About the Book:
Title: Arresting Mason
Author: Amber Daulton
Series: Arresting Onyx #1
Page Length: 304
Publication Date: April 30, 2018
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Synopsis: Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.
Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.
When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?
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I loved Arresting Mason, the steamy first book in Amber Daulton’s Arresting Onyx series. The characters are well-developed and interesting, the romance is amazing, and the story is well-paced and intriguing. The story follows Mason and Mia as they begin a relationship riddled with obstacles.
Mason has a troubled past and is trying to start over after ten years in prison. Daulton did a fabulous job of presenting a redeemed man, not without faults, who struggles with his past and his present. The book really made me think about how difficult it is for parolees to start over. Time in prison has changed Mason, and he often struggles to fit in with his family and others. Guilt, feelings of unworthiness, anger, and frustration often consume him. However, Mason is very self-aware and works hard to keep his demons at bay. Mia, and to a lesser degree his brother and nephew, help him focus on his good qualities and assure him that his past doesn’t have to define him. However, his past often feels inescapable, and his fears of endangering those he loves are valid.
Mia is another well-developed character that I love. Mia has regrets too and struggles with her own demons. However, she usually sees the good in people, and from the start of the book, she has such faith in Mason. Sharp and astute, she sees how much Mason has changed, and she appreciates his honesty and determination to reform. She also sees how tormented he is by the past and how hard he works to better himself. It’s clear that Mason and Mia understand each other well and accept each other completely.
And their romance!!! Oh my!! Mia and Mason’s romance is super steamy and sexy. Theirs is a passionate and almost instantaneous love affair that proves opposites do attract. Mia is sweet and a bit innocent to the uglier side of life, while Mason is an ex-con who served time for some serious crimes. But their differences don’t change the way they feel about each other. Sometimes Mason doesn’t know how to react to certain situations, and he tends to push people away in self-protection, but I think this further exemplifies how much being in jail changed him and influenced how he interacts with people.
Mia and Mason’s romance becomes complicated since Mia’s brother Jim is Mason’s parole officer, and Jim doesn’t approve of their budding romance. Jim does everything within his power to keep these two apart, but their feelings for each other only intensify. In addition to Jim’s meddling, Mason’s past comes back to haunt him, which puts his future with Mia in jeopardy. Mia and Mason go through a lot, and it’s fascinating to see how they fight for their love.
Gangs, kidnappings, people from Mason’s past, and other life-threatening dangers put Mia and Mason in some precarious situations and add a ton of suspense to the story. Mason learns that it is very difficult to escape his past, and many of his deepest fears come true.
This is a great story for people who like steamy contemporary romance with a bad-boy hero and page-turning intrigue. I’m so thankful to Amber Daulton for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! It focuses on Mia’s brother Jim, and I’m curious to learn more about his story. He wasn’t the most likeable character for most of this one, though I understood his reservations and reasoning behind not wanting his sister with Mason. I definitely liked his character by the end of the book and can’t wait to see him find his own happily-ever-after.
- The romance! It is super steamy and swoon-tastic!!
- The intrigue.
- The great character development.
Mistakes are a fact of life. It’s how you respond to those mistakes, or how you cope, that defines you as a person.
Self-hatred burned like a living entity inside him, but Mia soothed his demons and eased his guilt.
I think this is a great story for readers who like romantic suspense. There are references to rape and assault, and the story includes violence and sexually explicit scenes, which might not appeal to some readers. However, if you like great characters and a sexy romance, then you should totally pick up this book!