Oh what a pleasant surprise when I picked up this sequel to ‘A Chip in His Shoulder’ and found that it switched to Daniel’s point of view after getting Liam’s in the first one. I started in with anticipation because I knew things were going to get ‘off the hook’ exciting and they did.
Daniel and Liam escaped with their lives in the first book after Daniel’s dad set them up to get killed so he could suppress the truth. Harding was a real piece of work, but in this sequel he proves that his heart can be even blacker than I thought possible. Getting out alive was just the beginning. Now Daniel and Liam have to return, avoid capture or killing and bring down his dad if they want to save countless others from dying to promote his dad’s greedy scheme and remain alive.
They plot out a coarse that will steal the mods needed as evidence against Harding’s schemes and take them to the vampires. To offer irrefutable proof, Liam must take an uncertain mod that is supposed to allow the vamps to be able to be exposed to sunlight into his body to show it works and that it has been hidden to keep the research and development funds flowing in to Harding’s coffers. Daniel is keeping a big secret from Liam that blows up in his face and might cost him everything. Things spiral out of control from there and both men find they must make sacrifices to even have a chance at success in the end and a chance of being together with no guarantees.
This was almost non-stop thriller action stuff that kept me on the edge of my seat much of the time. The author has a gift for blending the action with that something more that gave it depth and drew an emotional response from me. With deft handling the relationship between Liam and Daniel is not a distraction so much as a chance to reassure themselves of why they’re taking the chances they do and to give hope when all feels hopeless. Good relationships do that- strengthen and fortify as well as reassure and comfort. It was a nice touch to see this happening.
I also thought the part where Daniel was confronted with his previous anti-mod ideology was interesting. He had to make a decision that was either against his set beliefs or something that showed him that he had to modify his beliefs when brought face to face with the reality of the argument. Liam was always telling him that its one thing to believe something while sitting up in your ivory tower, but down in the Gutter all that changes fast.
The only thing I would change in the stories if I could is that I would want more of an explanation about the vampires. There are a few lines in the story that hint that their existence is due to modifications to a human body, but I still felt like I needed more explanation. Not a big deal, but just something that remained a curiosity for me when it came to the world building of the two books.
In the end, it was an exciting read that I can recommend to a wide range of readers and not just those who enjoy futuristic or paranormal m/m romance, but to those particularly.
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