Review: Cease Fire by Janie Crouch

cease fire Title: Cease Fire

Author: Janie Crouch

Mills & Boon imprint: Intrigue

Year of publication: 2018 – this book is being released on May 22. The author very kindly gave me an ARC to read and review.

The heroine: Ex stripper/hairdresser Keira Spencer

The hero: SWAT team member Roman Weber

The blurb: One perfect weekend changed his life. And now he’d die to protect his unborn child…

Two months ago, Roman Weber and Keira Spencer spent a breathless weekend together. But her sordid past and his privileged upbringing conspired against any happily-ever-after. When Keira is targeted by a killer, Omega Sector assigns Roman to safeguard her—and possibly win her back. Then Keira reveals she’s pregnant, and Roman knows the killer must be stopped…if they ever hope to become a family.

Standalone or series: Book three in the Omega Sector: Under Siege series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: Keira Spencer is a remarkable heroine. Orphaned at seventeen, she has no family and no money because her well-intentioned parents tied up her inheritance until she turned twenty-five. Alone in the world, she falls for a man from a wealthy family with political connections, Jonathan Cunningham. When she marries him at nineteen, she finds out the hard way he’s not the man she thought he was – he’s a violent, abusive sociopath. Keira lands in hospital more than once, and instead of supporting and helping her, her in-laws do nothing. Worse still, her father-in-law threatens her, telling her nobody will believe her if she tells them what happened because his money can buy silence.

Eventually, Keira finds the strength to leave Jonathan and flees the state with absolutely nothing. She finds work in a strip club, where she meets Andrea Gordon (you can read her story in Man Of Action, where we first meet Keira). When she turns twenty-five she receives her inheritance, and it’s enough for her to buy a building. She puts in a hairdressing salon down the bottom and converts the units upstairs, because not only does she run a salon, but also a shelter where battered women can flee their abusers and have somewhere safe to go. Keira takes them in and teaches them a trade, so they can support themselves.

Keira is a fighter. She’s a survivor. She doesn’t let what happened to her define her, but instead uses her experiences to help other women. She won’t, however, ever consider marriage again.

It’s at Andrea and Brandon’s wedding that she sees Roman Weber. She knows him through the bride and groom, but they get talking at the reception and she’s attracted to him, so she throws caution to the wind and agrees to leave and go up to his hotel suite. They stay there for a few days before eventually heading back to reality.

Reality intrudes with a bang when Keira finds out eight weeks later that she’s pregnant, despite them using protection. She’s never really considered having a child before, but finds she really wants to keep the baby. She tells Roman about the baby and he warms to the idea instantly, of not only being a father but making a go of his relationship with Keira because he’s drawn to her. He finds out about the shelter and admires her quiet strength and determination to do good out of bad.

However, a few things start to get in their way: his snooty mother, for one, who is none too impressed to find out her beloved son, for whom she has great political aspirations, has knocked up an ex-stripper. She believes Keira is only after the Weber money and is determined to get rid of her, no matter how much it costs. She goes out of her way to blindside Keira at every turn and even offers her money to terminate her relationship with Roman – and the pregnancy. Keira, who won’t kowtow to anyone ever again, refuses.

But their biggest problem is the person who’s trying to kill Keira. Damien Freihof is back in the picture; if you’ve read previous books, you’ll know he’s the psychopath who is determined to make every single SWAT team member pay because he lost a loved one in a hostage situation gone wrong. He’s cunning and manipulative, and won’t stop until he succeeds in killing them all. He does take the life of an Omega Sector member in this book and badly injures another, and I can’t wait for them to finally catch up to this monster and take him down. He’s only managed to avoid them so far because there’s a mole inside Omega Sector feeding him information (and I think I might finally have figured out who it is – I love a good mystery!).

Old demons come back to haunt Keira and it’s only with Roman by her side that she manages to survive. I’m not going to spoil you as to who’s after her or how Freihof plays into it, but all will be revealed and Roman and Keira get their happy ending. Yay! Another great instalment in the Omega Sector series.

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