Jul 18, 12
Read from July 09 to 17, 2012
When I picked up this book, I'd somehow gotten it in my head that it was romantic suspense. Turns out it was a contemporary romance with a suspense subplot, which is fine, but it led me to be a little impatient to get to the suspense part until I realized that I'd misjudged the genre. So bear the genre in mind when you read the book!
There's lots of hot and heavy chemistry between the leads, Dani and Jace. Jace owns the casino where Dani gets a job. She's on the run, and doesn't intend to get involved with anyone, but she can't deny her attraction to Jace, and he's a man who's used to not being denied anything. However, she tries her hardest to pretend that he doesn't affect her. Naturally, this intrigues Jace, and he pursues her all the harder until he wins her... but that when things get tougher for the two of them.
I won't give away any spoilers, but I had some difficulties with Dani's character until her big secret was revealed. She comes across as rather immature at times, and the reasons why aren't clear until you know what happened to her. If there had been some hints earlier about the nature of the trauma Dani had suffered, it would have helped me understand her better earlier in the book. Once I learned what happened, the lightbulb came on and her behavior and reactions made more sense.
I also think that poor Jace was a little too understanding at times and didn't press her for information when she was flying off the handle. Yes, he's very attracted to her and falls for her, but there's a limit to the amount of drama someone should have to put up with. Dani overreacts (though, so does Jace at times) and is extremely insecure, and that gets wearing. Why Jace didn't press her harder and earlier for information, I don't know.
There's also the matter of how the heck did Dani live for seven years on the run? I think that part of the story could have been quite interesting, particularly given Dani's age (especially at the start) and her lack of resources, but Jace never asks and Dani never tells. I can only imagine that she could have gotten into all sorts of jams during that time, and might have done some things to be ashamed of or to regret (instead of the incident that set her on the run, which she worries that Jace won't understand, when it was quite clear that she did the right thing, and I can't see anyone condemning her for it).
These issues aside, I really got into the book once Dani's past comes back to haunt her. The villain was quite creepy, and I was very uneasy until his character was defeated. When Dani was in his clutches, I kept worrying about what would happen to her. Well done!
Overall, a nice beach read--lots of sparks, fun banter, and chills. Plenty to keep you turning the pages!