Laurelin Paige is a new-to-me author, and I enjoyed this book very much.
When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven’t spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what’s more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing.
Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to the enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must seduce Reeve to learn his secrets and discover the whereabouts of her friend. But as she finds herself more entangled with him, she finds she’s drawn to Reeve for more than just his connection to Amber, despite her growing fear that he may be the enemy. When she’s forced to choose where her loyalty lies, how will she decide between saving Amber and saving her heart?
Emily Wayborn teamed up with her friend Amber when she was a teenager. Together, they sold their company and their bodies in exchange for somewhere to live and other material possessions. Then, one day, everything changed. Six years later, Emily receives a phone call from Amber, one in which Amber utters their secret code word that means she’s in danger and requires help. Thus starts Emily’s journey into the world of wealthy hotelier and mystery man Reeve Sallis as she searches for her missing friend.
Things I enjoyed about this book:
1. The main characters, Emily and Reeve. Emily is a multi-layered character with a definite dark side while the reader is never really sure about Reeve. We’re kept guessing. Is he a sexy, bad boy or is he a sinister murderer?
2. The author peels back the layers of the plot with a delicate touch, making it a real page turner.
3. The element of danger. As I mentioned, because this book is first person, we never know exactly what is going on with Reeve. He’s a real mystery man and he has dark and alpha tendencies.
4. The author is an excellent writer with an enticing style and voice. She pours on the emotion.
Things that gave me pause:
1. A couple of the love scenes were very dark and hard to read, although I will point out that they worked within the context of the story.
2. The ending. It really sucked for me and the cliff-hanger left me thinking, what? Now I don’t know anything more than I did when I started reading. While it’s obvious that this story will continue, the ending left me frustrated.
When it came to weighing up the story as a whole, I decided on 4 stars. If the ending had have been different, the rating would have been higher. Still, if you’re a fan of contemporaries with a darker edge, and you don’t mind a cliff-hanger, give this one a try. It’s an intriguing page-turner.
Review copy received via Netgalley.