Note: This ARC was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for an honest review.
“Listen,” I whispered, staring at a bright square of carpet in the hallway cast by the kitchen light. And not at him. Definitely not at him. “Don’t trust me. Don’t care about me. Don’t…even like me. And I will do the exact same for you. So when we walk away from each other…” It won’t hurt.
I didn’t say it. In case I was wrong. In case it was only me that cared. That trusted. That liked.
His silence gave me nothing and I left before I could say any more.
I curled up on the love seat with the extra pillow and the blanket from Fern’s condo, and I knew one thing was completely clear.
Sooner, rather than later—I had to leave.
And it was going to hurt anyway.
Sometimes, when you wish really, really hard for something, that one star you focused on makes it all come true for you. Well, the star and the author you were hoping would develop some sort of telepathy so that she had some idea just how desperate you were for another novel in a series of hers that you were suffering a serious case of book hangover from. So, thank you, dear star, and thank you, Molly O'Keefe, aka M. O'Keefe, for Burn Down the Night, the third installment in the Everything I Left Unsaid series and the story of thirty-two-year-old Max Daniels and twenty-seven-year-old Joan Matthews (okay, her last name as Joan was never really mentioned but since it's her real last name, I'm going with it). Readers and fans of the first two novels--Everything I Left Unsaid and The Truth About Him--should be familiar with Max and Joan, and now we learn their back stories and just how much they've sacrificed and are willing to sacrifice for their younger siblings, Dylan and Jennifer, respectively. This is a story about second chances.
Joan isn't really Joan. She's had to use a fake name for the past seven months in order to gather information and keep tabs on the man who has her sister Jennifer. Everything that Joan's done has a singular end goal: to get Jennifer back. When her original plan goes awry, she finds herself becoming a rescuer slash kidnapper by taking Skulls MC president Max Daniels after he's been shot twice and attacked by the men he called his brothers. She knows his connection to the man she's after and she isn't above using him to get that much closer to rescuing her sister. But once again, not everything is going as planned. Max isn't the kind of man that you can expect to sit idly by and order around. Add to that the insane connection that's been crackling just below the surface ever since they locked eyes in the strip club Joan was dancing at. But Max wants more than what Joan is willing to give him. He wants Olivia, the woman who changed her name and is on a suicide mission. She was prepared for almost anything...except for him.
I confess that I was anxious about this book because Dylan Daniels and Annie McKay's story, which unfolded in the first two novels, is an all-time favorite and those two books were part of my top reads for 2015. But M. O'Keefe has given Max Daniels and Joan/Olivia Matthews a story all their own, one that worthy of two such strong and kickass main characters. The first few chapters here overlap with the events in the last few chapters of The Truth About Him and we find out why Joan had Max with her when they drove up to the trailer park and Dylan and Annie were both there. In the epilogue of the second book, though, which was set three years after, Dylan seemed to not want to talk about Max, which didn't quite jibe with the epilogue in this third book, which was a year after everything that takes place in Burn Down the Night. It's a minor hiccup, and I hope that it ended that way in book two because there wasn't anything absolutely definitive about book three yet. I think I'll stick with the epilogue in this new installment, okay?
Max and Joan are connected by one man, but they share a greater deal in common than either on of them may initially realize. Their love for their younger siblings knows no bounds and they've sacrificed because it was necessary. They're both rough around the edges and have their nicks and cracks, but neither one is irreparably broken. If anything, these two are survivors, overcoming hurdles but always putting their siblings first. Neither one trusts easily, and for good reason, but there's a kinship that's fostered between the two, one that began when they first met at Velvet Touch in North Carolina and one that evolves during their week together in Florida. Their story has heat and heart as well as a fair amount of suspense, all resulting in a tension-filled but thrilling read that I finished in one sitting. There was no way I couldn't become emotionally invested in Max and Joan/Olivia because they deserved a happily-ever-after as much as Dylan and Annie did. Expect to find Burn Down the Night on my list of 2016 top reads. Five-plus stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Everything I Left Unsaid series:
Everything I Left Unsaid (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
The Truth About Him (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review
Burn Down the Night (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 09 August 2016
Date Read: 09 August 2016
Learn more about M. O'Keefe.