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Yep, the cover says it all. Sexy super-ripped hunk with the dragon tattoo. Romantic fantasy, heavy on graphic eroticism. Listen with the lights dimmed and your earbuds in.
If anyone had told me a couple of years ago that I’d ever enjoy this kind of book, I’d have laughed at them. But advancing middle age does strange things to a woman’s taste. First Loretta Chase got me hooked on her semierotic historicals. Then Audible put Kresley Cole’s “immortals after dark” series of paranormal demiporn on sale, and wham-bam thank you Kresley! I’m ashamed to show anyone my ITunes audiobooks page anymore!
So this one is a modern setting, no paranormal stuff (but a fair amount of fantasy if you look at it one way). Knox Callahan and his brother North are serving time in Devil’s Rock, a maximum-security prison, for murder (they went after the scumbag who raped their 16-year-old cousin and things got out of hand). Briar is a nurse helping out one of the doctors from the practice she works for (I though it was a nice touch that her motive wasn’t altruism but a desire for a promotion). Knox and Briar are both “all chained up,” she emotionally and he both physically and emotionally. Neither of them has had sex in a loooong time.
Knox gets beaten up in a dining room brawl over a stolen biscuit. Briar examines his injuries. Instant Electricity! Knox heroically rescues the infirmary staff. He gets parole. Months pass. Knox and Briar meet by chance. They get together. They have sex. A lot of sex. They both think it’s just great sex. Until they both realize they’d like it to be more, but each is afraid to tell the other. Misunderstandings and breakups ensue before the happy resolution.
Pretty standard romance plot line. I think there are 4 basic ingredients to making this kind of story a tasty dish for the target audience:
(1) the hero has to be interesting, attractive, and …arousing. Knox scores a 10 (maybe a 12).
(2) the reader has to like/admire/identify with the heroine. For me Briar started low on this score, but halfway through she’d won me over to at least an 8.
(3) the writing has to be at least clear and engaging, with some humor and common sense. Sophie Jordan is much better than “at least,” she’s very good.
(4) the narrator has to be able to pull it off. In my opinion, Christian Fox is as good as Robert Petkoff (narrator of the “Immortals After Dark” books), and that’s as good as it gets. Some may wonder why characters born and raised in the west Texas badlands have zero Texas accent. I was fine with that, I really enjoyed Fox’s interpretation.
A penultimate chapter returns us briefly to Devil’s Rock, where North Callahan still hasn’t made parole. There’s been a prison break that sets up the next two books in the series; #2, “Hell Breaks Loose” is already out, and #3, “Fury on Fire” is promised for the winter. I must admit (blush) I’ll probably be listening.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
The perfect amount of bad boy and tender romance mixed with the vocal stylings of a pro. Moving onto the next.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful