Dana Mason's Dangerous Embrace

I have to admit it: when I first held Dana Mason’s debut novel, Dangerous Embrace, in my hands I was afraid to open its perfect-for-this-book cover. What if I hated it?

Dana is a good friend, even though we’ve never met in person. Sitting for hours staring at a computer screen and creating another reality out of the voices in our heads makes us – well, crazy. And non-writers don’t always get it. So when we writerly types meet people who understand us, we hang on to them for dear life.

Dana and I met in an on-line writing class about four years ago. She was working on what would become Dangerous Embrace; I was working on what would become Just Desserts: Greed. Lust. Death. Tiramisu. When I did National Novel Writing Month for the first time in 2009, I had Reba, one of my characters, engrossed in reading Dangerous Embrace.

But I’m me, not Reba. I generally don’t read romance novels. I’d read excerpts of Dangerous Embrace, but that’s not the same as reading the entire book. What if I hated it? Would I be able to tell Dana or write an honest review? What if I loved it? Would anyone believe a rave review from a friend?

I finally opened the book and started reading. Within two pages, I was hooked. Dana started the action right away, and never let up. Not once. Sometimes it was emotionally exhausting to read, but the main character’s psychological turmoil was what made the book so compelling for me.

Sarah was a complex character who seemed believable in her struggles and contradictions. I didn’t like or understand her at first, but as I learned more about her life and history, she became a much more sympathetic character. Mark was almost too good to be believable, but I’m glad he was there for Sarah!

Dangerous Embrace dug deep into the realities of physical and psychological assault and its impact on victims and the people who care about them. The descriptions were gritty and not for the faint of heart. The action and tension were unrelenting, the characters were complicated and interesting, there was some steamy sizzle, and the ending was satisfying.

Sheesh, what more could you ask for?

A follow-up, of course. Dana sowed the seeds for her next novel by introducing us to Ali and Johnny Rhay in Dangerous Embrace and showing us the hint of a spark between them. I can’t wait to read more!

Dangerous Embrace is a terrific, fast-paced read. Believe me.

3 comments to Dana Mason’s Dangerous Embrace

  • Aw, Nancy! I’m sooooo glad and sooooo relieved you liked it! It’s stressful knowing your friends are reading your book . . . and not knowing if they’re going to hate it or love it. Especially when it’s someone who doesn’t read the genre.
    The funny thing is, I thought people were going to think it was boring. All of the reviews have said the opposite. You’re not the first person to hint at it being emotionally exhausting.
    A huge part of the editing process was working with Sarah and making her more ‘likeable’, and that wasn’t easy. I just kept thinking, if this was me, I’d be a complete bitch by now. 🙂 Fitting her into the image my editors had for her and still keeping my own idea for her was hard. Considering what she goes through, I wanted to make her emotions as real as possible, and that meant making her unlikeable at times. In the end, she was a compromise.
    I agree that Mark was too perfect, but nobody else thought so, and so I left him alone(and you’re not the first person to say that either). I’ve learned a few things with this novel, but mostly I learned not to doubt my instincts.
    Thank you so much for the fantastic review! I’m thrilled that you like it. 🙂

  • […] I’m excited to share the cover and some information about Dana Mason‘s upcoming book, Precious Embrace, to be released July 11. This is the second book in her Embrace series. I wrote a little bit about Dana and Dangerous Embrace, the first book in the series, here. […]

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