I’m part of this blog tour for Paris Wynter’s newest released Issued and I am so happy to share this book review with you today, on release day! Being a reviewer gives me a good opportunity to support an authors work through posting my reviews on the blog, among other things. Paris is an author I got familiar with a couple of years ago, before she released her first published book; Hearts Unleashed, that I was asked to review as well. I fell in love with her writing right then and there and have been excitedly waiting for more ever since.
Some months ago Paris was ready to share her newest book baby with reviewers and thanks to her and Caffeinated PR I was provided with an arc copy of the book, which I’m so very thankful for. I love it when I discover new to me authors, and I love it when I fall in love with their stories, as was the case with Paris. With Issued being published, Paris proves yet again of how much value she has become in the romance genre.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paris Wynters is an adult romance author repped by Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. She lives on Long Island in New York with her family, which includes two psychotic working dogs. Paris is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. Paris and her son are nationally certified Search and Rescue personnel (she is a canine handler). She is a huge supporter of the military/veteran community. When not writing, Paris enjoys playing XBOX (she is a huge HALO fanatic and also enjoys FORTNITE), watching hockey (Go Islanders), and trying new things like flying planes and taking trapeze classes.
About the Book
She needs a total life reboot… even if it means marrying a stranger.
Taya Maverick has just volunteered to marry a random Navy SEAL as part of the military’s new spouse-matching program. What other choice does she have? Her former best friend killed her father and torched her house. Taya’s determined to start over, but to be safe she has to disappear. The program is the perfect opportunity, complete with refuge and a built-in bodyguard. Her Navy SEAL husband can keep her safe, right?
After one spectacularly disastrous marriage, Jim Stephens nixes round two. But his commanding officer never accepts no for an order. While an injury may have sidelined him temporarily, Jim still needs to salvage his career after a mistake in combat puts him in leadership’s cross-hairs. Being the first in the pilot program guarantees him his rank and eventual active duty clearance…as long as he can last the trial year.
The I dos are barely uttered before Jim and Taya realize they’ve each miscalculated. Their sizzling chemistry might lead to bed, but neither is prepared to open their heart. And then Taya’s past comes knocking..
I have such a soft spot for (formerly) men in uniform and reading about sexy SEAL’s is something I always enjoy so very very much. So knowing this book was about this navy SEAL who’d be pushed into a forced marriage had me so super excited. Forced marriage is a trope that can be so wonderful to read about when executed well < which Paris definitely did. And aside from all that, this book is not ‘just a romance’; it has so much depth and character development and everything is in such good balance thanks to Paris beautiful writing, something she executed so perfect in Hearts Unleased as well. Issued was again a fantastic read. These characters and their story had me hooked from beginning till end.
The story-line and its development was so good and I liked the plot a lot. I liked the concept of how they were forced into this marriage and seeing how much more there was that they both bargained for, something they only found out afterwards of course. And throughout the book, things got intense and emotional and it was exciting to see that it was a story that held me captive constantly and on the edge of my seat. I truly couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and was done before I knew it. It was fast paced and addicting filled with tension and a bit of danger as well as fantastic chemistry and attraction. There’s not a single dull moment to be found.
Taya and Jim were both truly marvelous characters to read about. There’s interesting backstory for both these characters, which makes their development throughout the book so good. It was so much fun to read from both POV’s seeing both these characters go into this marriage a bit differently and defeinitely cope with it all differently as well, which made for a lot of funny but also heartwarming, heartbreaking and intense moments. This story gave me all the frigging feels in the best way possible!!! And despite Jim being a navy seal, you won’t be overwhelmed by military elements; it’s all just really well balanced out seeing the focus is more on his character development and background story. I really loved how they both learned to open up in different ways, but also how their stubborness and ‘how do I deal with all these emotions’ moments sometimes got the better of them as well haha.
What was also a pleasant surprise was that aside from the fact that this is a truly beautiful developing romance, there was a good amount of steam woven into it as well and hot damn, that had me all hot & bothered from time to time and I loved it haha, whoop whoop! But seriously; Jim and Ava’s relationship had a beautiful build up and with the background story of both their characters it was in depth, beautifully developed and in good balance with the rest of the story elements.
