Pam Godwin is an AMAZING writer and this book proved her writing prowess. I know that this review should primarily be focusing on the story and the characters but I had to talk about her writing skills. A big shout-out to her for writing so smoothly and flawlessly!! There are a lot of authors I love and adore, every one of them specializing in one thing or the other and when it comes to pure writing - it has to be Pam Godwin. Her writing flows so smoothly- top notch descriptions packing with vivid vocabulary evoking multitude of emotions. I really salute her rich writing. It's something that will always continue to impress and also inspire me!! Her writing not just tells the story but lets us to actually 'feel' and 'live' the story. I will never get tired of reading and re-reading her books -this one being no exception. So yeah from a writing perspective - 100 stars for this book!!!
Coming now to the actual review - This story is a typical love triangle and hence without a doubt something I truly loved and enjoyed reading. Cole is back and lot of secrets are revealed (majority of them are still kept in dark-opening another bag of unanswered questions) and there is a huge showdown between the three characters right in the beginning of the book - leading to some very nice dialogues, actions and emotional turmoil. A classic showdown with just the right amount of drama and angst setting the pace and tone for the rest of the book.
I loved how different Cole and Trace were in their attitudes, behavior and how they carried out a conversation, and yet how similar they were in how passionately and deeply they loved Danni. It was pure joy to read these three characters interacting with each other and coming to terms with the situation/reality they are stuck in. It was also entertaining and though it's a very emotional read there were few moments that genuinely cracked me up.
Writing a believable and relatable love triangle without making the readers dislike at least one of the characters (without outright cheating) is very difficult but Pam Godwin successfully managed to pull it off with ease with her writing style as as well as the plot-line without leading to any barring holes in the plot. Danni loves them both- There is no doubt in that. They love her too much and both are typical Alpha men to even consider idea of sharing her but yet they give their consent when she suggests to date them both until she makes her mind about whom she wishes to choose.
This is not a menage of any sort but the chemistry and dynamics between the three of them kept me on my toes, soaking up the words and cheering for all of them for the most part.
After a certain point - Things did go a little haywire thanks to Danni's actions and though I don't necessarily blame her for what she did and why - I wish she were honest with Trace and had also given him a similar chance. I don't get why she chose to hide it from him. I get she didn't want to bring sex in the equation but since the damage was already done - she might as well as let him (Trace) exploit the time with her as well. Hmm..not blaming her, but expected a little more from Danni in this book.
Trace was being his usual cool, controlled and manipulative self and I continued to love him like I did in the previous book but Cole was a surprise element! I did like him based on how much I got of him in the first book but he did steal my heart and show in this book!! I loved his whole possessiveness and the undying love for Dani and just how much he needed her and the extent to which he could and was ready to go for her - stubborn as ever without ever breaking down and giving up.
The sex between Cole and Danni was SMOKING HOT!! One of the best sex scenes ever. The way they have sex also reflects their personalities and the intensity of their 'love' for her. And that's what makes their chemistry - be it Danni and Cole or Danni and Trace truly stand out!!
As far as the pacing is concerned - It was good. Never boring and though there was not too much suspense and drama as I had hoped for- it didn't spoil the reading experience. I had a fair guess on how things would unfold and it did go along the same path - so there were no surprises as such. But the ending was not that satisfying and felt too rushed and jarring. It was too in the face and felt like it was thrown just to pump up the drama quotient and to leave it at another cliffhanger, which honestly wasn't necessary to build up the final arc. Her being indecisive and yet a step closer in making the final choice would have been good enough but the author didn't choose that route. Instead she dug up some stuff from the past and tried to blame 'their' past for the choice that Danni makes without putting those two in any negative light. Again, it's a smart way of storytelling but also a tad bit too convenient. The entire book is again from Danni's POV so we know only how much she knows. And these two never tell her the complete truth so the story and their past -with the whole justification for their actions are shouldered by this big confidential work that they do that Danni and the readers are not aware of. This way, we aren't given a detailed account of what is happening and why -and if it even completely makes sense without any loopholes -and we are just left to assume certain things and take the author's words for granted without trying to dig deep. I really hope she gives a proper explanation and more clarity in the next book . If Danni is actually stuck in their mess and is in too deep-she and us have every right to learn the complete truth, right??
Anyway, except the ending (last two-three chapters), the book was thoroughly engaging and fun to read without any over-the-top drama. I can't wait to start with final book in the Trilogy. Diving in right now.
4-4.5 HOT and Sizzling Stars