Review: In Seconds by Brenda Novak

6 Sep

In Seconds by Brenda Novak
Harlequin/MIRA (August 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9780778312444

Favorite Lines: “You don’t have to compete. I loved my late wife, will always love her, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love you just as much.” (p. 393, egalley)

They’re back…

Laurel Hodges has changed her identity twice. She’s been on the run for the past four years, trying to outdistance the gang members who blame her for the death of one of their own. She’s finally found peace and stability in the small town of Pineview, Montana. But just when Laurel thinks she and her children are safe…the nightmare starts all over again.

The Crew, a ruthless prison gang with ties to Laurel’s brother, will never forget and they’ll never forgive. And now that they’ve finally tracked her down, they’ll stop at nothing.

Sheriff Myles King, who happens to live next door with his thirteen–year–old daughter, appoints himself Laurel’s personal guardian. His growing attraction to her could change his life—Myles is beginning to picture marriage and family. But it could also end his life. If he can’t save her, everything he’s built, everything he wants, could be destroyed. In seconds…

In Seconds is book two in Brenda Novak‘s Bulletproof trilogy. Book one is Inside, which I did not read.T

The story is a suspense filled journey which focuses on Laurel, aka Vivian’s attempt to keep her children safe from a  gang intent on murdering them all. The tension builds as the reader watches Vivian’s nervous talk with her brother who is also in hiding and her desire to protect her neighbors by not allowing herself to be drawn into a relationship. At the same time, we learn the gang members know the small town she is hiding in and are traveling there.

The story is told in the third person and it jumps from character to character. For example, it starts out in Vivan’s POV, but we eventually see things through Myles, Rex, Ink, L.J. and Virgil’s POVs. There are so many things taking place that it would be simple to become lost. That never happened.

I’m sure I missed out on a few key details and emotions by skipping the first book in the trilogy. However, I never felt lost or confused while reading In Seconds. If anything, I was slightly disappointed with the few details about the past. It felt like details about Vivian’s ex-husband and the setup for the gang’s interest in her were glossed over. I’m assuming had I read Inside I’d know much more.

The romance between Vivian and Myles doesn’t happen overnight, and what started as sexual attraction quickly mutates into affection and love. Thankfully (besides the sex), none of this happens until after Vivian has come clean about her real name and tells Myles she is on the run from a ruthless gang. I believed they were attracted and liked one another, but I didn’t see the love. I didn’t get Myles willingness to insert his child’s life into a whacked out situation which could end with her death. *shrug*

In the end, I’d recommend people read the first book before attempting In Seconds. Sure the story can be read as a stand alone, but there is an awful lot of back story and emotion overlapping from the first book. It prevented me from caring about characters like Rex, Virgil and Peyton, both of whom had major roles in book one. They were explained, but I wasn’t invested enough to care about them.

The story didn’t really make an impression on me. It didn’t really feel like a romance either, though. I think, impart, because it is not a character driven story. Everything is moved by the plot and action. I felt absolutely nothing for any of the characters. I didn’t know enough about them to understand or care about them. Had I read book one, I’m sure I’d have felt differently.

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