Kendi, a divorced and determined woman, wakes in the middle of a rainy night, grabs her bedside gun and sets off to scare the teens that regularly party on her property down by the river. Instead, she witnesses a would-be murder and rescues the handsome yet mysterious victim, dragging him back to her house and placing herself in the path of a vicious drug-dealer’s vengeance. But to Kendi, risking her fragile heart to this intriguing stranger may be even more dangerous.
I loved the suspense aspect of this novel. There was plenty of action and twists to keep the reader engaged although I will warn that some of the violence is extreme and disturbing. However, flawed characterization and rushed development lessened my overall enjoyment of the story. Both Kendi and Jackson were strong, likable characters but each had design faults that bothered me. Kendi possessed great determination and bravery. Her plan to defend her property, to nurse Jackson back to health and finally, to protect her lover at the end of the novel all showcase these traits. But her quick acceptance of Jackson despite his past and her background just didn't ring true to me. And though I love Jackson, his character’s past, while tragic, makes his occupation unbelievable, at least for me. His criminal background would quite simply disqualify him from the DEA; he would never meet the criteria for the necessary security clearance nor most likely pass the psychological test. An easy fix would have been to make him part of some clandestine, private organization. Additionally, the doctor at the hospital and the detective investigating young Jackson’s assault seemed unrealistic in both their actions and comments. I just can’t believe that either professional would do as they did and then openly acknowledge it, though most people would applaud their actions.
But it’s the pacing itself that really troubled me. The entire book spans two weeks, however, the first 90% of the book barely covers 48 hrs. Unfortunately, the author attempts to fit too much into that time frame and it ends up seeming rushed and underdeveloped. Jackson’s recovery, the blossoming romance, the drug lord’s suspicions and revenge, and the return of Kendi’s brother are all crammed into less than two days. This doesn't leave much time to build backgrounds for characters or plot besides our main couple. The romance between Jackson and Kendi is too sudden. Despite their pasts, each professes love within hours of meeting. And for the majority of this time, Jackson is either unconscious or delirious. Kendi’s brother returns in a plot twist but it isn't explored or truly resolved. The showdown at the end was exciting but didn’t play out as expected.
Overall, this is a book that probably would have benefited from expanding its length so both characters and plot could have been cultivated. Instead it’s a quick read that can be enjoyed if you don’t look too deep.
Two broken hearts find a second chance at love, but only if they manage to survive--
When Kendi Morgan witnesses an attempted murder near her home one night, she makes the only choice possible: help the victim. But bringing the handsome stranger into her home traps her in the middle of a deadly drug war.
Wounded DEA agent Jackson Taylor is a man with nothing to lose and nothing to fear--until he falls for a beautiful woman who risked everything to save his life.
With his sting operation gone awry, Jackson realizes he is all that stands between Kendi and a powerful drug lord seeking revenge. Can their newfound love survive? Or will Jackson sacrifice his partner's life and his own in exchange for Kendi's safety and their future together?