HE’S HER ONLY HOPE…
Park ranger Hope Banning’s plans for a little R & R are put on hold when a plane crashes at the top of a remote mountain. Hope will have to climb the summit and assess the situation. And the only climbing partner available is Sam Rutherford–the enigmatic man she spent a night with six months ago.
FOR STAYING ALIVE…
Ever since Sam lost his girlfriend in a falling accident, he insists on climbing solo. But Hope and any potential survivors need his help. As Sam and Hope set out on an emergency search-and-rescue mission, he realizes the sparks still sizzle between them. And when they learn a killer is among the survivors, they must place their trust in each other for a chance at happiness
OK, all disclosures first. I got this book from NetGalley. I did not pay for it nor was I paid for the review; I requested it because I enjoyed the first in the series. I do follow Jill Sorenson on twitter, and have on occasions commented on her tweets, but that is it. My reasons for this review are nothing more nefarious than I liked book one and wanted to read book two. Once again, I can’t express my joy at the new guidelines on reviewing from the FTC(!).
Now we’re all clear that I’m not selling you up the river with this review, I can FINALLY tell you how what I thought of this book. I actually quite enjoyed it but I was a little conflicted as to what rating to give it because I enjoyed the side romance a lot more than the main one. I knew I was going to from the second the chemistry between Javier and Faith started to unfurl (we all know I like a bad-boy). I wanted to believe that he could be redeemed, that he wasn’t as bad as original appearances showed, but he certainly didn’t appear in this situation smelling of roses. The thing I enjoyed about book one was how the heroine struggled to merge the character of the hero in person to her preconceptions of what he should act like because of his past. This one has a similar plot thread except that Javier really was only interested in protecting himself and her, so did some questionable things to achieve his objective. I really enjoyed his character and do hope I see more of him in future books.
Hope and Sam’s tale was a little more confusing. I think I struggled with the amount of plot threads that wove into their romance; just when you thought it was all going to be fine, something else cropped up. I got a little frustrated but overall I did enjoy it. I loved the set-up and the emotional baggage that they both carried added a little more depth to the intrigue and kept me guessing. The emotional struggles that they both had left me wanting a HEA, but they weren’t little problems to overcome. The fact that Sam couldn’t properly move on from his fiancée’s death left me unconvinced that he could ever truly begin a relationship with Hope. The author did a very good job of convincing me otherwise but, for me, it would have happened sooner if it wasn’t buried within the mass of other plot-points. Hope was a little more complex, and I class her issues as spoilers, but her issues were a little confusing. The scene where she tried to bring them up with Sam just straight up confused the crap out of me. I enjoyed them as a couple but I just got lost trying to follow their love story.
The suspense plot took up the bulk of the pages and I did enjoy it, I just felt it detracted from the romance a little too much. Sam has to be the unluckiest man in the world to find him in the middle of an Earthquake and then a failed drug-drop/kidnapping. It was a brutal plot and I was never quite sure who the bad guys were; there were more than a few moments when my jaw dropped. What I liked about it the most was the way it redeemed Javier slightly to me as a reader and also, in some ways, the character of Owen. I love Owen. I can’t wait for his book. Seriously, I will never quit this series whilst that guy hasn’t got a book.
There was a lot going on in this book and, for me, there was a few too many things for me to get my teeth into it. The side romance was the main draw for me and I do hope they get more airtime in future books. I loved Javier and Faith as characters and enjoyed reading their developing relationship. Aside from that, I will be continuing with the series. I like the direction its taking and, although this one didn’t wholly work for me, I love the fact that this author is putting such high octane plots alongside a romance. This one was sexy and exciting, with plenty of surprises to keep me guessing right to the end.