One Kiss More
Author: Mandy Baxter
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
Landon McCabe is a U.S. Marshal who enjoys excitement, risks, and adrenaline. He’s not particularly happy with his latest assignment, babysitting Emma Ruiz, the socialite daughter of federal Judge Javier Ruiz who was arrested and put into custody of government six years ago because of extortion and bribes for verdicts. Landon recalls the hard-core party girl, who liked to pull pranks on Landon and his team all those years ago. But he also remembers his attraction to the beautiful woman and realizes that his attraction hasn’t diminish over the past six years. Now that the cancer-ridden Javier has escaped federal custody, Emma is the government’s only link to finding the man.
Although tied to the preceding U.S. Marshals book, One Kiss More is an enjoyable standalone story. The author does a great job bringing readers into the story by developing a detailed history around and between Landon and Emma. Ms. Baxter peels apart their stories, giving readers one layer at a time until all of the pieces fit together. Emma is a fabulous character; a joyful balance of brains, wit, and beauty. While she may not have anticipated the danger she brought upon herself in her actions to prove her father innocent, she has a big heart and strong nature that makes her such a likable lead.
Due to the nature of their relationship – Landon a government officer and Emma a potential witness and/or suspect – the couple spends a LOT of time longing for one another in secret. While there are a few sizzling moments when Landon actually makes a move on Emma, for the majority of the book, the only action occurs during long, lustful inner monologues. While this added tremendous sexual tension to the story, it started to irritate and frustrate me after a while. A similar situation happened in the first book, One Night More, I had hoped the second book would kick up the chemistry a notch. Unfortunately, their first, full-on sexual encounter doesn’t occur until nearly two-thirds of the book is finished.
However, it’s not just a matter of sex, but more the fact that Landon is so hot and cold with his emotions as he struggles to deal with his attraction to Emma. If the couple would have just talk things out instead of hiding behind their respective rolls, I would have been much happier. It also bothered me that Landon continually takes pride in his “professionalism,” yet cannot concentrate around Emma because he is so attracted to her.
While the pair did share some amazing chemistry, I was more interested in Emma’s role in the much larger and dangerous situation surrounding her father. Every time I thought that I had figured it out, the author tossed another twist into the plot line. The action was intense and well-suited for the genre. I found that by the time Landon and Emma got together, I was more interested in the suspense storyline than sex scenes.
Overall, I enjoyed One Kiss More. The plot around Emma and her father was exciting, with just the right amount of suspense and action. However, as a romance, I found the story a bit lacking. I did not like how it took Emma and Landon until the 65% mark to begin to work on their relationship. While the book is full of longing and sexual tension, since they don’t talk about how they feel, they don’t actually develop a relationship, and I found this frustrating. I’m hoping that the author strikes a better balance between the romance and action in the next U.S. Marshals book, One Touch More, due out in November.
Emma Ruiz knows her father is innocent. But that doesn’t help her convince the law—not even smoking hot U.S. Marshal Landon McCabe. When McCabe bangs on her door demanding information about how her cancer-stricken father escaped from federal prison, she’ll have to distract him somehow—it may as well be with a stolen kiss.
Landon gets why Emma isn’t saying all she knows. What he doesn’t understand is why he’s putting his reputation, his case, and his badge on the line for a gorgeous person of interest. Much as he’d love to, he can’t let Emma play him. The stakes are higher than either of them can guess. The only way to survive is to trust their instincts. But their instincts want more than one kiss…
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Series: U.S. Marshals #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format(s): paperback (352 pages), e-book
Book Source: author/NetGalley
One Kiss More (US Marshals #2)
Reviews in the Series:
One Night More by Mandy Baxter (U.S. Marshals #1)