Review: Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

race-the-darknessReviewed by Jen

The blurb for this book sounded right up my alley. I am all about a tortured hero. Here, Xander is both physically scarred and mentally ravaged by his ability to hear the thoughts of other people. Making matters worse, he is haunted by the voice of a woman begging him to save her. Our heroine, Isleen, has been held captive for years and found some of her only comfort in her dreams of Xander. The story essentially begins with him saving her and moves forward from there.

It sounds amazing, right? And it has tons of glowing reviews on Goodreads. But it did not work, at least for me, for a number of reasons.

Let’s start with the fact that I did not like the hero. I understand that he is a pretty miserable guy and he has good reason. But. It’s really hard to get on board with a guy who has been stringing along another woman, sleeping with her for 10 years. A woman he drops like hat when Isleen comes along. Yes, I understand that we are supposed to recognize the mythic fated connection between these two. But let’s stop to think for a moment about how long 10 years really is. I understand that it was not a healthy relationship, but come on. What kind of person does that? And the way he treats the woman when Isleen enters the picture? I’m sorry, it did not make me rally around the new relationship. It just made me think of much less of the hero.

Then there is the set up for Isleen. This woman has endured the stuff of nightmares. But she comes out of it essentially just fine. Eight years she was abused, nearly killed. But in short order she wants to get busy with Xander. Anyone would need intense psychological care for years coming out of a situation like that and she is getting horizontal in like a day.

The circumstances surrounding her abduction and torture did not ring true for me either. Our villain and his circumstances were very underdeveloped, and the time spent with him squicked me out.

I hated Xander’s dad. I hated the cop, Kent. Both were extremely one-dimensional. Everything in this book felt superficial to me. Even the supposed mythical connection between the hero and heroine felt weak and underdeveloped.

I really can’t think of any part of this book that worked for me. And I will be the first to say that I am clearly in the minority here. Maybe it would be better for you. But I will not be continuing with this series.

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Race the Darkness
by Abbie Roads
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks


  1. I actually really liked it lol. The description was intriguing so I thought I would give it a shot and I wound up enjoying it. It’s not my top 10 or anything but it was good. I agree about the heroine just getting busy right after being kidnapped, and I’m not one of those that believes in folk tales – even in books, but for some reason this one worked for me. I’m going to read the next one 🙂

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      A lot of people loved this on Goodreads! I’m glad to have someone here to share the opposing view. Maybe you can write the review for book 2. 🙂

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