Reviewed by Mandi
Last year I read Blamed, book one in this series and I loved it. I also loved the supporting character of Tobias – cold as steel, intense, no-nonsense and deadly while wearing a three-piece suit. Gimme. We also meet his eventual heroine in book one, the imprisoned Chandler. High attitude, deadly as well, with hatred in her eyes. I couldn’t wait to see how these two would fall in love. But their journey left me wanting more. Maybe I had built these two up in my head too much and had unfair expectations. But either way, I was a little disappointed.
Tobias is one of several siblings in the Faraday family, a family whose net worth is in the multiple billions. They wine and dine with the president, and are a seller of arms. But they are secretly deep into dark organizations and killing bad guys deep undercover. Tobias is the attorney of the family and a genius. He has never fit in. As a child, he couldn’t handle going to public school and became mute. Switching to private tutors, he eventually found his voice again and graduated law school at twenty-one. He is the one in charge in the family, and holds a lot of responsiblity. We learned in the last book his sister Beth, was tortured by a man named Nash, and Tobias wants revenge on the person that ordered that torture. Badly. And now due to the woman he has imprisoned, he has that chance.
Chandler has been part of the secret m16 organization for a while. As part of an assignment, she was embedded with the Russian arms organization, and her partner was Nash. Tobias wants Chandler to head back into Russia, leading him to her boss so he can exact revenge. Chandler knows she is up shit creek. She wanted out of Russia badly, and trusted Nash to help her, but then got sucked into pissing off the Faraday family. She knows if she goes back to Russia, she is probably a goner, but she can’t sit in an underground prison the rest of her life either. She makes a deal with Tobias – if he escorts her to her beloved sister’s wedding, she will then take him to Russia. Tobias agrees.
I had a few problems with this book. First, I expected Tobias to be a lot more – cold. More damaged and ruthless. More intense. I didn’t necessarily get that vibe from him. I wanted to see glimpses of the boy so troubled he was mute for years of his life. So socially awkward he had to have private tutors. So bad ass he wouldn’t just agree to be a pretend boyfriend for his prisoner. He was too nice and warm damn it. How dare he.
I also had trouble with Chandler falling in love with him. More precisely, why she fell in love with him. We get into Tobias’s head and know that he has an attraction to her that he knows he shouldn’t have but he can’t help it. But I never got that feeling with Chandler. What about him gets her going? They become quite familiar with each other fast, and I wish there had been more of a reluctant chemistry between them. More mistrust. How does the other really know they won’t screw them over? The lack of sexual tension made their romance a little flat.
At one point Chandler thinks:
She hated him. She was using him, as he was using her, and she hated him. He’d taken away her freedom. His vengeance would likely get her killed. She had imagined at least one hundred varying means of murdering him in the past month.
Chandler couldn’t forget that.
But I kind of thinks she does forget. I wanted that hatred and bad-ass to come out of her, but that intensity she has in her mind, doesn’t hold up.
I also didn’t love the suspense while at Chandler’s sister’s wedding. It didn’t flow well for me. I liked the big action ending, but the middle suspense left me wanting more.
I really enjoy the Faraday family and I look forward to the next book as it’s set-up well at the end of this one. I’m picky with my romantic suspense and this series is definitely one of the better suspense series I read. I just wasn’t 100% on board with Tobias.