A man whose past was taken from him, and a woman who’s missed out on life because of her desperation in finding a cure for her mother, find an intense connection that could lead to her death. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Lost and Found by Lexi Blake, along with my impressions of it, then add this second installment in the Masters and Mercenaries: The Forgotten series to your bookshelf!
Owen Shaw and his “brothers” lost everything, their entire existence erased. Science had robbed he and all the Lost Boys of their memories and their past, but not their future. Hunted by every intelligence agency in the world, they are focused on two goals: find a cure for what was done to them and ensure that the technology that ruined their lives doesn’t get out into the world. Rebecca Walsh might be the key to achieving both. Owen has been studying her closely, living in her building, and he cannot resolve how such a beautiful, giving woman could have helped design the evil process that destroyed his past.
Dr. Rebecca Walsh has dedicated her life to researching the secrets of the mind. Her atmospheric rise in her field was fueled by the horror of watching her mother’s agonizing journey into madness at the hands of a disease with no cure. She vowed to never rest until she finds it. But obsession takes a heavy toll, and when Owen moves into her building she realizes how much of her life she has missed out on. Owen opens her eyes to a whole new world, filled with joy, laughter, and possibly love.
Owen and Rebecca grow closer, unraveling more about each other and the mysteries surrounding her connection to Hope McDonald. As the sinister forces working against the Lost Boys descend on Toronto, secrets long buried are uncovered that could shatter the bonds holding the Lost Boys together and cost Rebecca her life.
“Becca.” Owen’s voice was low. “Concentrate on me, on our conversation. You’ve done incredibly well. You’ve been able to hold it off, but this has gone on far longer than you ever should have been expected to handle it. This elevator is tight. I feel it, too, but we can hold off the anxiety together.”
She doubted very much the man in front of her was anxious. He looked solid, like the kind of man who took whatever came his way and simply dealt with it. He wouldn’t have needed two freaking years to figure out what he wanted. He would have signed his divorce papers and moved on, not hiding in his work.
It struck her forcibly that she might never have met a man like Owen Shaw. Her childhood had been fairly sheltered. She’d constantly been surrounded by intellectuals, men and women who were far more concerned with their work than anything else.
The ground beneath her shifted and the elevator dropped what felt like ten feet, but she knew in her head it was mere inches. Her heart rate tripled, and she grabbed on to the closest thing she could—him.
His arms went around her, holding her up, and she heard it. He was so tall that her head naturally rested on his chest, and she could hear his heart beating in rapid time.
He was nervous.
The phone rang and Owen cursed, reaching out to grab it. The shaft was so small, he didn’t have to let her go to grasp it.
“What the bloody hell is happening, Colin?”
She could hear his voice over the line. “Sorry. So sorry. We had to lower the shaft the tiniest bit. I should have warned you. It’s not going to fall. Just needed to reposition to get to the problem. Not long now. Another half an hour or so and I’ll have you right out of there.”
“If you do that again, do you know what I’m going to do to you, Colin?”
There was a pause over the line and she could practically hear Colin’s gulp. “Write my father a tersely worded letter of complaint?”
“No, I’m going to pull your heart out through your throat and then I’ll shove it back up your arse.”
“You sound very much like Liam Neeson in that movie.”
“Liam Neeson is Irish. I’m a Scot. I assure you what I’ll do to you will make you run into Liam Neeson’s arms and beg him to save you.” He reached back and hung up the phone with a resounding clang.
His arm went back around her. “It’s going to be all right. They’ll move faster now. So you’ve taken a sabbatical from men.”
She breathed him in, loving how he smelled. Were men supposed to smell so good?
She could feel herself relax as he held her. She’d known him for three hours. She shouldn’t let him hold her like this.
And why the fuck not? Because it wasn’t smart? Because he might think she wanted something she shouldn’t?
She was human. Why shouldn’t she want him? Because society told her that good girls didn’t make out with guys they’d just met in an elevator?
Society sucked, and she wasn’t a good girl. When her husband had tried to put his name on her work, she’d told him to fuck off and write his own paper. When he’d cheated on her, she’d walked away.
She was single.
