The desire to be free no matter the hardship it may entail. Revenge might cause more pain in the end, but that doesn’t stop either one from giving up on what they want most. Danger around each tree, these two have a battle against society and their communities to come together. HEA? Not sure in a post-apcalyptic dystopian society HEA is ever possible.
The world was pretty much destroyed by war and now the residents of the world must try to rebuild a life from the ruins. Parts of the US are under water, some arid, while others harbor a new regime of power that is heavy handed and no option for escape. Hudson Lane was born a part of the ruling class. While still not the greatest life it is well above those who live in the city. Medical care is denied to all, but the ruling class. Not even the ruling classes spouse may receive medical care. Escape is the only course Hudson feels she has when faced with the brutal engagement to an Enforcer that she reviles.
Connor leads a ragtag band of outlaws. While he never shirks the yoke of leadership, it is not a job he aspired. Hudson asks for his protection and while Connor thinks it is a bad idea, his merry band of outlaws quickly change his mind. In the end though, Hudson won’t take him off course from killing the one man who took his wife’s life. Being an outlaw means more than just stealing, it’s a way of life. Sex is common and no shame to be found. Stealing from the Enforcer’s is encouraged. Still, you have to be fearless to survive and Connor only has one wish, possibly a death wish, but a wish to avenge his wife’s murder.
Connor was a wonderfully strong character. He never for once believed Hudson’s story of losing her whole group. Knowing she was part of the society he detests, he sets about testing her with events that bring out more and more of Hudson’s secrets. They go to a whore house where he makes her watch what’s going on, and little by little chips away at what she is hiding. They make a deal to relieve each other’s itches without getting attached as outlaws never stay in one place long.
Hudson goes from naive to survivor very quickly. She was trained to fight, but also to be a nurse so her skills are in much need. She makes herself valuable to the camp by working hard, providing intel and getting it on with Connor. Slowly she worms her way into each man’s life from Connor, Rylan, Kade, Xander and Pike. And Connor doesn’t mind sharing Hudson with Rylan several times. Hudson cares for Rylan, but in the end her heart belongs to Connor even if he told her they can’t have a future.
The climatic elements kept you guessing. Was Hudson’s brother Dominik really going to hand Hudson over to his enemy? Did Dominik really kill Connor’s wife? Why are Enforcers killing outlaws instead of imprisoning them into the hated society? Lots of questions, some answers and others I think will come as the series goes on.
Now we just have to get the other men paired up with some outlaw women and start a whole new society of outlaws! I do have to admit I was about to give up at the 11% mark, but I am so glad I stuck with it as I ended up throughly enjoying the world the author created and the blurred lines of what the characters can cross without it being morally corrupt.