance about a sexy billionaire who’s on the run—and the hit-man-turned-handyman who’s supposed to kill her.
Sex with a stranger. Learn to drive. Learn to cook. Learn to pole dance. Sex under the stars. Buy a truck. These are just a few of the things on Amelia Wentworth’s bucket list, but as the CEO and face of a multi-billion-dollar cosmetic empire, she’s never quite found the time to do them.
Until, after a series of accidents, Amelia discovers that someone wants her dead. But who? And why? She has no time for questions as she changes her name to Mia, buys a secluded fixer-upper near the Louisiana bayou where no one will recognize her, and starts checking things off her bucket list like there’s no tomorrow—which there might not be.
Meanwhile, Cruz Barcelona is a hit man who’s promised himself this will be his last job. Then he’ll take the money and move to a warm, sunny place where he doesn’t have to hide anymore. But when Cruz goes undercover to Mia’s ramshackle house, he starts to realize there’s far more to this poor-little-rich-girl than he thought—and he starts to fall for her. Which is going to make his job a whole lot harder…
Blush owned me as soon as I read the back cover. Imagine this plot: Amelia Wentworth, CEO of a multi-billion dollar cosmetics company, discovers that someone has put out a hit on her life. She flees the city and takes temporary refuge in a backwoods town while her security team back home investigate who’s trying to have her killed. But through a case of mistaken identity, she ends up sleeping with the assassin who’s been hired to kill her.
And that’s just the beginning.
Amelia was born into wealth through her family’s cosmetics company. As such, she has lived an extremely privileged life of private jets, mansions, bodyguards, and personal chefs. She also hasn’t really lived much.
She’d been excruciatingly lonely, but she’d always felt safe in that ivory tower.
While she is an extremely powerful woman in the corporate world, her personal life is ordered and predictable. So while in hiding in Louisiana, Amelia (now going by the name Mia) puts together a to-do list for all the mundane things she has never had a chance to do, such as learn to drive a car and bake cookies.
Also on Mia’s list: have sex with a stranger. So she calls up an escort service, eager to cross this item off her list. When she opens her door, she assumes that the man standing there is her escort, but it’s actually Cruz, the assassin hired to kill her. He plays along with the charade, amazing sex happens, and Cruz ends up not killing Mia that night. And needless to say, there’s something about her that gives him pause in his mission to kill her–something other than just sex that keeps him coming back for more.
To buy himself some time, Cruz offers to help Mia fix up her ramshackle house and she agrees. Initially, he thinks that this will make his job easier–he’ll just stage an accident in her home and the hit will be complete. But the more time that they spend together, the more Cruz begins to question the information that he was given about Mia. The client who hired him painted a truly awful picture of Mia, someone who approves of child labor and inhumane conditions so that she can increase her company’s profit margin. But this portrait isn’t at all in line with what Cruz is learning about Mia firsthand.
The really fun part–if I can call it fun–is that Cruz continually debates with himself about the job. He goes back and forth, telling himself that he needs to just kill Mia already so that he can retire, but he somehow can’t force himself to complete the hit.
Damn it to hell. He just wasn’t ready to kill her. Not yet.
Meanwhile, both Mia and Cruz are living double lives. They tell each other the truth some of the time and some of the truth the rest of the time. When Cruz becomes convinced that there’s more to Mia than what he was led to believe about her, he actually goes from being her hitman to being her bodyguard. Love it.
Cruz is very much a mystery for the majority of the book, until his real identity is revealed at the end. I never thought I would like an assassin so much, but Adair wrote him in such a way that makes him into a pretty great guy. Except for that whole killing people thing. Although, even that’s not as clear cut as it sounds.
The plot of who ordered the hit on Mia isn’t revealed until the end. I had my guesses as to who Cruz’s client was and I turned out to be wrong, so the book kept me guessing in that regard.
The story is filled with suspense and I might have stayed up past my bedtime so that I could finish. I was so pleased with the ending. After so much mystery, the ending is wrapped up fairly easily–maybe too easily–but it still worked for me. In case it’s not already obvious, I LOVED this book. I think I might have read Cherry Adair in the past, but after reading Blush, she’s definitely going on my Will Read Again list.
Rating: 5 stars