Knockout by Sarah MacLean
Hell’s Belles #3
August 22, 2023- Avon
Review by Angela
Y’all, when I tell you that this book was one of my most anticipated of the year and I was ANXIOUSLY awaiting its arrival on my Kindle, what I really mean is I NEEDED ME SOME IMOGEN AND TOMMY SO, SO BADLY.
Imogen Loveless is the explosives expert of the Hell’s Belles, you’ll have met her in the first two books in the series. She’s the sister of an Earl, a genius, and her penchant for things that go boom has thoroughly vexed Detective Thomas Peck. She seems to show up wherever there is trouble and he can’t get her out of his thoughts. Thomas Peck has managed to raise himself from the streets of London to a well-respected detective with Scotland Yard. He’s orderly, composed, and follows the law. His association with the Hell’s Belles has led to a few high-profile arrests and now his investigation into a series of building explosions seems to coincide with their interests. He’s determined to find out what they know, how they know it, and to keep Imogen safe.
This book was so much fun. So exciting. So sexy. So damn romantic. Pretty much everything I was hoping Tommy and Imogen’s book would be. Imogen is just as smart and fearless as I expected. But oh wow, my sweet, bearded Tommy. He may start out staid and orderly, but his passionate unraveling begins the moment he carries Imogen out of the rubble of the first building. In fact, this book should be titled The Passionate Unraveling of Tommy Peck. He becomes her self-proclaimed protector and guard. He rescues her numerous times, he can’t help but be near her; it’s like she’s the sun he is just a big, gorgeous man pulled in by her brilliance. They are opposite in every way, and he knows whatever they have won’t be long-term, but he’ll indulge in her presence until it’s time to give her up.
There is quite a lot going on plotwise, as you can imagine. Associates of the Belles are being targeted and they’ve narrowed down a list of the men responsible. They just need to find out who is being hired to set the explosions. They have their suspicions, but that means as much as Imogen wants to trust Tommy, the truth might be something he won’t want to believe.
This is one of those books that you won’t be able to put down until you’ve read the last word. I was not only caught up in the progression of the main characters’ relationship, but the mystery as well. The pacing keeps readers engaged, even in the quieter moments, when this couple is learning about each other and giving in to their amazing chemistry, I knew that it wouldn’t be for long before they would be running from assailants, dodging speeding coaches, and pulling each other out of burning buildings. The sex scenes are hot, hot, hot, which I expected, but also quite tender. Two people from different worlds are drawn together and find safe spaces and understanding in each other’s arms.
All of the Belles and their loves make appearances, as well as at least one couple from a previous book. While the HEA is solid and perfect for this couple, readers will be left with a bit of a cliffhanger for the next book. And I can 100% tell you Duchess’s book is sure to be EPIC. OMG. I don’t know why I didn’t see this trope coming, but I did not and now I am so excited for the next release.