God, was he single?
She stepped back.
“What’s wrong?” Owen asked.
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
His lips curled up in the sweetest grin, as though he knew exactly why she was asking that question. “No, love. I don’t have a girlfriend and I don’t have a wife.”
He was single. She was single.
The moment lengthened between them.
He stepped back. “I’m sorry. I’m coming on way too strong.”
He wasn’t. He’d been gentlemanly, friendly. Up until the last couple of moments, he hadn’t put a hand on her or leered. She could feel his attraction. It was there in the warm way he looked at her, in the set of his shoulders, relaxed earlier and tense now that he’d touched her. He was thinking about the same thing she was.
“I’m very nervous, Owen. My logical mind knows that it’s far more likely for me to die getting hit by lightning than in an elevator, even one that’s stuck.” Unfortunately, her logical mind was slowly losing control of her dumbass lizard brain.
“Will talking help?” Owen asked. “Because I’m willing to do that. Or whatever you need to take your mind off things.”
There was a wealth of promise in those words. Dirty and sweet at the same time. They’d shared her wine, passing it back and forth between them, her lips touching the same place his had been moments before. When she’d drank after him, she’d thought about kissing him.
It had been too long. Two years was way too long to go without sex.
They had a half an hour or so. At least that’s what Colin—who might be murdered soon by Owen Shaw—said. She even thought his name was sexy.
What exactly would it hurt if she did kiss him? If she touched him and let him touch her? Hell, what would it hurt if she fucked him? They were both single, both a little needy. They had some time to kill. They’d done everything else.
“I would like to kiss you.” If he didn’t want her to, he could say no and they could find something else to do. She wasn’t going to be embarrassed because some guy didn’t want her. Some stunningly gorgeous guy. Some really funny, sexy guy. After all, she wouldn’t see him after this. She’d never seen him before. He’d told her he was moving in, but she went into work early and came home late. He was a bodyguard, so he likely worked odd hours and traveled a lot.
He was safe. She could open that door, enjoy herself, and then close it again. Owen Shaw could be her first really good memory in a long time, the start of many because it was time to get serious about finding some joy and balance in her life.
But only if he wanted some joy, too.
He moved back, placing his back against the elevator wall, the sweetest smile lighting up his face. “You have no idea how much I want you to kiss me. I’m right here, love. Do your worst.”
He was letting her make the first move. And probably the second. And the third. He was obviously a careful man. It would be easier if he took over, but he was right. This needed to be her choice, and she had to make the move.
She’d been the girl who’d told her parents at the age of five that kindergarten was boring and she wanted to move through the grades until she found something challenging. When they’d told her they wanted her to slow down and enjoy her childhood, she’d gone on strike until the teachers at her school begged her parents to let them move her up.
She was the girl who’d put it all on hold to take care of her mother, too.
She wasn’t the girl who didn’t take what she wanted, and she wanted Owen Shaw.
“It’s been a long time since I did this.” But her body was already heating up. Her body remembered. Her marriage might have sucked, but the sex had been fairly good. It had been the reason she’d married him. She’d gotten used to regular, good sex.
She’d get used to it again, just on her terms this time.
“Somehow, I think you’ll remember,” he said. “You play all you like. Stop when you want to.”
She’d been right about him. He was a careful man. “And if I don’t want to stop?”
“Then you should be happy I’m a man who believes in being prepared.”
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Readers will find themselves once again captivated by this newest entry in The Forgotten series, an off-shoot of Ms. Blake’s engaging Masters & Mercenaries series. In a tale full of twists and turns, readers will also find their heart’s breaking over all that befell the main couple before they found each other as well as fearing what the ghosts of their pasts will do to their future. From the first page to the last, this is one heckuva rollercoaster ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat, a witness to a sweet and scorching romance full of danger to their bodies and souls.
