Riordan Darcy has spent the last fourteen years building a name for himself as a notorious assassin. He travels the world taking the lives of some of the worst humanity has to offer, leaving his signature on every victim.
Riordan becomes unhappy and withdrawn from the world after a job goes horribly wrong and he makes the decision to get out of the life he was forced into, so long ago. When his meddling, older sister gives him a birthday gift that’s impossible to refuse, his plans to leave his life of crime take a backseat when he’s forced to protect the life of a veritable stranger.
When professional hugger and TLC provider, Teddy Harris, is offered a month-long companionship contract, he’s hard pressed to turn it down. Cuddler by day and a video game reviewer by night, Teddy’s need to make people feel loved and cared for is what drives him. When he meets Riordan Darcy, professional challenge and personal temptation collide, making it nearly impossible for him to endure a whole month with the gorgeous, enigmatic man without falling head over heels in love.
When a mole is discovered within Riordan’s organization, relationships are compromised, and people’s lives are in danger. Time isn’t on their side, and they discover answers can’t always be found by hugging it out when someone is hell-bent on eliminating each and every one of them. Can Riordan and Teddy survive long enough to fall in love, or will they die trying?
Riordan Darcy finds himself disheartened in his role as an assassin after a job goes wrong and his family is worried. Teddy Harris, prefessional hugger and TLC provider, found his calling giving the kind of care to others that he found in his grandmother's arms growing up and he loves every minute of it. When Riordan's sister hires Teddy for one month, she had no idea what she was starting. Can these two polar opposites find happiness in each other's worlds or will love and comfort fail to conquer all?
First off I have to admit that when the author told us what Teddy's profession was, I chuckled and thought "okay that's a bit out there". Now, I know how hugging can change your whole demeanor, how your day can be fulfilled or lacking. Having set too many times by my mother's hospital bed as she was hooked up to a respirator and had to return to my lonely hotel room without a goodnight hug left many a day incomplete. So I more than understood the needs and services that Teddy would be providing, I just did not know it was a profession. So as the saying goes, "you're never too old to learn new tricks".
So on to Hug it Out. Last fall I fell in love with Davidson King's writing, no that's not accurate enough because what she does is more than writing. Davidson King is a storyteller. Some might think that writers and storytellers are the same thing, I don't see it that way. A writer tells a story but a storyteller creates a world that sucks you in, holds you there, and won't let go. A storyteller creates a world you want to exist in, people you want to know, communities you want to see unfold outside your living room window. Haven Hart may be a city that Miss King created but she does it in a way that it could be anywhere on the map.
All authors start somewhere but when their debut novel is as amazing as Snow Falling was, one wonders will their follow-up be The Empire Strikes Back caliber or go the way of Speed 2? I can safely and honestly say that Hug it Out is a TESB-quality sequel. Did Teddy and Riordan touch my heart as much as Snow and Chris? Probably not but I wouldn't want to place a bet on the difference. I won't touch on the plot because as you know I don't do spoilers but let me just say that their story is a humdinger that had me hating such insignificant chores such as eating and sleeping. I couldn't put it down but when I reached the last page, I kicked myself for not reading it slower to savor the awesomeness.
Some might say I haven't actually said much about the book or the characters and maybe that's true with the whole no spoiler rule I live by. I will add that even though the characters, main and secondary, might not be people we would meet at the store or pumping gas, I still connected with their pain, tension, and the overall emotions they feel throughout. Which only goes to strengthen my belief that Davidson King is more than just a writer as I said above. A true gem that I am already looking forward to re-reading for years to come.
One final thing, for those who are wondering if you need to read Snow Falling first, its my personal preference to say yes but Hug it Out is a standalone in the Haven Hart Universe. We see Snow and Chris from book one a few times and though it is not necessary to know their journey to understand Teddy and Riordan, I think it flows better if you read book one first but no, it is not a must.
Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.
When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.
If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.
Hug it Out #2