I was sent a complimentary copy of this novel by the author in exchange for an honest review. It of course didn’t influence my opinion in any way. What’s more, I was explicitly told to ‘do my worst’. Not a problem ;).
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
She once was important. Now she’s considered dangerous.
In a new America where almost no one can be trusted, Caroline lies unconscious in a government hospital as others decide her fate. She is a political dissident, wanted for questioning by a brutal regime that has come to power in a shockingly easy way. As she recovers from her injuries, all she has are her memories. And once she wakes up, they may not matter anymore.
Part One of a Six Part Series. Each part is a full length novel between 60,000-120,000 words and ends in a cliffhanger. For readers 18+. This saga contains adult situations, including non-gratuitous violence, explicit (consensual) sex, psychological and physical trauma, and an oftentimes dark and gritty plot (particularly in part two).
What I liked:
The main protagonist, Caroline Gerard. She was a fun, opinionated, intelligent and warm character, in other words a pleasure to follow around.
The narration. It was fast-paced and it pulled me inside pretty quickly. Actually it grabbed me from the first chapter and almost never let me go. Ok, there were a bit slower parts during long, romantic dates of Caroline and Jack but I skipped them and returned to the present day (in the future of course) with pleasure.
The romance between Caroline and Jack was pretty well-done – neither too fast, nor too slow. Overall the chemistry between the main characters was incredible, fun and sexy. I enjoyed their banter and Caroline’s quick wit. Mind you deal here with two experienced adults. Jack, a silver fox playboy, is in his 40’s and Caroline in mid 30’s. When they get hot and heavy, they KNOW what they want and what they are doing! What a relief!
Mostly, I’m in love with the fact that this book wasn’t dumbed down that much. It’s unapologetically an intellectual smut novel, which made me all warm in all the right places. There’s suspense, danger, anger, love, and sex. Not a serious reading material but certainly great entertainment and never ashamed of it.
Finally the cover is great – simple yet powerful, operating around primary colours. An example to be followed, indie authors!
What I didn’t like:
It was supposed to be a bit of a political drama. I grant it: it is just the first part of a larger series but, in my very humble and skewed opinion, there was too much romance and too little politics inside. If you expect something like ‘The House of Cards’ you are bound to be left disappointed. Think rather ‘Sex in the City’ and instead of the ‘City’ insert ‘Washington’ and you will land closer to the mark.
The cliffhanger…I usually complain a lot about it but this time it was easier to swallow as the first chapter tells you roughly what is supposed to happen. Of course there is always a question ‘why’ and if you are a fan of ‘why’ you will have to wait.
Finally I wish the pair of main protagonists was more flawed. Sometimes their perfect physical appearances grated on me, especially when it came to Jack.
I don’t even know what sub-genre to put this book in, but if I had my way it’d be political dystopian smut. Sound enticing? Then go for it and be warned: you’ll yearn for more. And you’ll have to wait.