ARC Review: Fight or Flight by Natalie J. Damschroder

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Tyler Sloane
Heroine: Chelsea Conrad/Regan Miller
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 28, 2011
Started On: March 27, 2011
Finished On: March 27, 2011

Natalie J. Damschroder is a new author for me. Having never heard of her before didn’t stop me from requesting for an ARC of this title on Netgalley, which is to be released on the 28th of this month from Carina Press. The cover was what drew me to the story at first and then the blurb gave the impression that this could be my kind of story. And from the very first chapter itself, Fight or Flight reeled me in and kept me captivated, turning the pages to reach its conclusion, to see how Regan and Sloan fare in the end.

37 year old Regan Miller is a woman who has been on the run, who has continually looked over her shoulder for any danger that may come for the past 19 years. Regan had lost her parents in a home invasion when she had been 12 years old and had become a victim of the foster care system from which she had escaped with the help of an excellent social worker who opened up the opportunity for her to enroll in an elite boarding school in California where she meets Scott Harrison the father of her daughter Kelsey. The news of Regan’s pregnancy had brought immense joy to Scott which had been short lived as Scott ends up giving up his life to save that of his pregnant girlfriend and to warn her to run for her life.

Regan is a woman who would do anything to keep her daughter safe, even if it means working hard at creating a facade of normalcy in their lives. Kelsea had grown up thinking that her mother suffers from psychological problems at worst, living life constantly at the edge waiting for a danger that had never materialized.

But the minute Regan lets her guard down enough to invite even a semblance of normalcy into her life, the danger that she has been waiting for explodes into her life without a care for the wake of destruction and chaos it leaves behind. 18 years of training and words of advice Regan has given kicks in when Kelsey receives the call that brings life as she knows it tumbling down right in front of her.

And thus begins a race against unknown enemies who are willing to cross anything or anyone that stands between them and Kelsey. It is Regan’s sexy next door neighbor of 2 years Tyler Sloane that steps into help at the most unexpected hour, someone who seems to know more about them than he lets on, earning Regan’s continued distrust as danger continues to greet them at every turn. However, even a lifetime habit of being wary around people doesn’t stop Regan from responding to the heat that flares between her and Tyler every time, a fire that burns out of control long before Tyler gains Regan’s full trust.

With surprising twists towards the end, Fight or Flight is a novel that lives up to its very well deserved title. Regan’s race to keep her daughter safe at all costs is one that requires her to be vigilant at all times, ready to fight dirty or to flee and get the hell out when the moment calls for it. The adventure of the nail-biting variety is non-stop which is complemented by the very well done and explosive scenes of passion between Tyler and Regan whose feelings blossom amidst all the chaos that reigns.

I enjoyed my first novel by Natalie immensely which features a kick-ass heroine who would lay down her very life for the daughter she loves. Tyler is a bit of a mystery throughout the story until towards the end when everything about him comes to light. Even then, the story is not told from his point of view at any stage in the story, but his feelings are well portrayed by other means which makes his feelings towards Regan seem more real.

My only peeve with the story is the lack of a proper ending; for me the way the story concluded seemed a  bit rushed. I would have loved to see Regan’s life with Tyler afterwards, a completely different Regan from the woman she has been forced to be for the past 18 years of her life.

I finish off my review with a quote from the story, the scene where Tyler tries to confess his feelings towards a Regan who is not at all ready to hear what he has got to say – lending the moments that follow a more emotional wrangling quality which would have not been possible if otherwise.

It was low, almost pleading. The curtain moved slightly. Regan pulled away from the wall and slid it sideways enough to see his face, and the pain and hope there almost undid her.
“Tyler,” she whispered, and then there was no space to say more. He caught her against him, his towel falling to the floor, his mouth capturing hers in a desperate, plunging kiss. One hand braced on the back of her neck and the other just above her hips, he stepped over the edge of the tub and crowded her against the wall.
Regan fell. Not physically, because she held him as tightly as he held her, and neither one was letting go. But she fell just the same, into a swirling maelstrom of desire and fear and need.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Carina Press

Rating from the sunny side of life: ★★★★½ 

Caliber Seal: AMAZING READ!

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