Review: “The Alias and the Altar” by Lena Hendrix

Series: Redemption Ranch #2

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: June 17th, 2022

Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)

CW: substance abuse, child neglect (not on page), and discussions of violence and an attempted rape (on page)

The moment I kissed my wife, I knew I was in trouble.

A stoic, dangerous man with ties to the Mafia has no business keeping a gorgeous ray of sunshine like her, but she was scared and I was desperate.

On the run, we land at a secluded ranch designed to protect federal witnesses. As long as everyone believes we’re married, she won’t have to testify against me for killing the man who put his hands on her.

But the longer we pretend, the lines between fact and fiction begin to blur. My eyes linger a second too long. My hands soften on her skin. My kiss, a little too demanding.

Before I can help it, our pretending extends behind closed doors and our relationship begins to feel very, very real.

My plan is to hide out until I know she’s safe. Set her up for life and disappear, but I’m drawn to the way she breathes life into me without even trying. A better man would walk away.

But I never claimed to be a better man.

 

After reading The Badge and the Bad Boy, I was really excited to see what else Lena Hendrix had in store for us in terms of Redemption Ranch. Especially since we met Parker and Sienna briefly in the first book. And seeing whatever we did had me really intrigued!

The Alias and the Altar is a strangers to lovers, marriage of convenience, forced proximity, romantic suspense that has a lot of the tension and stress we witnessed in book one. Sienna and Parker are running from the Family, finding refuge at the ranch where Parker tracked his younger brother down. It took me a while to really get comfortable with these characters, but that might just be a ‘me’ problem and not something that other readers will face. I did like them once I got to know them a little more and that really helped me enjoy them as the book progressed.

“Our marriage may be fake, but the way her body reacted to mine was very, very real. Addicting.”

I’m also a sucker for strangers to lovers and that’s exactly what Parker and Sienna are. The decision to get married to protect themselves really upsets the balance of their current relationship and I loved how being put into that position really makes the two of them question everything about themselves and about their lives. It puts a lot into perspective and I enjoyed that. Another thing that I really enjoyed about their relationship was how neither of them know each other very well, but slowly things start to fall into place for them as a couple. And as two people who are starting to get to know each other. Watching them fall in lust, then love was a wonderful experience. Sienna’s been through a lot, but instead of letting the past dictate how she’s going forward, she just powers on. While Parker is a harder character to read, because he believes that it’s his job to protect everyone, even if they don’t want it.

This book also has all of the vibes of grumpy x sunshine, because Parker is the embodiment of a grump while Sienna is a true ray of sunshine. Sienna helps unravel Parker slowly, getting him to open up and be honest with her. I enjoyed watching that part of their relationship develop. Their relationship definitely helped Parker connect with his siblings, and that was something that I was really looking forward to after we first see them all interact. Seeing Parker, Evan and Gemma slowly get to know each other and open up was really a treat and I liked that they all ended up working together to solve the mystery on the ranch.

“I could live a thousand lifetimes and never find anyone as beautiful and full of light as you.”

Because it’s a Lena Hendrix book, you know you’re in for a hot hot ride. Their relationship is a very tension filled attraction, it’s passion and desire, lust and need. They take their time connecting and once they do, it becomes so explosive. There’s this one scene with a vibrator and let me just say…holy smokes. I might have read that twice, because wow. But more than that, the connection they build and the emotions that are at an all time high are what really makes their sexual connection so spicy.

The suspense was interesting and while I predicted the end, I was still quite surprised by how it all played out. And I’m loving the world that Lena has built with Redemption Ranch and all of these characters. Now, do I get some Gemma and Josh (because that sounds like it could be fun) or will Scotty finally do something about his feelings for Gemma?! We’ll have to wait to find out.

Thanks to Lena Hendrix for the advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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