This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: New Adult Romance
Published by Atria Books
Released on July 7, 2015
This third book of the series takes the story to Ireland and a whole different world away from Sisters, Oregon. The story takes place parallel to the time line of book two and features the sister of the hero from book one and part of a family of secondary characters who were in both books.
I actually wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Amber as a heroine. She’s got nice qualities, but she can come across as self-involved and naive, too. She was always the good girl did all the right things and had her opinions about what the right things were even when it came to other people. This story was a journey of sorts in more than the physical sense for Amber as she learned more about herself and the world around her. She matured and found what she was looking for in the place she thought was least likely to find it. I ended up really liking her and being as pleased as ever with the story and the author’s writing.
As to this being part of a series, this book can be read out of order or stand alone. There are references back to the previous two stories, but no spoilers. I do think the reader would get more out of it by reading it in order, but they wouldn’t be lost either way.
The story opens with Amber Welles in the middle of traveling the world with bucket list in hand. It had only ever been a dream even though she had been saving for it for years, but then the man she thought was ‘The One’ broke things off and left her to pursue his dreams without a backward glance for her. Amber’s travels take her to Ireland where she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. A bombing takes place and she is only alive because a man hurled himself on top of her, took the blast of the bomb, and disappeared before the police arrived. She is shaken up, but something prompts her to hide what she knows about the man and then later go in search of him. There’s just something about the man that makes her want to see him again and get the whole story.
River Delaney comes from a long line of Irish freedom fighters and owners of Delaney’s Pub. His family is no longer involved in what has deteriorated to terrorist activities now that Ireland is separate from Britain and runs their own government. Okay, well all of them have gone legit except his older brother, Aengus, which is why River found himself following Aengus and preventing an innocent American girl from getting caught in Aengus’ ‘send a message’ bomb. He took shrapnel for the girl and he will probably get a visit from the police because his family is always on their list of ‘likely’ suspects now. What he doesn’t expect is for the girl to track him down and that he would be so attracted to her.
This was an interesting change-up from the previous two stories that were set in Oregon, but because it involved a member of the Welles family and another side character, it still had the connection to the others. There are exciting points, but I didn’t feel the dangerous intensity of the last two stories. Its focus was more introspective for Amber as she finds herself and for River as he starts to really consider his future and that of his family as well as what he owes to family loyalty.
This does not mean that I found it boring or disappointing. Nope! The conflict was fascinating to me because the author chose Ireland and its brand of gangs and mafia as the issues. River and Amber get into that rock and hard place sort of trouble that the author excels at when there is the issue of the dangerous gang war, hit men, a brother that can’t stay out of trouble, secrets vs loyalty, and a persistent police officer.
I did feel that the romance was also not as intense or in the forefront because this pair had a lot to figure out about themselves. Romance wasn’t lacking entirely and truthfully, I was glad that they weren’t spouting words of ‘forever’ and ‘love’ with what was going on. Amber might have been naive and judged stuff through her limited experiences, but she knew enough to realize that she was a tourist and had a life back in America and River didn’t fit just as River understood that he wouldn’t fit with Amber with his background. That being said, this pair went with the attraction and experienced passion, good times, and a building of something that they couldn’t deny when all was said and done. I was really pulling for them to somehow find a way.
In the end, even though it was a bit different, I really liked the engaging characters, the fantastic descriptions and background, the strong plot, and the overall riveting storytelling. The characters are New Adult in age, but this one would also have appeal for Adult Contemporary Romance readers because of the situation and feel of the story.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.