I had the opportunity to read the first book in this series. I was absolutely enthralled from cover to cover by this futuristic dystopian world that the author created as the backdrop for the adventure romance that took place. Totally excited when I was given the opportunity to read the sequel with one of the secondary characters as the heroine. This sequel took more of a romantic suspense tone since most of the story took place while the heroine, Liz, is infiltrating the government to discover stuff about her past and spy for the revolution.
As to the reading order, this book must be read in order. It has a new set of protagonists, but the world building, many of the characters and the main story arc carry over from the first book. Not that the reader would be hopelessly lost, but they would definitely not get as much out of it.
The story picks up with Liz waving good-bye to her old commander and his husband as she returns after two months AWOL to take up her duties as a Lieutenant in the CO military. She suspects that they will be suspicious of her because she was known to be last seen in rebel territory, but the need for intel and her personal need to discover the truth of her father’s death leads her right back into the heart of the enemy where she’ll be under deep cover sidling up to the CEO Cutler’s cold-hearted golden boy, Linc Cutler. Linc’s twin and his mother are part of the rebels and Liz made a promise that she would bring Linc back if she is successful.
As she suspected, Liz comes under scrutiny by her roommate another gal trying to climb into power by kissing CEO Cutler’s butt, but also by Linc himself. First she is kept close to the barracks, but then she is given small assignments. Everywhere she turns, she finds Linc and he does not act indifferent to her as a person even if he has a different face when he’s the Commander. Liz is drawn to Linc as well, but she can’t lose sight of her mission.
Liz leads a double life as she does the work of the Core by day and hunts down information whenever she can. Linc’s desk hides her dad’s journal that shocks her with its contents. His lab produces even more disturbing information. Liz also stumbles across a hidden terrorist cell that she isn’t sure whose side they’re on, but they’re building something ominous in their secret factories to give someone a nasty surprise. Her double life is hard because now she has moved in completely with Linc. She knows him and has fallen for the man behind the role he plays in his dad’s plans, but her lies and her future betrayal stand in the way of anything lasting.
But while Liz is going about her mission, others have their own agendas too. When things come to a head, everyone’s secrets are out on the table and the danger just escalates.
This one has a nice slow to build tension filled plot until about two-thirds and then it blows wide open and the pace and action just leap off the page. Liz is the narrator through the whole book and I loved that because there was no knowing what was going on behind the faces of each of the other characters. Who was friend and who was foe just kept me riveted until all was revealed. Each time Liz snuck around I was on pins and needles to see if she got through it without being caught. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Linc at the same pace as Liz. She is attracted, but there is also the real possibility that he’ll catch on to her lies at anytime. She was totally in bed with the enemy and boy could those two scorch up the sheets. Liz is an awesome heroine. She’s a tough military-trained gal, but she is also vulnerable and caring too. She breaks down a few times when the situation gets bad, but she gets up and keeps going. I was so glad to get her story.
To wrap it up, this was another awesome segment in the series. I took a sneak peek at the next book’s first chapter and saw that it’s Darke’s turn. He wants revenge against CEO Cutler and he is so messed up after the death of his lovers and confused about how he feels about a current lover who has amnesia. Yep, it ought to be good.
I’m recommending this book and series for those who enjoy M/M Dystopian Romance with a strong backdrop, engaging characters, and a really keen plot. This particular story was m/f, but the first was m/m and there are m/m and f/f relationships in them both.
My thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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