Nora Weston's Reviews > The Reluctant

The Reluctant by C.S. Splitter
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Sep 14, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: action-adventure-crime-thriller
Read from January 24 to 27, 2012

Tom Crayder loves the gray area—you know, that dingy realm hovering in-between right and wrong that includes omitted details about how he spends his time, and especially, who is spending time with him. His feisty wife, Jenny, has not a clue he’s aching for adventure, love on the wild side, and more money…yeah, he really needs more money. The fun begins with a plane crash. No, scratch that, because Tom hates the word “crash,” so let’s say “The Reluctant” (Crayder Chronicles #1) starts with a forced landing. According to Tom, “Crashes involved fire and death.”

Things go from bad to worse since his flirtations at a gun range with a beautiful woman named Lorena catapult him into a life and death situation…that he’s handpicked for. This is where the story really takes off; the thrills and surprises do not stop until the last page. Now, back to Lorena, who is one hell of a character! This woman, with her hazel eyes, long legs, and “hair so black it could look blue in the right light,” easily mesmerizes Tom to the point he daydreams constantly about her, although Tom makes it clear he loves Jenny. Yes, this guy makes some rotten choices, but without them…there would be no story for him to tell.

Tom is a perfectly flawed character who manages to stay likeable, even though he is rough around the edges. That roughness is what makes him the chosen one for Lorena. Their relationship is my favorite part of “The Reluctant,” and lucky for me, Lorena is in book two of the Crayder Chronicles called, “The Willing.”

What else did I enjoy? Tom’s choice in weapons, but you’ll have to read “The Reluctant” to find out why, and I also liked the dialogue between Tom and the sheriff. Splitter’s characters are memorable, and seem like people you’d actually run into somewhere, sometime. Jenny, Tom’s wife, is one character I hope gets more say in “The Willing,” because I liked her spunky attitude.

This book is adventurous, has plenty of intrigue, and leaves the reader wanting more, so I’m looking forward to “The Willing,” yet it also addresses the dangerous allure of forbidden desire and how desperation for money can lead a person to stray far away from what’s right. It’s possible Tom Crayder learned to tolerate a lighter shade of gray by the end of “The Reluctant.” I shall soon see…
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