ARC Provided through publisher by NetGalley for an honest review.
4 STRONG DECK STARS
Deck has been in love with the same woman for almost fourteen years, he just didn't know it. He was too young and superficial to realize it. For the first five of those years, she was the best friend to the woman he thought was the love if his life, Elsbeth. And for the next nine years he was without her because he thought he was still in love with Elsbeth, who'd broken things off. That is until a chance meeting on the sidewalks of Gnaw Bone, when a voice he recognized immediately called his name, only for him to turn around and not recognize the beautiful woman walking towards him until she kissed his cheek and game him the dimple he could never forget.
At that moment, Jacob "Deck" Decker knew he'd been hung up on the wrong woman for fifteen years. That the woman who'd always been a friend, who he loved debating with, laughing with, and intellectually stimulated him, walked back into his life. That woman was Emmanuelle "Emme" Holmes. She looked different and he liked what he saw.
Though he wondered if he was that superficial that he didn't see the beauty before she was in her new package. They both realize eventually that they had been in a relationship almost like cheating on Elsbeth in front of her face without either of them knowing. The fact that he let Emme and only Emme use his real name. That he'd wanted to be around her, sometimes asking Elsbeth to call her for dinner. They would end up in their own world communicating with others around. But Elsbeth knew, which is why Deck had pulled away from Emme years ago before Elsbeth broke up with him and he lost Emme as well. But now that she was back in his life he wasted no time connecting with her, finding out everything about her and wanting her free of her relationship with a man Deck definitely didn't like. He wasted no time helping her come to the conclusion that Dane wasn't the man for her, and Deck was.
But there were things in Emme's past, that Deck knew about, but she wouldn't delve to far into, that gave him pause. Things he knew she wasn't dealing with and why she held herself away from people for the most part, and would made her pull away from him at times. But Deck finally finding the woman that fit him and he was meant to be with, was determined that nothing was going to take her away from him, not even her. He made it plainly clear when she was pulling away that he would grab hold and help her through anything that was happening.
So when Elsbeth came back into their lives, briefly, and Emme used that as an opportunity to pull away, Deck gave her space until he realized she was putting herself in a mentally fragile position by maintaining a connection with someone from her past who had hurt her. It wasn't until his anger with her broke her down to the point she could see it.
There was also Dane that needed to be dealt with and Deck was just the man to do it. He wanted Emme clear of anything bad that would touch her and that included Dane and his habit of being creepy.
I liked this one much more than Jagged , but I still feel like something was missing, just not as obvious as it was in Jagged . When the story jumps from (view spoiler) one thing to another, towards the end, I feel like old KA would have told more of what happened in the first person narrative instead of just having Deck tell Emme. Either way, I didn't miss it that much. There was enough love, excitement and suspense happening without that which allowed me to really enjoy the read.
*KA Fan Always & Forever*