Owen Shaw was once a man full of loyalty to his team, a man devoted to his mother and sister, a man who was ultimately given a heartbreaking ultimatum by an insidious doctor bent on taking over the world by turning soldiers into her personal slaves through medical manipulation. The decision he made ended up being a no-win situation that ended with his family dead and him with amnesia and scars that have left him feeling like a traitor. Desperate to make amends for sins that aren’t his own, Owen’s doing all he can to help a new team formed out of other men whose lives were similarly stolen to destroy the technology that took their pasts in hopes that no one else will ever be hurt in the future. Owen was once a fun-loving man who jumped into every situation without any hesitation, but he’s now a much paler shadow of the man he used to be as he’s now willing to stay in the background. He feels like a traitor and assumes that others see him that way too. To get through the day, alcohol and meaningless sex have now become his crutch and it’s a heartbreaking thing to see. Owen’s carrying a heavy burden of guilt and it’s left him broken, but the moment he comes face to face with his latest assignment it felt like a jolt of electricity. Meeting Doctor Becca Walsh makes him feel alive again, talking to her has him wanting to hold her close though he knows that any relationship they form will only end badly as it’s his lies that have brought them together. Despite all that though, he still wants her and when her life is put in danger by unforeseen adversaries he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. I adored Owen and his sexy Scottish accent! I ached for all that was taken from him but cheered the joy, and the reason for living, that he found with Becca. He was an intriguing dichotomy of being dominant one moment while letting Becca take control when she needed to in a connection that amped up the book’s sensuality. He’s a decadently delightful hero who captured my attention the moment I first saw him and his story didn’t disappoint.
Becca Walsh has always been a bit of an outsider, never quite fitting in completely. The super smart daughter of two genius parents had her always the youngest student in school with others jealous of her accomplishments. It didn’t leave her with many friends but it did fuel her close-knit connection to her parents. This close connection left her especially devastated as her mother’s dementia robbed her of her dignity and her life, something that fueled Becca’s need to find a cure for this heartbreaking disease. Her discoveries captured the attention of Doctor Hope McDonald (the truly twisted woman who robbed the Lost Boys of their lives) and put her on Owen and his teammate’s radar. From the outside Becca seems like a quiet and reserved person, someone uncomfortable in public, someone devoted to her work to the exclusion of all else. In reality though that picture isn’t quite accurate. Yes, she’s devoted to her work as she doesn’t want others to suffer the way her mother did. But she’s definitely not reserved as she’s come to realize that she’s letting life slip away from her and is more than ready to end her sexual sabbatical. She’s a bit quirky, a bit irreverent at times, and I adored her love of superheroes. She’s comfortable in her own skin, isn’t one to apologize for going after what she wants, and this is exactly what makes her and Owen such a good pairing. While she may look guilty at first, readers and Owen’s team quickly discover the truth which lets Owen enjoy her for as long as he’s willing to let himself be happy. Becca’s an endearing heroine, smart and funny, and easy to relate to. When danger comes calling she’ll have to do more than play at being a superhero though in this fast-paced and suspenseful story.
This was an exhilarating read from the first page to the last, one full of unexpected twists and turns as a new villain emerges, one that’s under the shadow of Hope McDonald. New and dangerous connections are also revealed as glimpses of the other characters are continually being doled out. Along with all the suspense comes the combustible romance between Becca and Owen, one that will have readers rooting for them from the moment they meet. Owen’s a tarnished hero, one weighted down by a past forced upon him, one he’s desperate to make amends for and his need for redemption endeared him to me. Meeting Becca saw a weight lifting off him and from that moment on I was fully invested in their pairing. Becca too came alive in his arms and it made for scorching encounters teeming with sensual and playful banter that made them a formidable couple. Surrounding this unforgettable main couple is an equally captivating cast of secondary characters whose stories I’m looking forward to reading as it’s a twisty journey that each character has had a part of. I’m especially intrigued by Tucker and his connection to Hope McDonald, the crackling connection between Robert and Ari, the reveal of a new villain, as well as another “Lost Boy” Sasha who seems lackadaisical but is in fact all knowing. All in all this was another winner in a series that keeps you on the edge of your seat with a story arc full of unexpected twists. Suspense and romance are perfectly balanced to keep readers wholeheartedly invested in these men and their need for justice in a series that keeps me coming back for more as I wait breathlessly for the next installment.
My rating for this is an A.
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.