Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tia Louise’s newest romance, Fearless, is one of her steamiest romances to date. She wastes very little time moving her heroine, Blake, and her hero, Hutch, from disdain to physicality. From the Prologue when Blake is but a sixteen-year-old bent on saving her family, the chemistry between Blake and Hutch is undeniable. In that chapter, their age difference (he’s twenty-two, I believe) keeps them from acting upon their instant connection. Yet, Hutch, exuding his alpha maleness, initially makes an enemy in Blake when he intercedes and foils her plans to help her sister and save her family’s financial interests.
In the early chapters of Fearless, these two misunderstand the other. She sees him as an enemy to her family interests, while he sees her as a vapid, lazy New York princess. When these two finally recognize their misjudgments of the other, they quickly fall into their attraction, and they can’t keep their hands off of each other.
Belying Hutch and Blake’s romantic journey is a romantic suspense that includes a missing uncle, a dead socialite, and a cadre of other menacing Russian mafia types. At the end of this story, you’ll find some resolution to a few of these plot points. However, there is still more to this story, and by extension, the series born from this first book. As such, my biggest criticism for Fearless is its pacing. Hutch and Blake’s relationship arc never hits an impactful zenith, and it slides into their happily ever after around the 88ish percent mark (I think). The last couple of chapters read as the furtherance of their happy ending, but there are still so many questions to the suspense aspects of this story. What Hutch and Blake seem to have the most of in Fearless is physicality, which is fine if that’s your favorite part of romance. For me, however, I love a well-developed story that doesn’t leave me with more questions than answers.
Fearless starts out on fire. The ire between Hutch and Blake light this romance fire, and that’s where it tends to stay. For me, there isn’t a bonfire here. It’s a steady burn keeping the reader warm, but I think there could be more here. I’m hoping future stories in this series of standalones will brandish the pyre to set it ablaze.
In love and romance,