BOOK REVIEW ~ ALARM BY SHAY SAVAGE

Chloe’s life is safe and comfortable. Meeting a tall, dark stranger covered in tattoos is not in her plans. Bad boys just aren’t her type, even if they gorgeous and built like a brick wall. The alarms in her head warn that Aiden Hunter is definitely on the list of men her mother told her to avoid, but she doesn’t listen.
Still, she finds herself drawn to Aiden and the excitement she is missing in her own life. He fills her days with thrills and danger, and her nights with passion she’s never experienced before. Even though she knows he’s hiding something from her, Chloe pushes away her concerns and dives into this new way of living.

Near the beach in Miami, Aiden teaches her to live life to the fullest as Chloe battles the internal warning bells that tell her to be wary. By the time she realizes her fears may be justified, it’s too late.
Aiden’s past is catching up to him, but is he the hunter or the hunted?

I really enjoyed this book! As I was desperately in the mood for something lighthearted and on the sweet side, Alarm did the trick. And what really surprised me (but in a good way) was how well done the female POV was considering this author’s past books were in male POV. It’s not to say the story was perfect because truthfully, the heroine’s inner monologue tired me at times and I wasn’t a fan of a few plot events, but overall, this book is a solid standalone romance with a sweet, endearing hero who I absolutely LOVED…so 4 stars it is.
Chloe Ellison is the epitome of safe, predictable, and boring. She never goes out of her comfort zone and though not fully satisfied, is content with the way her life is and has no plans to deviate. On a night out with her friends from work, Chloe barges right into the hero Aiden Turner, and though drunk, immediately brands him as a ‘bad boy’ based off his tattoos and intimidating demeanor. But she doesn’t deny that he thrills her and tempts her to break out of her comfort zone and with an accumulation of events that stress her out, she spontaneously agrees to travel with Aiden for the weekend, just to get away from reality for once. In those days, Aiden teaches her there’s so much more to living than leading a still life and Chloe really starts to challenge herself, attempting things she never would’ve done in the past.
Since the main romance is developed over days, it’s arguably an insta-love case. But once again, I’m finding that this book surprises me in that I was not turned off by Chloe and Aiden’s whirlwind romance. Perhaps it’s the combination of Chloe’s innocence with Aiden’s sensitivity and despite the reality of the time they spent together, their romance felt tender and unrushed, and there were clear signs of relationship development weaved between their adventures.
But the highlight of this story is definitely the sweet hero Aiden. He is such a well-rounded character, at times large and overbearing but also this endearing man who took care of Chloe in the times where she needed him the most. He’s pretty much the classical example of ‘don’t judge a person by appearances’ because underneath his tattoos and bad boy persona, he’s a man who’s suffered through trauma and loss. And on top of which, he’s such a dirty talker! I loved all of his and Chloe’s steamy sex scenes.
Speaking of Chloe, I wasn’t a really big fan of her in the beginning to be honest. Her ‘voice’ can be draining and I did not like how judgmental she was. But there were positives about her character and the first that really stood out to me was how average she was. Nowadays, I’m a little tired of authors celebritizing their heroines to perfection in terms of personality, looks, financial/social standing, etc…so I liked that Chloe had flaws and that she was portrayed as a seemingly normal person. She holds a regular job and just trudges through life day by day, just like any one of us. Thus, it made it really easy for me to relate to her and whenever I didn’t agree with what she did, I put myself in her shoes and projected. Because if it were me in her shoes, I’d have thought and done some of the same things.
The only part that I can really say that fell flat for me was the teensy suspense aspect of the story. While appreciated, that brief portion felt underdeveloped and in my opinion had it been taken out (or developed in more depth) the impact would’ve been greater. Nevertheless it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the overall story much, and because I was in the mood for a sweet and heartwarming romance, this book hit the mark for me.
Alarm is a contemporary romance standalone that is unrelated to this author’s other books. Though there are no indications of any planned companion novels, this book does set up several secondary characters’ backgrounds so I’d be interested in reading more about them.
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.