My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Whenever a new Cambria Hebert book comes out, I pounce on it faster than you can say: “the mob is after me.”
Okay, let’s backtrack a bit. I’m still a bit confused from my flight so I’ll try to make sense of my thoughts, but bear with me 😉
I went into this book thinking it would be a standalone (don’t ask me why), while it was not. It would put many people off to find out at the every end, but for a series lover like me was just peachy. It meant more of… all of it, so a happy camper I was. Still, it got me confused when around 96% nothing was really resolved. It was also five in the morning for my internal clock by the time I’d reached that point, so there was that, too.
But let’s really talk about this book. What I love about this author is that her books are riddled with external threats that allow the characters to be together and quite happy for most of the novel. Sure, there’s some angst, of course, but nothing too heart-wrenching, and for them most part, Liam and Bellamy were just the cutest couple on Earth. That’s a huge check on the pro column.
I reaaaaally liked this couple of characters, especially Bellamy. She is just a normal girl, like any of us could be, who happened to be thrust into a dangerous world, and forced to go on the run because of it. Now, if you know me, you know the words “on the run” get my reader brain all happy-happy. Bellamy is combative, strong when needed, but also vulnerable and still broken by everything that happened to her and her father. She was highly relatable because she is not a trained fighter, she doesn’t have a prophecy over her head commanding her to save the world or anything. She just wants to survive, be happy, belong, and keep her loved ones safe.
Enter Liam. He is probably the most alpha and bossy character by this author so far. I liked how he took charge of her life and helped her even when she refused to be helped, and how he put her first. Always. Without question.
The only flaw I could find is that sometimes the bossiness was turned a notch too high and their conversations suffered a little bit from it. I felt like he was stifling her a bit too much at times, even though in the name of keeping her safe and caring for her. Still, Swoony should be Liam’s second name.
The pace of the story was the reason the fifth star fell. I loved the couple, I loved how it was not a standalone, I loved the setting, as I’ll explain later, but the pace of their relationship was way too fast for me. I do not mind characters living together from the very beginning or spending all the time together, especially in these dire situations. What I didn’t feel was as real was how Liam claimed Bellamy as his one and only from basically the very start. I get they had already been together in the past, but I still would have liked to see his feelings for her grow a bit slower, and them getting reacquainted to each other at a more normal pace. People change in 8 years and lots of things had happened in both their lives. This “let’s start from where we left, no questions asked” felt a tad too Alexa Riley for me.
Now, about the setting. It had been a while since I’d loved a setting as much as I’d loved the characters, and I adored this couple. The book is set in Caribou, a small mountain town in Colorado, and most of it at the BearPaw Resort. The crazy thing is that normally I’m all for big cities with bright lights and do not take major enjoyment from reading of small towns, mostly because usually authors spend way too much time focusing on the town itself. In this case, the setting perfectly blended with the action and the characters’ personalities. The resort felt like a family, and the setting set the book apart from all other NA romantic suspense books. It just gave it a different, original taste. I couldn’t get enough of the ski-lodge warm feeling, the slopes, the everything! And I’m a beachy kind of person, to lay it all out there. So that means a lot.
To conclude, I loved this book, the characters had all the right ingredients to snuggle their way into my heart, it had enough action and things going on to be a fast, interesting and swoony read, and as usual a great style. I would definitely recommend it, and I cannot wait for the second book in the series. I want more of Bellamy and Liam, as well as funny Alex and slobbery Charlie.