Buddy Read Chat Review w/Berls ~ Mine to Keep ~ Cynthia Eden @BerlsS

Posted 19 February, 2020 by Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 3 Comments

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Buddy Read Chat Review w/Berls ~ Mine to Keep ~ Cynthia Eden @BerlsSMine to Keep by Cynthia Eden
Series: Mine #2
Published by CreateSpace on September 16, 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 280
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Purchase
4 Stars

Love is the most dangerous obsession…

Skye Sullivan is trying to put the pieces of her life back together. She survived a brutal stalker and escaped his abduction, and now she is looking to the future—a future that includes Skye’s lover, billionaire Trace Weston. Skye thinks the danger is finally over for her.

She’s dead wrong.

When Trace’s past comes back to haunt him, Skye discovers that the man she loves isn’t quite who he seems to be. Trace has been leading a double-life. An ex-special forces agent, his military training turned him into the perfect killing machine. He made more than his share of enemies during his time in the military—and as he built his security empire—and one of those enemies is striking back.

He won’t lose her.

Skye is the one weapon that can be used against Trace—his only vulnerability. But he won’t let her go—he can’t. Trace will do anything necessary to protect Skye. Anything. Yet when she discovers the secrets that he’s tried to keep hidden, Skye’s pain and rage may send her running directly into the cross-hairs of a killer…

Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Mine to Keep started off a little more slowly than its predecessor but it didn’t take too long to draw me in. Once I was hooked I was flying through the pages while biting my nails. CEden impressed me with her suspense in the first installment but she amped up the tension in this one. And she kept me in the dark the entire time!

I so agree! I think that the tension in Mine to Take was that you were constantly misdirected on the culprit. In Mine to Keep, the tension was that I was clueless! I knew who it COULDN’T be and was pretty confident that they were wrong on a couple of their suspects. But I never felt confident about anyone as a culprit. The one time I got close, she thew me off the scent thoroughly. 


I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t immediately drawn into Mine to Keep like I was with Mine to Take but once the suspense element was introduced, I was a goner. Were you hooked once Ben was introduced or did it take a little while longer?

I think it took a while to get hooked because it started with the romance and that was already well established in Mine to Take, so there was nothing about it that was really fresh. It took me a bit to get really hooked. I think once the first person showed up dead, I got hooked. So not long after Ben was introduced. 


Ben was the first clue at just how many secrets Trace was keeping from Skye. You and I messaged about our irritation over the secrets and his reasons for them. It was frustrating that he didn’t reveal all because it meant he lacked a certain amount of trust in Skye and their relationship. Once he came clean, we both were a little let down by the admissions and more irritated that he’d kept secrets for so long. Do you think CEden had specific intentions with this part of the plot? I mean, by the end I was no longer annoyed. I think I was relieved that Trace had finally seen in Skye what she already knew – and maybe we did too?

I was wondering about that too. I’ve read books where secret keeping is the only plot device and I find those so infuriating. CEden is better than that, I think and wasn’t using it as a plot device, so much as an exercise in character development. It wasn’t the secrets that mattered (because as we both noted, they weren’t all that earth shattering), but that he felt the need to keep the secrets. I think it told us a lot about him as a person. His inability to trust Skye initially was about his opinion of himself and of her and their relationship. He had to learn to trust her, not see himself as so awful or see her as so innocent and pure. Once he got there, he could trust their relationship. That’s what I think, at least. And when I look at it that way… I think it’s actually a pretty powerful way of showing character growth.  


CEden didn’t shy away from gritty and realistic violence here. It was more raw than in the previous book and I felt it added depth to this story. We were also, once again. privy to the thoughts of the villain. But I have to admit that I never had a lock on a suspect. When reveal time came, I had a “holy shit!” moment so I wasn’t surprised when you did as well. The mystery and suspense was even better done in Mine to Keep, in my opinion. How did you feel about the violence and how it was used? And the suspense?

You’re so right, it was so grisly! Now that I know who did it, I think that might be part of the reason why and actually could have been one of our clues to figuring out who did it, if we were paying attention… I don’t want to reveal anything for everyone else who hasn’t read the book so I won’t say more. The suspense was different, but brilliant. Rather than being anxious about who did it (because I didn’t have a clue), I was anxious about who would die and who would survive. And were they trusting someone that would try to kill them? I was on pins and needles the whole last 25% at least. 


The romance was again not the main focus of the story. Maybe even more so that in #1? I like that it’s not central even though it’s important. Especially in this installment since Skye’s need for Trace to share was integral to their relationship and the story. How do you feel about the romance element? And then there’s that sex scene. You know the one. 😉 It was HOT! But I like that the sex is kept to a minimum because it makes the story more “meaty.” What is your opinion?

So I think it was more the focus than the other one actually – in that it was about stabilizing their relationship. Either Trace would get over himself and they would make it, or this would be what broke them for good. And Skye showed herself to be all in, in ways she didn’t have the opportunity before. But yeah, I think it’s good that the relationship is secondary, because it could really drag down the suspense if we stopped to much for sex lol! But holy hell, when she took us there SHE TOOK US THERE. I think that might be one of my top ten sex scenes ever. So hot! Definitely memorable.


I quite enjoyed the setup for Noah and Claire. It’s not going to be easy between them considering their pasts. I can’t wait to see where CEden takes them though. How did you feel about their roles in this story?

It wasn’t long into it that I was thinking, oh we’ve got to have a book with Noah. And then when you saw the spark of interest between him and Claire, I was excited. I think I like Claire better than I like Skye, so far. Not fair, since I don’t know her that well, but what I’ve seen I love. She’s got so much spunk. I love the scene where she and Noah meet for the first time. It was suspenseful, because wasn’t sure if I could trust everyone. But it also showed me that I love her so much. I like that she’s vulnerable and tough all in one package.  


Okay, the reveal. I’ve already said it was a “holy shit” moment for us both. I have to give CEden props for keeping me guessing because she’d totally led me down the wrong trail…AGAIN. It’s not just me, right? She’s really good at this suspense thing, right? LOL

LOL she’s so good at it! And, until now, I thought of her primarily as a romance author, and yet that’s been so secondary in these books. 

I have one rule with suspense. If you’re going to make me say “holy shit”, I want to be able to go back and see where you dropped hints so I could have figured it out if I’d been paying attention. To me, that means they did a great job of misdirection. And yeah, I so could have figured it out if I were a super sleuth. So mad props to CEden!  I look forward to reading more! 


Stay tuned for future buddy read chat reviews as Berls and I continue CEden’s Mine series. 😀

Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Brandee is a mom of 3 and a soon-to-be empty nester. She is also an avid reader, a genre omnivore, and a compulsive one-clicker - but she's in recovery. Besides being a reader, she's also a writer and hopes to divide the vast quantities of spare time she'll soon have between reading and finally publishing her first book.

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3 responses to “Buddy Read Chat Review w/Berls ~ Mine to Keep ~ Cynthia Eden @BerlsS

  1. Sophia Rose

    Sorry it was a slow start for you, Brandee, but yay for it coming on strong after the suspense element kicked it. Looks like you gals had a good time and it was a good twisty one.

  2. ailynk

    i do like those bomb drops, so much so I am willing to tolerate a slow start as long as it does not have a fast finish XD

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