2.5 out of 5 flames

Honestly, I didn’t give it a low rating because it was a bad book, but mostly because I got so frustrated with the characters.

Talia and her sister Rosario live in Northern California now and despite the fact that her past should be just that, Talia still can’t live a normal life. In Seattle she had put herself in a lot of danger by mixing with a bad group of individuals and had found herself at the hands of a murderer. She escaped, got her sister put in a group of safe houses, helped put the bad guys away, and finally is trying to put her life back together. Then the man who had saved her shows up in the upscale bar/restaurant she works for and tells her one of the people who she helped put away is out again. Then she starts to receive trinkets that relate back to her attack, and it becomes clear someone wants to finish what was started.

I get she’s got a lot of baggage. If you’d been raped and tortured at the hands of some maniac you’d have issues. I get that she is attracted to and repulsed by Jack, the guy who saved her, because he saw her like that and there’s a lot of vulnerability that comes with that. I get that finding out he’s been keeping tabs on you and paying for things (like Rosie’s tuition under a “scholarship”) can make you feel like you’re back in the same situation you were before (her old boyfriend, whose brother was had done those awful things to her, had been a “business” man who had controlled her with money and was possessive). I get all that…but there’s just something about the way Talia handles it that rings false.

For instance, if you are really so afraid that you have a safe/panic room in your house, why the hell wouldn’t you have changed your name and gone under witness protection? The only family she has is her sister, so take sis with you and disappear. Especially if your real name and picture has been in newspapers and on TV all over the upper West Coast.

There’s also something about Jack that makes him come off as weak in character rather than some hero, even a flawed hero.

It’s saying something when you find the moments inside the killer’s head more exciting than the moments with your protagonists, and that’s what kept me reading. The suspense was built up well, the story moves at a good pace, the end was pretty exciting. I think I’ve just gotten to the point where I’m getting really sick and tired of these “I’m doing it on my own” females who are in mortal danger and have no training (I’m sorry learning to box does not count) purposefully putting themselves in harms way. If someone is trying to kill you keep the security expert around, I don’t care how much he annoys you. Don’t complain about people tailing your a** if it’s saving your a**. Seriously!

Maybe if I hadn’t read a few books in this vein back to back I could’ve been more tolerant but I doubt it.

However, after all that it was still something I enjoyed reading even if it was a bit frustrating. But I’d read it mostly for the suspense and not for any romance aspects.

**ePub Review provided by Grand Central Publishing (a part of Hatchette Book Group) via NetGalley**