2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
*I received the arc in exchange for a review*
I was somewhat torn between giving it either 3 or 4 stars, but felt that the 3 star rating (based on goodreads' standards) suited more to my feelings of the novel. I enjoyed reading this story in the series, but not as much as the first one. That being said, let's dive deep into the review.
*Side note: If you just want to know whether or not you should read this book, skip to the 2nd to last paragraph.
As you know from the synopsis, Lexi is our lead female character in this part of the series. If you've read the first one, you'll remember her as a dear, close friend of Axel's. However, it's fine if you don't as Ms. Walker does a nice job of reminding those who have short term memory about what happened in the first book.
The basic gist of Lexi's character:
Of course Lexi is a lot more than these 5 qualities, but again, that's the basics of who she is. Growing up with the death of her twin as a constant presence has had to toughen her up into the strong, independent young lady she is today. Unfortunately, those lovely qualities don't come without a price as she's had to deal with the pain of losing the other half she never got to know, watching her mother come undone, and not really having a lot of people to share her feelings with as she's seen as the girl who has an "abnormal" obsession with horses among her peers. Despite the odds, that's where the optimism comes in as you see her hopeful of a better future when she goes to college. With a bright outlook on what's to come, she proves determined to not let anyone---especially a body guard---get in the way of a chance at being normal, hence the determined/stubborn/headstrong quality. As for being caring, it's immediately evident when you see how much she's sacrificed herself for her family in the beginning and near the end. Though she's determined to get what she wants, she will hesitate if it ends up possibly negatively affecting those she cares for deeply.
Kevin is our lead male character. Again, if you've read the first book you'll remember him as Axel's go to guy/friend.
The basic gist of Kevin's character:
- Lone wolf/Closed off
As you can see, Kevin is similar to Lexi in the positive ways. The personal misfortunes for him, however, have left him a bit more scarred than Lexi (hence the lone wolf/closed off complex). With a lost love and not much family/friend support, it's no surprise Kevin is reserved man he is in the beginning of the story. Fortunately, this aspect slowly changes as Lexi slips in between the cracks in the metaphorical, familiar wall he has surrounding his heart which eases him out of the label of static character to round. He still suffocates Lexi with protection throughout the novel, but he suffocates her with the strong feelings he has for her out of love.
As for the other characters, there's a few too many to go through who don't have enough substance in them to dive deep into a review about so just know that you pretty much like who you're supposed to like and hate who you're supposed to hate. You also get some little Axel and Tess visits which is nice, though it's not much spotlight (and rightfully so since this is Lexi and Kevin's story).
I didn't really feel it. As least, not as strongly as Tess and Axel's romance. While there's evidence to Lexi and Kevin's developing strong feelings towards each other, I wasn't as convinced as Tess and Axel's romance convinced me. I guess the big issue with me was the timespan. I was more convinced with Tess and Axel's romance most likely due to the fact that they had a 2 year history before the beginning of their story whereas here Lexi and Kevin have a few weeks together before s*** hit the fan. I'm not saying strong, passionate whirlwind romances are impossible. The way that both Lexi and Kevin can get a feel of each other's personalities alone proves that there is a strong bond/chemistry going on between them, but I feel like there weren't enough scenarios (or maybe just not enough of the right scenarios) during the short time (or what I think is short time in book time) to convince me that the degree to which they feel for each other is justifiable. I don't deny there's something strong and sweet going on there, I just see missing steps to the metaphorical staircase taken to reach that level to make sense of it.
Not exactly new, but unique in it's own way due to the elements involved. There's sort of a familiar cookie cutter structure to this plot if you've read many novels where the plot typically goes _______ doesn't want sexy bodyguard _______'s protection and resents him for it even though there's an undeniable attraction growing between them etc. etc. etc. Despite the similar direction this story heads, it still manages to shine on its own because of the background behind the characters and the subplots involved. Admittedly I don't find Lexi and Kevin's character new when comparing their personalities to other characters in novels that are of similar genre/storyline, but their histories (mostly Lexi's) adds something different to the story with the minor conflicts that pop up in subplots as well as the biggest twist of all. Though the structure wasn't exactly impressive/mind blowing, the twists and elements kept me interested.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. Not as much as I would've liked to, but enough of for me to say it's worth recommending.
If you've read the first novel, I'd say read this too. I don't think you'll love it as much as Tess and Axel's romance, but you'll get a familiar kick out of the two butting heads a lot throughout the story. Plus, there'll be a sweet little nostalgia of seeing Axel pop up from time to time with a familiar overprotectiveness from book 1.
If you haven't read the first novel, I suppose you can read this second book because it can pretty much stand on it's own. The only problem is that you won't have the familiar background of why this is so dangerous and the urgency behind it. You know and understand that it's to be protected from a guy from the drug cartel, but you wouldn't really feel the urgency of it as opposed to a reader who did read the first book and knows what they're fully capable of based on reading it firsthand. If you can, I strongly recommend reading the first book No One's Angel not only so you can read the sweet romance that started this series but to also get the background that isn't 100% necessary, but beneficial.
If you're just overall debating whether or not to get into this book/series, I recommend you do if you enjoy reading Mature YA/New Adult romantic drama fiction. There's a small amount of cussing, some steamy romance going on (no full blown out erotica), and a mix of romantic and life threatening drama that keep you on your toes occasionally. How much you like it is subjective, but I think you'll at the very least like it like I did if not love it as there are some beautiful philosophical and romantic moments that pop up throughout the story.
That being said, I'm excited to see where book 3 takes us. I have a strong idea of who might be the male protagonist, but only 50% sure of who will be the leading lady. Though I wasn't as satisfied with this second book as I hoped to be, I'm confident that Ms. Walker will make another story that I will like, if not love!