I enjoyed the first novel in this series but with a couple of reservations about communication between the leads, Kaz and Jake. Then getting into this book, Jake’s brother Ben is thinking about the mistakes Jake and Kaz made in not being open with each other, not telling each other what they were concerned about, and how it led to danger for them. So I guess my reservations were unfounded, and it was part of the set up for this story 🙂 Sorry Kate, I understand now.
We met Ben at the end of the last book, and he’s such a haunted character. Been running from himself and what he did for the last twenty years, from his guilt at letting Jake down, from his horror at being responsible for the deaths of a mother and son. He joined the Army as soon as the police let him go, before the trial, assuming that because of his age Jake would get off lightly..now he’s horrified to hear what happened, to find out how Jake was abandoned by his parents. Luckily he’s has one stalwart supporter though it all, their childhood friend Marcus ( and I’m hoping he and Mandy are the subjects of book three!)
Ben wants to get to know Jake, is back in the US to finish his service with only a few months left, and gets taken in by the girls, Kaz, Lola and her sister Mandy. They are so warm and openhearted, didn’t have the greatest family lives themselves and have created their own little trio, which recently has widened to include Jake and Marcus and now Ben, and brings in others when they feel they need the support. They just seem to welcome everyone with open arms ( and platefuls of much appreciated home cooking) and its really lovely to read. I’d love friends like that, to be like that.
As soon as Ben sees Lola something stirs for both of them, an attraction that just can’t be ignored and its not long before they’re headlong in a sexy, sensual, steamy romance. Neither has ever felt like this before, but go along with it, trusting in their feelings. There’s some very erotic and heated encounters, much as there was between Kaz and Jake….well written scenes, not the over done, dull, repetitive ones I’ve complained about in other novels recently. It takes more than endless pages of dirty phrases and sex at every possible moment to make a good and sensual book. Sadly I’ve had a clutch of the other sort over the last couple of weeks, not all review books thankfully, some free, some KU so I’ve been able to just delete them. Its great then to get back to an author who knows that it takes more to write a good sex scene, and works to keep the balance of sex and story correct.
Ben’s been serving in some tough areas, and doesn’t realise it but the danger didn’t stay abroad, but has followed him back bringing the girls, Marc and Jake into danger too. It’s well written and kept me guessing who and what was behind it, didn’t get it right but that’s part of the fun, seeing how things tie up together, what I missed in trying to work it out. Of course bringing danger to them all gives Ben even more guilt but Lola, clever and sound thinking Lola, persuades him its not his fault, that its the perpetrators who are to blame. He needs that reassurance, he’s found something to live for in her and Jake, but at times over the past years the guilt has been such that he courted the danger, uncaring of if he died…suicidal thoughts have plagued him too. Lola wants to keep him away from that mind-set.
The story and dangers gather speed, bringing in more people, local cops, FBI, those behind the danger, and ends in another climatic but realistic finale. A great read and well worth the five for me.
Stars: Five, can be read as a standalone but would be better to read the first book to get the full story.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers