Sunny Shelly’s Review: Out Of The Darkness, by Jessica Prince

Title: Out of the Darkness
Author: Jessica Prince
Series: Hope Valley
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The light had been snuffed out of Xander Caine’s world a long time ago, leaving him to suffer in darkness. After a tremendous loss, he closed himself off from anyone and everyone, content to live alone in the shadows. Then a woman blew into town with the force of a hurricane and shook everything up.
Sage Winthrop was looking to start over. She didn’t have a plan for what her new life would look like, but when she landed in Hope Valley, she knew it was the place she wanted to call home. Then one chance encounter outside of the best coffee shop in town set her world spinning.
Sage and Xander hated each other on sight. However, when they’re forced to work together, that hate eventually turns into something neither of them expected. Their attraction proves too strong to ignore. But when secrets from Sage’s past are revealed and her life is threatened, Xander has no choice but to let go of his demons and step out of the darkness in order to save the woman he loves.

Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited
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OOTD teaser 1.jpg
This morning had been . . . different. He was different.
After the second time we had sex, I’d seen a side of Xander I’d never experienced before. Sure, I knew he could be funny. He’d joked with me in the short time we’d been friends, and I totally dug his dry sense of humor, but I’d felt as if I had to pull each one of those out of him.
The Xander that I had this morning was something else.  He’d teased in a way he’d never done with me. Hell, he was downright playful. And if it hadn’t been for those shadows I could still see playing in his inky eyes and the way he said discussing his past was out of the question so unflinchingly, I would have thought he was actually happy.
“What’s on your mind, Shortcake?”
At Xander’s question, I pulled myself from my silent contemplation and turned to look at him.
“I miss the bike,” I answered on a pout. It might not have been the honest answer to his question, but it wasn’t a lie.
When we’d left Xander’s earlier, I noticed that the temp outside had taken a serious dive. Instead of leading me to where he’d parked the Harley the night before, he led me to a rustic-looking shed a few yards from the cabin where a big black and chrome truck was parked.
It was nice, relatively new and clean. I’d even go so far as to say the bench seat took my mind into some pretty deep gutters.
But it wasn’t his bike.
“Know you like the bike, baby, and you look sexy as shit in those pants and that jacket, but you’d have frozen to death on the back of it.”
My belly fluttered at his compliment of the outfit I’d painstakingly chosen the night before with him in mind. Good to know it had the intended effect.
He wasn’t wrong about the cold though. As awesome as my faux leather leggings and moto jacket were, they didn’t do a damn thing against the cold.
“Hmm. So what you’re saying is you like me in leather,” I teased.
He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye, and the side of his mouth hooked upward. “I haven’t seen you in much I haven’t liked. But yeah. That leather comes in a close third.”
“After the red dress?”
“After the red dress,” he confirmed.
Curiosity got the best of me, and I couldn’t help but ask, “So what came in at number one?”
He didn’t hesitate. “Those ripped jeans with the fishnets underneath and that cropped black top you wore to The Tap Room a while back.”
Seriously?” I turned to face him full-on. “That’s nowhere close to the best I’ve got! You’ve seen me in way hotter outfits. Hell, half of what I wear to work is better.” Then something hit me. “Wait—how did you even see me in that?”
“Was walkin’ by the bar, saw you dancin’ through the window,” he answered. “And I didn’t say it was the hottest, babe. Yes, most of what you wear to work has me walkin’ around with a hard-on I can’t get rid of, but that one was still my favorite, ’cause it was you.”
My lips parted and I suddenly found it difficult to breathe as I whispered, “It was me?”
“Yeah,” he replied casually, keeping his eyes on the road, so he couldn’t have seen how big an impact his statement was having on me right then. “From the hair to those boots, it was all you.”
Oh shitDo not cry, Sage, I mentally scolded. I’d spent three years with a man who did everything in his power to change me. He took who I was and twisted and molded until I became something completely different, and I’d let him.
But with one simple comment, the man beside me not only showed he knew the realme, but that he liked it. He couldn’t possibly know, but having him say that meant absolutely everything.
OOTD teaser 3.jpg

Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars

Oh my goodness! I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning because I had to finish this book. I read it in a single day. And by the time I finally went to sleep, my heart had been stomped upon and my eyes were red and puffy from crying. I hate to say it, only because I’d really been rooting for Cord and Rory, but I think Xander and Sage are my favorite Hope Valley couple yet!

Xander is the alphaest of alpha males. He’s a big, burly, surly, beast of a man. The jabs that he and Sage exchange from the get-go are freakin hilarious. Paul Bunyan and Shortcake had me in stitches with their hatefest. And you know when a couple bickers like that, it’s going to be amazing when they finally give in.

Surprisingly, as much as I laughed while reading this book, was full-blown sobbing at parts, too. Because underneath that big, burly, surly, beast is a man so broken and haunted by the demons of his past that he lives in a self-inflicted world of misery. And when he lets his darkness come between him and Sage, I was a mess. Like with the other books in this series, there’s an incident where Sage is in danger and Xander gets to play knight in black leather armor. And it’s perfect and beautiful and made me cry all over again.

Jessica Prince has done an amazing job with every single book in this series. While they are all standalones, I love how interconnected and intertwined and close this group of friends are, and the support they give one another. And though Sage is a newcomer to Hope Valley, she’s welcomed to the group as one of their own.

I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.

Visit Hope Valley
a series of interconnected, standalone romances


Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Out of My League
Amazon US | Amazon Universal

Come Back Home Again
Amazon US | Amazon Universal

The Best of Me
Amazon US | Amazon Universal

Wrong Side of the Tracks
Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide

Stay With Me
Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide

Out of the Darkness
Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide

Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.
Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.
In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.
Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.
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