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Elizabeth E Neal
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
As I'm writing this, I'm suffering from a book hangover. I know we've all been there, so you feel my pain. I can't put my finger on any one thing that made me love this story, which means, in my opinion, it was the book as a whole that just did it for me.
The book starts pretty much in the thick of things and gives you a direct look into what Reagan, aka Rae, Storm will deal with for the duration of the book. (Psst...I love the little rebellion that Rae later explains regarding her name change...her given name was Liberty Raegan Storm.) Rae is helping her brother, True, (Are their names giving you the idea of their upbringing?) retrieve a prototype he created from his previous employer, a man that fired him after stealing his work. Grrr. Granted, committing B&E to get your property back isn't the smartest move, but I can understand True's motive, along with Rae's desire to help her brother. True is the only family Rae has left as their parents disowned her and she's essentially become an outcast in their area.
In a nutshell, their parents weren't exactly upstanding citizens and a shootout, for which Rae wasn't even there during, resulted in the death of not only her parents, but a DEA agent also. Since then, Rae has essentially become a pariah once people learn her last name. Yeah, that whole don't blame the child for the sins of the parents mantra hasn't helped her at all. *Later it's explained where True was at that time, and why, therefore he wasn't cast in the same tarnished light.*
So, of course nothing good comes of a B&E, and it goes extremely wrong here...Rae, while True is inside, witnesses a double murder involving a prominent judge and a crime family. *Ruh roh Shaggy.*
Flash forward to Rae in a jail cell, for safety purposes, and the beginning of her new life is starting. The three U.S. Marshalls, being all judgy towards her, two more so than the third, the hero, explain how things will be while awaiting the trial so she can give her testimony. Her brother has already been relocated.
It doesn't take long before the first attempt is made on Rae and things quickly continue to go downhill. It's apparent to one of the Marshalls that things aren't as they should be.
That agent is Quinn Bronson, although he is referred to as Bronson almost throughout the whole book. *I'll touch on that later.* It's obvious that he and Rae are extremely attracted to each other, but Bronson has it in his head that she is exactly like his ex-fiancée, Heidi, a woman with a shady father that swore she wasn't like him, only to be exactly like him. I will say that was twelve years ago and Bronson is still living by that hard earned lesson about trusting the wrong person. One difference between the two women is that Bronson thought he was rescuing Heidi from her past, as she seemed to want that, but Rae isn't asking to be rescued. Yes, she wants to be safe from the men after her, but that pertains to Bronson's job where she's concerned. As for Bronson, the man, she just wants him to see her, Rae, not as an extension of her family. Unfortunately, that past continually impacts how he views Rae, even going so far as to verbally and emotionally hurt her after a few times after he's gotten too close. Yes, he hated himself for doing it, but thought it was the best way to draw the lines. I personally think it was his way of protecting himself. *head smack needed*
Rae testifies and then begins her new life as Raelyn, far away from Bronson and with the knowledge that they were never going to be anything together because of her past.
When circumstances keep bringing Bronson back into her life, of course with both still craving the other, things take a turn as Bronson can't fight what he feels anymore and they spend a hot night together. Rae is sure this is a turning point for them and she's right...but not the way she hopes. Bronson again sees her as being the same as his ex when he reads way too much into something she innocently says and bluntly tells Rae it should've never happened, don't contact him again, etc. *Oh man, the pain.*
As Bronson is now helping to reassign True, who has again made a bad choice, the identity of the traitor is revealed. Bronson and True make a getaway and head towards Rae to protect her, but it isn't long before the truth is twisted to paint Bronson as the bad guy. (How's that feel Bronson? The tables are turned and you're innocent, yet no one will believe you.)
Will Bronson and True arrive in time? Will they be able to save Rae from the determined killers? Will Bronson realize the truth about Rae and embrace how much she means to him? What happens when Rae is forced to start over again, although this time with True? Will Bronson let her go or will he fight for her? If he fights for her, will Rae give him yet another chance?
One-click now and read this book. I absolutely loved it. I will say it's book three in the series, yet I didn't feel at all lost without having read them. I do plan to go back and read them though.
Now as I mentioned above and said I'd get back to, in regards to the hero being known as Bronson almost the whole time. Rae didn't learn his first name until almost the end of the book. While I instantly thought that was very weird and didn't care for it, the more I thought about it, I realized it made perfect sense. It was another way for Bronson to hold himself back from Rae and hide from his feelings from her. When she did learn his first name, it was a huge stepping stone for them as a couple and for him as a man, because he was fully letting go of his past, his misconceptions about Rae, and embracing his future. He truly let Rae in and he wasn't ever letting her go. *redemption accomplished*