Title: Sacrifice of Passion
Author: Melissa Bourbon Ramirez
Release Date: June 15th, 2012
Genre: Romantic Suspense
A tall, dark, single dad Texas rancher finds himself facing more than his stubbornly silent son when the chupacabra, a supposedly mythical blood-sucking beast, starts killing his livestock—and stalking the town’s newly returned veterinary assistant, the sensual woman who ran from the altar and broke his heart twelve years earlier. Determined to purge his sizzling memories of her from his all-too-vivid imagination, he seeks her help to get to the bottom of the disturbing animal mutilations, only to have her break through to his sullen son…and rekindle the love he’d thought was lost forever.
But her refusal to share a terrible secret sends her running straight into the lair of the chupacabra, plunging her back into her worst nightmare, and forcing them both to confront the wrongs of the past in order to stay alive for the future they desperately want.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: When the publisher first approached me about reviewing this book I was not quite sure what to expect, but the summary sounded so interesting I just could not resist tying it. Now that I have completely consumed this book all I can say is wow! I am not quite sure how to express how much I adored this book. It is at its core a truly tender love story mixed with an exciting mystery and a few paranormal elements.
We come into the story focusing on Vic and Delaney. They were childhood sweethearts that planned to elope but when they were supposed to meet one another they both got held up for different reasons. Misunderstandings and miscommunications left both of them shattered and they have not seen one another for twelve years. When fate brings them back together again they both still hold onto a lot of resentment towards one another and are trying to not let the other one into their hearts again.
I loved Vic from the moment he appeared on the page. He just wants to find happiness in his life. He thought he had everything figured out to the point where he was a least content, but when a son he never knew about shows up and Delany comes back into his life his emotions go haywire. He had a good heart and I found it easy to see why Delaney fell in love with him.
Delaney was also a great character. She has had horrible things happen to her in her past and as a result she is all twisted up inside. She is lost and searches for the reason why she, knowing deep down that she is going to have to face her fears before she can move on. Those fears all center around Vic. While many heroines in danger can often make stubborn choices and run off on their own, Delaney was smart enough not to be one of those women. She knows that she can only do so much by herself and needs the help of others to figure out what is chasing her and what it wants.
I always enjoy when the main characters have a past that they had to sort through before they could be together. Vic and Delaney’s love for one another is bruised and almost broken, but some of my favorite stories are about reconciliation. I loved that Melissa tied in moments where Delaney and Vic flashbacked to their past. It made understanding their dislike for one another now easier. It also helped build a tremendous tension between the two of them that was intense and powerful. The attraction between the Vic and Delany has been there all along, they are just hesitant to act on that feeling now. They do however, get themselves into some interesting situations. One of my favorite moments was when Delaney tries to tie herself up at night to avoid sleep walking and Vic discovers this:
“His eyebrows jerked up in surprise while his eyes roved over her, pausing at the ropes wound around her wrists and her ankles. He schooled his expression.
“Well, well.” He quietly closed the door behind him and turned the lock before facing her again. “Now it makes sense.”
“Wh-what does?” she stammered, squinting her eyes against the blast of light as he flipped the switch on.
He scanned the room and his eyes zeroed in on a small lamp in the corner. He strode to it, set a key down, turned the lamp on, and then turned off the ceiling light. “More games.”
She was amazed she could think, let alone speak, but she managed. “What do you want, Vic?”
Instead of answering, he sat beside her, his hand trailing from the inside of her arm to her wrist, stopping at the coil that bound her to the bed. She felt dizzy. Had a momentary flash of panic, but she pushed it away. This was not then. This was now. And this was Vic. She tried to stay focused. Felt her body come alive. His fingertips brushed hers, and then his hand grasped her cell phone, moving it to the nightstand. “You’re full of secrets, Laney. Bondage. Interesting.”
“This isn’t for you,” she managed to say.
His eyes hooded. Turned dark. “Then who is it for?”
“No one,” she said, but her sharp intake of breath as he ran his hand ran up her arm again registered on his face.
“So you’re not expecting anyone else?”
“Of course not!”
“Good.” He stood and slipped out of his jacket, his gaze never leaving her. “Then we have lots of time. And I have lots of questions.”
The romance in this book was hot, but the mystery was very intriguing as well. Melissa lead me to believe that villain was one person for most of the book, but even while I was considering who I thought it was it seemed to be too easy of an answer. Luckily, I was on the complete wrong track. Melissa had plenty of twists that kept me guessing right until the end.
Overall this book was amazing. It was so much more than I was expecting and I devoured it all in one sitting. The romance is scorching hot and the mystery was intense and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a good romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal. I am hoping there will be another book in this series because I would love to see more of Vic’s brother Ray.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book for review.