Author: Heloise West
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/19/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Gay Romance, Mystery/Thriller
When Hunter and Alex (formally Shawn) are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.
There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends.
Their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.
Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.
Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.
This second book of a series draws heavily on events of the first one, <em>Hitting Black Ice </em>(reviewed by Brandilyn <a href=”http://www.prismbookalliance.com/2014/12/hitting-black-ice-by-heloise-west-book-review-by-brandilyn/”><em>here</em></a>), so I wouldn’t recommend reading it as a standalone. Also, I thought it started out really slow, as the main characters are busy rebuilding their lives both as individuals and as a couple. Without a preformed connection to Hunter and Alex/ Shawn, readers might get lost or lose interest.
That said, after the first quarter or so, once they went on their Caribbean vacation, my enjoyment of the story grew almost exponentially along with the plot picking up speed. Literally, as there’s a hurricane heading their way, and then a dead body appears and suddenly there are secrets to solve and questions to ask and too many people acting a bit too weird. I thought the mystery part really well done, kind of like an oldschool whodunit under palm trees. Well, and with some really bad guys on the loose.
Interwoven with this is Hunter’s and Alex’s romance, which I found just as enjoyable. Both Alex and Hunter were well-drawn characters, and I liked them both, respectively and together. Refreshing how much common sense they had; these were men who really talked to each other, and even more important, who listened. It made then feel real to me. Same with the supportive cast, especially Max and Orfeo; they each have their story and their personality.
Which brings me to the writing. Again, once the slow beginning was over, the writing took full effect with the descriptions of the tropical island as well as with the action scenes (including between-the-sheets action).
All in all, this was an enjoyable, entertaining read, a well written romantic suspense with likable protagonists, lots of action and an ongoing loving relationship. Recommended as part of the series.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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