Title: A Penny’s Worth
Author: Cynthia Austin
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Sara Conrad just about had it all, wealth, beauty, a prominent place in Las Vegas society as the owner of a popular nightclub, and a reputation that was second to none.
There was only one thing Sara failed to possess...
That’s because it was dominated by a despicable sociopath, her husband, Ezra Silverstein, who rarely let Sara out of his sight and manipulated her every move.
Out of desperation, Sara turned to a bodyguard at her club, Max Tobias, for sanity and salvation. Before long they are on the verge of a torrid affair that threatens not only to engulf them personally but their very lives, as well.
When Silverstein catches wind of Sara and Max's relationship, he is determined to make them pay for their betrayal. He makes it his mission to inflict a blood thirsty punishment on his beloved Sara and her romantic rescuer.
As events reach their dramatic climax, Sara is stunned to discover Max is not really a bodyguard at all. This revelation turns her entire world upside down leaving her vulnerable and unable to trust anyone, especially the man to whom she had given her heart.
Riveting. Unpredictable. Page turning.
The story of a good woman trying to survive in Sin City where Satan himself has set up camp in her own marriage, and the only man she had truly loved turned out to be a virtual stranger.
God help her.
“He had set all the players nicely on the board, but perhaps he chose to place the wrong protector next to his Queen. The bishop has been a betrayer.”
Sara is married to Ezra, a vicious, devious bastard and he loves nothing better than to elicit pain in creative ways to those around him, especially his wife. Sara, frightened beyond belief, turns to her bodyguard, Max, for help. Their affair, while hot, threatens to expose their betrayal to Ezra. Sara is caught between her sadistic husband and her protector who is hiding secrets of his own. When Ezra vows revenge, Sara doesn’t know where to turn and is left to fend for herself. Will she survive and if so, is her life worth more than a penny?
I liked A Penny’s Worth for its damaged characters, intense drama, accurate portrayal of an abusive husband, suspenseful plot and romance. Yes romance. While the genre is romantic suspense, I would categorize it more as dark mafia romance. The grittiness of what it means to be a part of an organized crime family is the backbone of this book. Every decision Ezra, Sara and even Max make revolve around this theme.
Yes, it is a classic love triangle but Austin puts an intriguing new spin on the trope that I found refreshing. Sara is, quite surprisingly, a strong woman and in the end, her choices are a part of who she becomes. Ezra is a controlling SOB but he loves Sara in his own way. Max loves Sara, too, but his love is fraught with secrets (no spoilers here).
I found the drama a little too much to take at times. It felt like it was a soap opera (think Dynasty from back in the day) and while some drama is good, it was a little over the top.
If you’re looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, not knowing what will happen next, read this book! There’s definitely some twists I didn’t see coming.
My Rating: 4 stars
Buy it now: (Free on Amazon for limited time!)
Cynthia Austin lives in Northern California with her husband, two boys, and Olde English Bulldogge named Count Dogula. They love all things horror, gothic, and Victorian which prompts her friends to dub them as “The Adams Family.” She is an avid reader who may be slightly obsessed with music. She hears music in a way that she believes the artist intended it to be heard: visually, with a storyline that follows. Listening to the songs by her favorite artists, she was inspired to write her first series titled “The Pendant.” Cynthia has been published twice in The Writer’s Monthly Magazine as well as the online news site, Yahoo! Voices. She currently attends Diablo Valley College, in Pleasant Hill, California, where she is working to achieve her degree in English.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N