Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on April 25, 2017
The final book in the series. Finally get Liam and Sully’s story. Sigh… could not wait. Cate and Ash? Okay, sure, I’m game.
Now that I’ve read it, I really do wish these two stories were given separate books. Sadly, the only reason I took much enjoyment was because I was desperate to get the culmination of Liam and Sully’s story. Ash was pretty good as a hero, too. Cate… more on that in a minute.
This is a book that really doesn’t work well out of order. It’s wrapping up an exciting series about a group of male and female mercs all finding their romances while out on dark and dangerous jobs. A big traumatic event brings back the large cast of characters in a reunion of sorts and also wraps up two story threads for the remaining single members of the group.
As I said, this is two romances for the price of one. One, I have been long anticipating, and the other, was a bonus story that I wasn’t opposed to getting. That is until I discovered that they weren’t going to get equal billing and the dominant story drove me nuts.
I will seriously end up on a rant about Cate if I’m not careful… oh never mind, who am I kidding, I’m going there.
I’m pretty sure I would have DNF’d this book on her alone if it hadn’t been for the other characters getting their stories here. She is an immature brat and it was literally the waning pages of the book before I saw an ounce of maturity start to kick in and I do mean just an ounce because even in the epilogue she wasn’t impressing me with adult behavior.
I wanted to feel she had extenuating circumstances because of her tough situation in which, Jim, her dad, rescued her from when he brought her home to be with him after her maternal grandfather hid her from Jim. But then she gets bogged down in daddy issues and her deep-seated need to prove she’s a bad mama and can swim with the big fish (though what gives her this idea I never could figure out- she’s had a little – a very little training from the pros at Jim’s compound, but no experience and she’s a beginning photographer). It was laughable. This is all going on while she is between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one. She tries to seduce one of Jim’s mercs (Ash) from when she’s seventeen to nineteen when he is in his mid-twenties and he does the right and honorable thing. He tries to make it easy on her by not accepting her overtures but trying to be friends still. Explaining about her being too young for now and to give college and college guys a chance, but she won’t give up and it comes to a point when he has to tell her to get her clothes on and get out of his room. She spends the next few years claiming he is a jerk, etc etc.
At twenty-one, she still doesn’t see that Ash was the mature person back then or even now. She doesn’t see her dad’s need for her safety (because hey, every parent is thrilled to death to have their kid refuse college education to run off and take pictures in a third world country run by drug cartels and in the midst of massive destabilization) is reasonable as to want her to head off to Africa to take her pictures-which is where she lied and said she is going. Jim is no more and no less than any parent who loves their child. He wants her to go to college and he wants her to see a normal, healthy life since she is still very young.
She isn’t there a second it seems before she ends up the target of a cartel and gets her dad shot and everyone else in a bad situation, but instead of seeing reason or culpability, no that would be too much, she continues the brattiness even blaming Jim for all the trouble (because you know dad, you are responsible for the dirty cartel mole in the DEA where you sent my picture because that’s what I high-handedly demanded). She gets lucky rather than because of skill and knowledge and runs with it.
At this point, I might add that her step-mom, Noelle, was not winning points with me either because she fed into the brattiness and immaturity by reinforcing it to Jim and the others and validating Cate. The excuse is ‘little Catie is never going to be normal and will always be an adrenaline junky so we should just let her do unsafe things and get other people into danger and possibly get killed. Oh and Ash, you were so wrong not to want to take advantage of jail bait and disappoint her father who trusted you with his young daughter’.
This romance did not work for me. I saw nothing in Cate to admire or even like. Ash was a great guy and he wanted her, but I ended up pitying him for this more than cheered him on toward winning Cate.
I really wanted Liam and Sully’s story and it was all I hoped for. Their road is not easy. Liam has acknowledged that he is bi and has taken steps forward even while he and Sully end up estranged for two years. Sully pushes everyone he cares about away because he as deep abandonment issues and he also believes Liam will always prefer to pretend to be a straight guy. Liam is well beyond that and ready for something with Sully, but he is tired of being pushed away and scared to put his heart out there again to get it smashed. I loved seeing them work through the anger, fear, and toward what can truly be.
The big situation with the drug cartel and the trouble there was a strong piece that had some interesting dynamics all its own with the two parents and children who ran the cartel. I liked getting that side of it. The ending came fast and was more an afterthought to all the other things going on in the book, but it worked, too.
So, I’m really not sure how to wrap up my thoughts on this one. On one side, I couldn’t stand half the story, but the other half was all I could have wanted. Fans of the series will want this story and I would even go so far as to say that many probably won’t react so strongly to Cate so it will be a much more satisfying read for them.
I rec’d this book from Penguin Group in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #98 RS
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