Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being raped by the boyfriend. She had two choices. Call the cops and be killed by his family’s mafia connections or kill him first and hope to survive. There was no choice to her. She killed the bastard first and went to the one person who could protect her. Carter Reed. He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.
4.5 Carter Reed Stars!
"You did all of that for me?"
"I would declare war for you."
I have enjoyed Tijan's stories in the past and this one was no exception.
Just reading from the first chapter alone, I know it's going to be good. The blurb pretty much revealed that. I know going in what was going to happen but boy, the way it was written was just fantastic. Every emotion that Emma was feeling was so tangible. It felt like I was there myself watching all those horrible things as they unfold.
Emma came home early only to find her best friend being raped by her douche-bag boyfriend. Emma did what she had to do and killed the bastard in order to save her friend. The only problem was her best friend's boyfriend was the son of a powerful mob boss. So now, Emma, along with her friend was forced to hide knowing that there will surely be retribution for what she has done.
“You don’t trust anyone, no one except Carter. Go to Carter. He’ll take care of everything. He’ll take care of you, Ems. I promise.” – AJ
Fortunately for Emma, she has someone on her side. Someone who is even more fearsome and more powerful than those who are seeking her life--Carter Reed. Carter Reed grew up with Emma and her older brother AJ. And it was Carter Reed who avenged her brother's death at the hands of the same rival mob and it was Carter Reed who, unbeknownst to Emma, continued to protect her.
Carter Reed is mysterious, powerful and connected. Emma went to him for protection. For Emma, being with him stirred up memories and feelings she had long since buried. Emma fought against those feelings knowing that Carter is as dangerous as her enemies, if not, even more so because he has the power to hurt her not only physically but emotionally as well.
This book had the right amount of action, drama, betrayal and intrigue. But at the heart of it all is a love story. Carter and Emma. We get some snippets from their children and we get a glimpsed of Carter's childhood and how it affected him. We also get to know Emma's brother through her own memories which pretty much intertwines with Carter's.
The pacing was great. The characterizations were excellent. And it was definitely one of those books that you shouldn't start at 11 pm because you're going to be up all night finishing it. Some parts are brutal and very difficult to read but still very interesting and very vital to the whole story.
The secondary characters were brilliantly written. Each of them played vital roles to the story. One thing about Tijan's characters is that you'll never know what they're going to do next. You think you know a character, you like them and then suddenly, boom! They just surprise the heck out of you. Some good and some bad.
The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is the fact that the ending left me wanting. I wanted more. Yes, there is an HEA but I must admit I wanted a little bit of those cheesy and gooey stuff I call an epilogue. But I have a feeling we're going to see more of Carter and Emma. I certainly want to see them playing a role in Noah and Theresa's story. Assuming there is going to be one. But what the heck! A girl can hope, right?
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.