Strong Enough is my first M. Leighton book and I'm definitely interested to see what the future holds for this series. This book is the story of Muse and Jasper. Must hires Jasper, who she believes is a bounty hunter/investigator or whatever, to find her missing father. The story is supposed to be about how Jasper isn't what he seems and how perhaps Muse shouldn't trust him but that didn't work for me at all. I'll tell you why- because of Muse.
Muse was as flighty as her name and she was giving me acid reflux with her willful blindness. To me, from very early on in the book there was no question about Jasper's intentions or what the situation was with Muse's father. Throughout the book I struggled to understand why Muse ALWAYS seemed to be the last person to the party. If we assume "the party" was figuring out obvious facts. The whole reason Muse was separated from her father should have set off her alarm bells but nope. Muse never stopped to think about whether it made sense or what might really be going on there. If Muse was the only character in this story, I would've probably thrown my Kindle right out the window in abject irritation.
Lucky for my Kindle, this story includes Jasper. Jasper is every flavor of dark and brooding alpha male that I looooove. In fact, when this book opens up, it opens with a scene from Jasper's childhood that is as gripping as it is disturbing. That opening scene provides the framework for all of Jasper's effed uppedness (that's a word). From that point on, I was captivated by Jasper's story including who he became and how he dealt with the craziness that was his early life.
As for Jasper and Muse together, I liked the relationship but again that was mostly because of Jasper. I just felt like Muse was kind of stumbling around being shocked by ish that everyone else saw 50 pages ago. But I loved that Jasper protected her even when it required him to overcome fears embedded in him since childhood. And even though we see it in every book, I love the jealous hero who growls at every man who gets near his woman. It might be scary in real life but I love to read about it. Despite Muse's persistent dingyness (again, that's a word), I did feel the connection between her and Jasper and I was very much rooting for them by the end of the book.
I had to knock off a star because Muse worked my last good nerve but all in all, this book was better than just good. The writing and imagery is especially strong and the book has dual POVs which I love. I recommend giving this one a try.
**ARC provided by Publisher**