Handsome and take-charge Garrett aids Lauren in her rescue efforts, even as the steely look in his eyes seems to hide dark secrets. When a gang of escaped convicts goes on the attack, Garrett's bravery makes him more than a courageous bystander to Lauren. If they can save the others before time runs out, maybe, just maybe, they can explore the fire igniting between them--if the truth about who he really is doesn't pull them apart forever...
Comment: This book has been in my TBR pile for some time, ever since I've read other books by the author and this one caught my attention by its original premise, something I admit I usually don't look for (post tragedy adventures) but that in this case seemed quite intriguing. I was curious to read it.
This story begins with an earthquake in San Diego and how devastating it gets. The plot focuses on a group of characters that end up in a sort of secluded zone and how they must try to survive while help doesn't reach them. The situation is already difficult, with injured people and friends that died on impact, when the problem of not having food and water so they could survive becomes their main concern. Adding to it is the challenge to survive while dealing with convicts that were on route and who got free after their transport was caught in the impact.
The two main characters, mysterious Garrett and paramedic Lauren form a team to help everyone and to keep them strong until help arrives. The fact they feel attracted to each other shouldn't even cross their minds but it does, as does the fact the convicts are trouble...
I wouldn't wish an earthquake on anyone but I was quite curious to see how the author would put a plot in motion featuring one. Of course there's a lot of loss and devastation, of problems and struggles and I don't know if things would be as simple in RL. Still, I think the author offered enough setting so the book got meaning and that would justify character's actions and decisions.
In a way, this must be one of the strongest points: the details and setting are quite well portrayed in my opinion. Sure, the solutions and some situations seem easily dealt with but this is a romance, not a non fiction about the consequences of real earthquakes.
I really liked the plot, the ideas presented. I liked we didn't have a classic villain here, it was simply a matter of good citizens facing others who don't have such an easy acceptance in society, and it was quite the exercise to think about our own prejudices based on appearances and expectations we have of convicts. Of course, some can be realistic and true, others a wake up call for the fact many people in jails may deserve it but aren't bad people or true criminals. I liked I got to think about this while reading. In fact, the author included quite the themes here for the reader to weight in what we think about several aspects such as justice, prejudice, racism, among other things.
The main characters, Garrett and Lauren pend the book trying to help the group they saved somehow which includes an older man, a child, a pregnant young woman and an injured amnesic man. And then there are the three convicts. It was quite interesting to see everyone interact and how the stronger would try to defend the others and protect them. We get more defined glimpses about some secondary characters quite enough, especially when we are given their perspectives through their POVs and that gives power to their importance in future books in the series.
The romance I liked too. I'm not usually a fan of love-under-pressure or right after a stressful situation but in this case it worked out well for me, the author did a good job showing us their thoughts and actions and by writing down some good sexually tensed scenes which only made it better when they finally got together. Lauren is the classic heroine and I liked how she processed everything, including her personal issues but to be honest, Garret was my favorite character. He is a great hero, and quite special, I liked a lot how the author made him and the solution to his dilemmas and mystery. I wasn't totally surprised but I think it was well done overall. It was very nice to see them try to be a couple and I hope they are solid presences in future books.
I just ordered the rest of this series, the books feature known characters from this book, or at least one of the main characters is and I have high hopes for those stories. If the author maintains contact with Garrett and Lauren so we can follow them again, even if in a lesser capacity, it would be great. But this book at least, has won me over. It's not perfect, especially in some scene detailing, some parts I think the pace wasn't as well done, some situations I feel were too exaggerated, but overall a great effort and a great read for me.