Genres: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Published by Simon and Schuster Audio
Released on October 2, 2018
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
I went in hoping to be captivated by a new series from J.R. Ward after attending Readers on he River in September of 2018. It just didn’t happen. I waited some time and finally started it on audiobook. It didn’t grab me so I don’t have a lot to say that delighted me.
Ann has a chip on her shoulder. Her hero father passed away tragicaly, but he wasn’t really that great of a father to her. Her mother wants her to be the pretty little girl that Ann just doesn’t want a part of. A brother who has moved up the ranks faster than her, but he’s not that bad of a guy as you get to know. She comes across as masculine, hard asses, as far from being feminine as possible and just plain abrasive in personality. I never really warmed up to her character even after she rescues a stray dog.
Danny’s in love with Ann, but he also has his own issues. His twin brother, also a firefighter, dies and he isn’t taking it well. You know these men…dealing with grief, PTSD and all that crap is for sissies. He knows his love for Ann isn’t reciprocated, but he holds that torch pretty damn close.
Almost immediately the story goes into a scene that changes their lives. Tragic, survivable, but utterly life changing. So many things go wrong, so much guilt is felt and so much pain is distributed to many people in the story. This has lasting effects to the entire story and I almost gave up right at this point. It pissed me off. It devastated me. It also just plain made me want to smack all the characters upside the head for being so reckless and idiots.
And that is what set the tone for me for the rest of the story. I didn’t gain any respect, I lost probably most of my respect for Danny. I loved him early on, but I couldn’t continue to love who he had become. Ann I couldn’t stand from the beginning. I grew to have empathy and respect for her, but still, she just wasn’t someone I liked or would like to get to know.
Ann’s brother gets a lot of page time as well, and he was far more interesting to me than the main characters. There were a smattering of other side characters that all make up the story. Basically I decided all of the characters were just fucked up people. They needed love, money, respect, adrenaline rushes, family, no family, hatred, and stupidity. It all came down to a story I just didn’t enjoy. Didn’t feel had any sexy moments. Didn’t feel it was a group of characters I wanted to continue to grow and know.
The narrators were good, but at times also dry. I liked the gruffness of the mens voices along with accents to make you believe you were in the correct geographical area. Because it was such a long story with mutiple characters, there were four narrators, which was a first for me. I couldn’t tell you who did what voices, but I knew they were all different. Truthfully, I liked this approach, especially if you have more than two voices to a story.
So maybe I am being harsh, but this story just didn’t do it for me. J.R. Ward has some really good one liners, or even unique ways of describing situations and feelings. I love parts of how she writes, but the characters just weren’t what I hoped for or expected. It just didn’t do it for me.
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