This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Signet
Released on May 5, 2015
I was tickled with excitement to learn that one of my favorite authors was tackling her first adult contemporary romance. The story is connected to book three of the New Adult Between Breaths series, but is a standalone. There was a second chance romance and a mystery to keep me interested through the story that is distinguished by its setting of a modern tribe, their concerns, and the Nakos family casino.
The story opens with the funeral of Dakota’s father who was killed in a mugging. She feels that her world has gone crazy because her anchor is gone and she, her mother and her brother with his wife must go on all the while suspicious members of the tribe doubt their loyalty and someone wants to force them out of business. If that weren’t enough complications, the man she never got over when he left to pursue his career has returned. He wants to help with the dangerous situation and he wants back in her life. Dare she let him back when he will just leave her again possibly more devastated than before?
Shane Garrity had something special with his best friend’s sister, but right when it was getting good, she pulled back and pushed him away emotionally when he decided to train as a US Marshall. He wanted to make it work, but it appeared that she wasn’t planning to fight for them so he angrily followed her wishes and stayed away. Shane never got over Dakota and now that he’s back to see she’s in big trouble, she’s as stubborn and determined as ever. He admires her strength even while it is the very thing that pushes everyone away. But no matter what Dakota says, he will help the family that was like his second home and will investigate the death of the man who was like a father. Something doesn’t feel right and he plans to stick close to Dakota until he figures out what.
As I said, this one is connected to Whisper to Me which is the story of Dakota’s best friend’s romance to Dakota’s brother. Personally, I was glad to have read the other story first, but it’s not necessary to enjoy this one.
The story begins with a murder that is likely to stay unsolved, uneasy feelings within the tribe because Dakota’s dad left his casino to his Dutch wife in his will, and trouble with the casino association and another group that hopes to push the Nakos’ family out if they won’t sell. All these dynamics swirling around the stormy reconnection of Dakota and Shane made things interesting.
This story is one that I liked as a whole, but wasn’t that impressed with the heroine. There’s stubborn and then there’s spite yourself because you refuse to share your feelings and fall back getting snarly and getting caught up in your own head for some wrong thinking. It’s not until well into eighty percent of the book that she owns that maybe she sabotaged her own relationship- she is still trying to sabotage things because she makes assumptions that are wrong. Characters with flaws are usually good reading experiences for me, but I didn’t find it entertaining in this case. She doesn’t really grow or learn to compromise so much as Shane makes the big gesture and has to push her to see what she is doing.
Shane wasn’t perfect and needed to grow up too from that first encounter in the past which he did, but he seems to be the one doing all the apologizing, soul searching, and bending.
And something minor, but annoying for me was all the endearments that took over the latter half of the story when they stopped using their names: honey, darling. It was just weird to me because Dakota and Shane weren’t the honey/darling sorts.
The romance is scorching hot. Even when she’s unsure about other stuff, Dakota and Shane can set the sheets on fire. The attraction is definitely there. She is so willful and independent that Shane’s confidence and strength had to dominate her for them to stand a chance. It was a great dynamic and both had respect for the other in this. I loved how he called her on her double-standards and crap. He pulled her out of her own head often. He was very honest with her about her hang-ups, but he was loving and supportive too.
All in all, I liked it mostly for the suspense aspects, but the romance was good too. The heroine wasn’t my favorite, but she was still well-written as was the development of the story. I would recommend this to those who enjoy spicy contemporary romance with a touch of suspense.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.