I don’t know what exactly it was about this that didn’t make me like it as much as I did the first two books in the series. Maybe I didn’t didn’t like the D/s elements. Yeah, now that I think on it – that was a big culprit of my displeasure, because I thought Caitlyn’s writing was good without that trendy piece. I didn’t read Book 3 because Kara’s character in Book 1 didn’t really tickle me to find out more about her, so I skipped that one and that means I don’t know the time frame of this, Book 4, in relation to that.
Isabella Camerana first appeared in Protecting Olivia, Book 2, as one of the permanent teachers at the school where Olivia did some volunteer work. She was a likable character then and I found myself wanting to read her HEA, and it didn’t hurt that former Special Forces Leif Johansen and Caleb Samuels who were acting as Olivia’s bodyguards found her intriguing. Isabella’s reaction towards Leif and Caleb was reserved to the point of formal – referring to each by his surmane and never looking them in the eye. I wasn’t sure if there was a history of abuse there or something else, but I was interested enough to want to find out.
Leif, blond and blue-eyed and Caleb African-American and green-eyed, are both very interested in Isabella. Their interest wasn’t convincing to me. They seemed more interested in her because of her ‘natural submissive’ posture and attitude rather than any other aspect of her personality. One of the things that I’ve come to enjoy about Caitlyn’s writing is her willingness to take the reader on an adventure and make it all make sense. Her characters talk, they fight, they talk some more, and of course they make the horizontal mambo – but the dialogue is always there. Even with that, I just didn’t find Isabella, Leif or Caleb as interesting as I’ve found some of her other characters, and that made me sad.
Leif is the Dom, he’s had that kink for a while and he ‘needs’ it. I wasn’t sure how the dynamics would work with him being a Dom and Caleb not being one. I wish I could say that the dynamics worked for me, but they didn’t. I couldn’t get a real grasp on Isabella and what she was doing. I didn’t even like her. She was way too accommodating to Leif… and Caleb to a certain extent. I didn’t get Caleb or Leif. They’re both nice guys who just happen to be 15 years older than Isabelle’s 25. What I didn’t like about that was that Isabella just seemed too innocent, unbelievably so. Thinking about it now, I’m certain my underlying issue with this triad was that I didn’t feel their chemistry as much as I did other couples in the series, especially Olivia, Joshua and Ian, and I can’t help but compare one book in the series versus the others.
The whole piece about the kids, gangs and slave ring could have made the story more action packed, but it didn’t work for me and came off more as a diversion than part of the storyline.
Happy Reading folks!
*Book provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Caitlyn O’Leary
Release Date: September 17, 2014