Stolen Chances (Stolen #4)
Author: Elisabeth Naughton
Publisher: Season Publishing
Date of Publication: September 12, 2013
Nine years ago, Archaeologist Maren Hudson lost everything when a member of her team was killed during a routine dive. Now she’s been drawn back to Mexico and the career she walked away from in order to protect the most precious thing in the world: her daughter.
One desperate phone call brings salvage expert Thad Leighton back to Mexico. For his murdered brother, he’s ready to settle the score, but one look at Maren and everything changes. Years may have passed, but she’s still as mesmerizing as she once was, and a few days on site together have him questioning his priorities and why the hell he walked away from her so long ago.
Sparks between them reignite, but Thad knows Maren is holding something back. Thrust together in the middle of the sweltering Yucatan, Thad is more than willing to strip away her layers. But while the truth might offer the second chance he’s been searching for, forgiveness may be as elusive as the relic they’re both hunting. Because when Thad unearths Maren’s biggest secret and discovers who she’s really working for, suddenly it’s not just about a life that was stolen from both of them, it’s about staying alive and outwitting a madman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
When I requested this, for some reason I thought I’d read at least one of the prior books in their entirety, though I knew I hadn’t read all of them. But now, I seriously question that belief. I remember checking them out from the library, but actually reading them…not so much, it seems. However, for the most part, that lack of reading the rest of the series, didn’t impair my enjoyment of this book. Since reading it, I’ve read one and a half of the other books and while the characters are connected, the plots aren’t entirely.
Now, for my thoughts on this book. I loved Maren, and her daughter, while constantly in her thoughts had very little screen time. One of my favorite scenes in the entire book came near the beginning when Maren gets a call from one of the hotel’s groundskeepers (she’s running a hotel for her mother when the story opens) about an excavation being done on one of the sand traps. Maren’s daughter loves archaeology like her mother, and had recruited some hotel guest kids into helping her dig for artifacts in a sand trap. Hilarious because I could so see a kid doing that.
Thad was strong in his own right and not an arse even when he discovers Maren has a child…his child. Oh, he’s pissed, but can you blame him? He works through that issue and comes right back in supporting Maren as they struggle to protect her and everything around her from Evan Declan, a sinister man who wants the statue that Maren, her father and the others throughout the book are searching for.
There was a secret society in this book, focused around protecting the statue and descendants of the one who originally cursed the thing, which I found a nice little subplot.
Overall, this was a great book and got me way interested in reading the rest of the series. As usual with Elisabeth Naughton’s works, I couldn’t put it down once I seriously started reading it. Five-star rating from me!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.