This was so unexpected and different, it’s got me wanting to read more from the series immediately. I love forced proximity and a grumpy hero, so I thought I knew what I was getting into with this one. I didn’t. It’s a lot more complex than anticipated, and the unpredictability had me hooked. As a romance reader, you get used to seeing the same tropes recycled over and over again – so it’s refreshing to read something that’s not easy to label. While initially I would’ve called this a Beauty and the Beast story, it shifts gears along that way and transitions into something more nuanced. This is one of those rare instances where I think the story could’ve benefited from a longer length, because I was SO CLOSE to rating this as 5 stars, but there are a few things that could’ve been handled better.
The story follows Jordan, a woman on an outdoor adventure with her boyfriend and friends. The trip was Jordan’s last attempt at repairing her relationship, which seems to have run its course. So when she sees her boyfriend cheating, it throws Jordan off-balance – and she runs. Directly into a winter storm. Saved from death by a mysterious stranger, Jordan finds herself in a cabin. It’s only the two of them against the elements, and Jordan isn’t sure if she can trust the temperamental, beast of a man. But Alexander has helped Jordan heal, and shown concern for her well-being in her time of need. Surely he can’t be all bad. As the two spend time together, they become closer… until the moment when Jordan realizes that she never knew Alexander at all.
This is sort of a book in two halves, the “before” and the “after.” What probably would’ve pushed this into 5-star territory for me is a longer “before.” I loved the scenes with Alexander and Jordan at the cabin, her getting to know a man who is total mystery. There are some great quiet moments and subtle shifts in their relationship during that period that I wanted more of once the story switched gears. I needed them to have a stronger connection going into the “after,” because Alexander is a scary guy. It’s tough to explain without offering up spoilers, so I’ll just say that I ended the book confident that he’d do something violent and terrifying in the future. I really enjoyed the reading experience, but that’s definitely something that’s on my mind. I also picked up the second book in the series (featuring Alexander’s brother) immediately and dove right in. I have a feeling that the whole series is going to feature unique storylines, and I’m ready to get reading.
🎧 Audio note: I liked the audio! It’s got dual narration with two solid voices. I’m not overly familiar with either narrator, but I recognized both of them. The female narrator has a bit of an accent, so her voice is easy to listen to but also unique enough to catch your ear at times. The runtime is just under 10 hours and easy to speed up if you’re trying to fit this into a workday listen. It’s not a slow burn, but the steamy scenes are pretty short, so I didn’t have any trouble listening while working. The overall tone is more somber and tense, with a few sexy moments in the mix.
From New York Times bestselling author, JB Salsbury, comes an angsty new romance with a bossy hero and woman who was born to survive.
To me, he was Grizzly.
To the world, I would learn, he’s someone else completely.
I should have died on that mountain.
But he rescued me.
More animal than man, he’s cold, distant, and fiercely territorial. He seems to hate me for simply breathing, and yet, he brought me back to life.
After my return to the city, I can’t stop thinking about him. His rough hands, intense glare, and the way he cared for me as if I meant something to him.
He tells me he’s dangerous. That I’m not safe around him. I would eventually understand why he warned me away. But by then it’s too late. My heart is his.
Book two in the North Brothers series is out now!
In a city where image is everything, Gabriella turns heads for all the wrong reasons.
The marks that slash across her neck and face turn people away. But I see the beauty that lies beneath, feel a kinship to her pain.
I regret the way she found me—mugged and left for dead. I should walk away, follow the rules, but I can’t. I want to see her again. There’s only one problem.
My brother convinced her I’m gay.
I use that lie to my advantage, persuade her to be my pretend girlfriend, to help protect my fake-sexual identity from my judgmental family. But what starts as a shameless excuse to be near her leads to crossed lines and midnight confessions.
I’m not who I led her to believe. I’m sin wrapped in silk. Betrayal masked by beauty.
And she’s not the only one with scars…
About the Author:
JB Salsbury, New York Times Best Selling author of The Fighting Series, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day lost in a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles as stories claw away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.
Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to write her first novel.
Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award.
For more information head over to jbsalsbury.com for the latest news, quizzes and downloadable swag!
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