I was intrigued to find out that Susan Johnson was writing as C.C. Gibbs as a different penname, for a brand new erotic trilogy which is similar to EL James' FSOG and Sylvia Day's Crossfire series. She was one of my favourite historical romance writers who had the steam factor as well in-depth historical details (I mean you can't go wrong with historical footnotes which was just amazeballs for the history buff in me).
Although her recent releases in the past few years were pretty mehish and didn't have that old magic. I also missed her historical notes which were always a highlight because it reminded me of old skool romances but with more steamy romance which was a fantastic combination and made the genre come alive.
The Knight Trilogy, which follows the trope of the dominant alpha controlling billionaire and the young ingenue heroine formula which I find pretty cracklicious but this was a bit of a hit and miss. Dominic Knight is a successful billionaire, who is intrigued with his new forensic accountant who is helping to track Twenty Million Dollars which has been embezzled by one of his companies that has links with the mafia. Sparks fly between them although its not all smooth sailing with lots of tooing and froing but their instant attraction is dynamite and is something they they cant control or tame.
Ironically it was when the narrative focused on Dominic and when he became an alphahole with the emphasis on the hole which didn't work for me. Although there was classic Johnson, with the banter, the love scenes and characterisation which I really enjoyed because I felt this was missing in her recent books and it was good to see some of that old magic.
Nonetheless there were issues, such as the headhopping which would switch POVs with no breaks in chapters, and sometimes I felt the forced angst and the conflict which didn't feel realistic and almost schizophrenic in pace. If this was expanded upon with real time and focus on those scenes, it would feel much more coherent.
But I was drawn into the story and towards the end it definitely felt more cohesive and unlike other books with a similar premise, I was not left bored or feeling meh or pissed off with the characters. And I am definitely engaged and hooked to read the next book in the series as well as awaiting for the final book in the trilogy!
Note: Susan Johnson has also reissued her classic historical romances under CC Gibbs in the UK but be aware they are titled under different titles, so read the blurbs closely if you have her Braddock/Russian series.