by Laurelin Paige
I had mixed feelings about the first book (mostly because I'd expected it to be something different than it turned out to be) but I did really like it and the cliffhanger ending left me desperate for the sequel...and the sequel didn't disappoint. I went into it knowing what to expect this time so I could enjoy it for what it was -- and I did, I really enjoyed it.Summary: Emily Wayborn has made a decision.
She might not fully trust handsome and deadly Reeve Sallis, but he is the one person that gives her what she needs. With Reeve she can finally be herself. Submitting to him is the only thing keeping her grounded as the rest of her life falls apart. But the hotelier is a master at keeping secrets and as she continues her quest for answers someone is making sure she doesn’t find them.
Time is running out and she is questioning everything she thought she knew about friendship and love. She must now make an impossible choice that will determine if she will survive with her heart…or at all.
This one hooked me just as much as the first one did and nearly everything I enjoyed about the first book was still there and expanded on.
I loved the romance. The relationship wasn't perfect and the characters weren't perfect but I liked it because of that, I liked that I was rooting for them anyway and I liked that it was angsty and wasn't all smooth sailing -- particularly because the angst wasn't because of their Dom/sub preferences (unlike Fifty Shades of Gray), they both wanted that and accepted that they wanted that to be a part of their lives.
I'm not particularly into Dom/sub stories, it's just not my thing, but I did really like the way it's written and portrayed in this because it makes it clear that it has to be a mutual thing between two people and that there is a line between abuse and a consensual, caring Dom/sub relationship. I loved the psychological side to that and the way Amber's appearance in the story showed a different side to it.
And Amber -- I really didn't know what to expect with her showing up, but I did like how it was done. She was kind of a toxic character and her relationship with Emily was pretty toxic too and I loved the way it showed that. Toxic friendships are often badly written or trivialised and turned into petty catty behaviour but this one didn't do that -- it showed you can care about someone but it doesn't mean that they're good for you or should be in your life.
Basically, I kind of loved this book by accident. I thought the first book was going to be a mystery/thriller novel, but it wasn't but it had already hooked me to the point where I couldn't not read this book. I'll definitely read more of Laurelin Paige's books because it takes a talented author to make me enjoy a book in spite of it not being the type of thing I wouldn't usually like.
I'd rate it 3.5 stars out of 5.