What really shines in this one is the heroine, Mercy. She’s smart and tough and good at her job (lots of competence porn). She’s also not perfect, which I enjoy. The fact that she was raised as a prepper and still harbors some anxiety as a result of her upbringing and ingrained beliefs made her more relatable as a character. (Who can relate to the too-good-to-be-true types, you know?) There really need to be more heroines like Mercy in romance land.
Truman’s a good romance hero, too. He’s also good at his job, and very alpha without being a jerk about it. He’s protective of Mercy, but never coddles her or holds her back/down in any way. He trusts her (even if he doesn’t always agree with her), and his love for her seems truly without bounds. (And at the end of the day, nothing’s hotter than that, amiright?)
So, why not 5-stars, you ask? Since I’m a devout romance reader, I had to take away one star because this one does read more like a mystery/suspense/police procedural novel than it does a romance. The romance is there, but it’s definitely not the main purpose of the story. It’s more like a secondary plot line. The story would have been fine and would’ve stood on it’s own nicely if all the romantic elements had been removed. Therefore, I think the book might be a little misclassified as romance.
But, long-story-short, this is a well-written, suspenseful story full of creepiness, competence porn, a strong heroine, a strong hero who doesn’t have any interest in dominating the strong heroine, and a smidge of romance thrown in for good measure. It’s a highly 1-clickable read.
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from NetGalley, free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It’s clean and sober. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions
Check out the author’s backlist. We also did an author interview with Kendra Elliot a while back. It should come as a surprise to exactly no one that she’s super interesting.