Synopsis: Carter bought his way out of the mafia to protect Emma, but when an old ghost returns to the Mauricio Family, a chain of events starts that can harm everyone. While Carter must decide to return to the Mauricio Family or not, a face that is oddly familiar to Emma comes into her life. She’s given the chance to discover more about her family while tension between the rivaling Mauricio and Bertal Family comes to a head in an explosive way. The truce is officially off, and when the two worlds collide, Carter’s decision is made.
He didn’t start this war, but he will end it.
He will do anything to protect Emma.
I discovered this author through Jane from the review blog Dear Author – which if you’re not reading you really should be – and I’m really glad I did. I’ve read through most of her back list with my favorite being the Fallen Crest series that is most of Tijan’s fans favorite! This is the sequel to the first Carter Reed, which I really enjoyed and gave 4 stars to. What I like about Tijan’s books is that they’re very over the top and dramatic. Many of the characters in her books are still in high school but their lives are much more complex than any adult in real life I know. Normally I’m not a big fan of angst but her characters don’t have the extreme angst that make them cry non-stop and need to be rescued. No, Tijan’s female characters are usually hardcore and whatever dramatic situation that has happened to them they deal with and move on. While they may need rescuing, they’re usually helping with their own rescue which of course I love.
So, about this specific book, unfortunately it was just average for me. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great but it was good. I had two main problems with this book. The first one being that Emma and Carter seemed to be apart for most of it. The whole point of the first book was to get the two of them together and give them their HEA or at least their HFN. It seemed in this book every time they were together their scenes were saying goodbye or hello and never actually being together. I like my couples together for at least a portion of the book. To be fair there were definitely a few times here and there but it just was so brief that it didn’t satisfy me enough. Their love for each other is very strong and it’s apparent that nothing will keep them apart but I would have liked to see them together.
You go where they go. You walk their same path. What happens to them, happens to you. It’s the burden of loving someone. You deal with it because that person is there when you need them.
My second problem with the book was that Emma kept waffling back and forth with her emotions. She and Carter were strong throughout the book in terms of their relationship but all of her other relationships she kept leaving and coming back to. I was getting really tired of seeing the same scene repeated over and over again with her friends. I like her friends and the relationship she has with them and I understood the complicated nature of those relationships. But the repetition was what was driving me crazy. Then a sister comes out of nowhere and the waffling continues with her. It just seemed disconnected to me with everything going back and forth like that.
This book was a bit of a let down for me but definitely won’t keep me from reading any more of Tijan’s books. She’s very talented and I won’t hesitate from reading the next Fallen Crest. That’s what I would recommend if anyone was looking for a book of hers to read.