Paris’ writing was at least as gripping and engaging as the first book I read by her and I’m already so much looking forward to reading the next book in the series, focused on another couple. I love how the books will be interconnected with eachother because the minor characters in this book are also so much fun reading about already and knowing there’ll be at least 2 more books/full lenght novels about them too? sign me up!
Issued is a steamy, well developed ‘on the edge of your seat’ in depth romance you’ll easily lose yourself in, in the best way possible and which I HIGHLY recommend reading. It’s a heart gripping romance that had me hooked from beginning till end and I just can’t recommend it enough to any reader out there! If you’re looking for a new to you author in this genre, one whom really knows how to give character to the story, the romance and characters? Then seek no further; Issued (but also Hearts Unleashed) by Paris Wynter is what you’ll want to add to your shopping basket right away!
In less than a minute, I’ll be meeting James A. Stephens, the man who’s assigned to be my husband, for the first time. A groan rumbles past my lips, my breath fogging the shield in front of my eyes. I clutch my left fist and downshift to third gear, and the loud whoosh of the wind against the bike drops a little in volume. The GPS alerts me through my earbuds that his house is three hundred feet away. What the hell am I thinking marrying a perfect stranger?
Oh, yeah. I’m homeless. My father was murdered. And the people responsible are walking free because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict the bastards. So, what better way for a fresh start on life than to volunteer to be assigned as a spouse to a member of the military? Didn’t sound so bad after everything I’d lost. Everything that was taken from me.
My heart hammers against my rib cage as my right thumb, ring finger and pinky reduce the throttle on my bike, two of my fingers always on the front brake. Some days, I wish I had a sibling, someone to grieve with over the loss of my father. After five months, the painful ache hurts as much as the day they lowered my dad’s coffin into the ground. I sigh and dip my shoulder as I lean into the unfamiliar turn of this street.
Virginia Beach, with its salty ocean air and the constant lull of crashing waves, is a fresh start. Complete with a roof over my head, medical benefits, and a built-in bodyguard. Not that I can’t protect myself, but when the person who killed the man I loved most is my former best friend that I’ve known since childhood, I’m at a loss. Marco knows me too well. And disappearing is the only way I can truly be safe.
When I overheard one of my former search and rescue teammates talking about the program at last year’s conference, I choked on my water laughing. An arranged marriage? Not my idea of happily ever after. But the sly veteran quirked his eyebrow in my direction and threw
a five-hundred-dollar dare out, so I picked up my phone and made a quick buck. What were the chances my shoddy application would be picked?
I snort. I should’ve known better than to trust fate. But I had to go through the screening process. God only knows what the repercussions would’ve been if the military found out I wasn’t serious when I filled out the application. But since finding a match could’ve taken a while, I did have the option later to withdraw my application.
Except my circumstances changed in a terrible way. This new program is now about to become my saving grace . . . with a man whose name and address are on the piece of paper in my pocket. But who in their right mind signs up to be “issued” a husband, even with a rigorous screening process? At least I won’t have to look over my shoulder here. Or be reminded of everything that I lost at every corner.
My heart twists sharply at the memory of all that’s vanished forever, before kicking up to a rhythm of stampeding wild horses the closer I get to the two-story, cobalt-blue Colonial house where my future husband and the officiant are waiting. Holy hell, I’m going to be someone’s wife by the end of the day.
I pull up to the curb, kill the engine and push out the kickstand. Dismounting, I take a moment to look around while my ears adjust to the quiet after hours on the road. The landscaping is immaculate. The Ford F-250 looks brand new, or at least it’s washed and shined to reflect even the dimly lit morning. The rocks lining the walkway to the front door are perfectly spaced, like someone had laid them in rows by hand.
Everything is just . . . too perfect.
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Thank you for reading and I hope I got you excited about this book.
If you get around to reading it, I’d love to hear what you think about it.
I hope you’ll fall in love with Taya and Jim as much as I did.
All there’s left for me to say is that when you get a copy of this book: ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!
With Love, Melissa
*I was generously and kindly gifted an ARC of this book. My thoughts on this book are 100% my own and not influenced by the fact that I got an early and free reader copy*