Note: This ARC was provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
"For my brother, I was willing to go to war. For you, mia Luce, I'm willing to wage one."
I know I'm somewhat of a stickler when it comes to reading books in a series in order, but with the kind of review schedule I've had the past couple of months, I decided that when an author states a book is a standalone within a series and can be read independently from the rest, then I will simply have to take their word for it and jump in. So, that was the case with Backfire, which is the second novel in author Keri Lake's dark romantic suspense series, Vigilantes. I've had the first book, Ricochet, since I bought it on Kobo quite some time ago, but alas, as always, I haven't had enough free time to get through my stash. This second book, though, did feel like a standalone. I wasn't trying to figure out if I was missing anything or who the heck one character is and if I had to have had the stock knowledge or had some inkling as to what their back story was going in. With this book alone, I got why so many readers clamored for Keri Lake to continue with the series, because her brand of storytelling demands you absorb every single detail.
Jase Hawkins and Lucia Novaková should probably stay as far away from each other as they can. Any fantasies they may have of giving in to the desperate need clawing at them could quickly backfire and leave them both with consequence after consequence to deal with. But the heart, along with the body, mind, and soul, wants what it wants and there's a craving desire that only the other can fulfill. However, Jase and Lucy have other things swirling around them, events that have already been put into motion and they seem to be on the path to get caught in the crossfire. Jase wants revenge on those who took his beloved grandmother and his younger brother and he's suffered through a year at the hands of his enemies to get to the point where vengeance could be his. Lucy witnesses something that has her looking over her shoulder and trying to stay several steps ahead of those who want her dead. Neither one of them can afford to be distracted, but these two have always been fated to meet, and their connection is inseverable.
In any story that touts itself as falling under the suspense genre--whether it have a mix of some other genre or not--you expect a level of intensity that's meant to keep you on your toes and a twist or two to make sure that you're keeping your attention steady--although, let's be honest here, the best kinds of twists are the ones you don't see coming at all. Well, someone give Keri Lake a freaking cache of gold stars because her book more than lives up to the suspense requirement and the dark romance aspect made this a read that had me gripping my e-reader a tad tighter from all the anticipation about what was going to happen next. You see, that was the fantastic thing about this novel. I found myself excited by it, reacting to what was going on between Jase and Lucy, as well as what was going on around them. Whatever expectations you may have about this book, I suggest you leave them at the door. Simply put, expect the unexpected. Oh wait, I take it back. Expect Backfire to be every bit the fab five-plus-starred read that it is. ♥
Date Read: 16 June 2016
Learn more about Keri Lake.