Okay, I admit it.
I first wanted to read Hell on Wheels (by Julie Ann Walker) because of the motorcycle angle (hot biker guys, yum, not to mention I’m a biker myself). And obviously, I have a weakness for military (or ex-military) veteran heroes in novels – especially if they’re injured (physically and mentally) like my hero in True Surrender. Throw in a juicy mystery or threat of life and limb, and I’m totally THERE.
And this book had it all.
A tortured hero (both literally and figuratively). A smart-ass heroine. Plenty of fireworks between the two, even as the hero tried to keep his feelings at bay. There were several OMG scenes (a torture flashback was particularly riveting – more graphic and gruesome than the flashbacks in True Surrender).
This book has a lot of vernacular and a stream-of-consciousness writing style. I tend to want to write that way in my own work but temper it down because, frankly, it’s hard to do well. And when it’s not done well, the story is harder to read. So I was impressed to find that was not a problem here! The writing style fit with the personality of the characters and the faster pace of the plot line itself (I won’t get into details about the plot, as you can find plenty of overviews on amazon).
Another thing that doesn’t usually work for me is multiple points of view, and that’s my only thumbs-down on this book. You do want “secondary” themes in a book, but you don’t want them to overshadow the main story. In this case, it was two other members of the Black Knights who are crazy about each other but won’t admit it (the subject of the next book in the series, I understand). And, it would also be good to differentiate by dialogue (the stream-of-consciousness style is just too hard to take when EVERY character is using it). At least when there was a point-of-view change, it was clearly delineated by a new chapter.
Yes, there were a few scenes that required a suspension of logic (I was thinking about a scene where he’s got a bullet in his shoulder but twenty minutes later he’s lifting her off the ground/against the wall), but isn’t that what we escape into a book FOR?