Diving back into the Slow Burn world was pure enjoyment. This time, we got to delve into the minds of Wade Sterling and Eliza Cummings. In the 4th installment, Eliza is at the center of a vicious plot, come to claim her from the past, and there’s no way out. Once she learns that the man she once helped put away will be set free, she resolves herself to end him, even if it condemns her to her own death. Despite coming to terms with the inevitable, she never expected the brooding, ruthless, and a bit improper Wade Sterling to come to her rescue, let alone having to battle him for her heart. Then again, these two have been seething with sexual tension since the last book, so maybe I’m not surprised. To say the least, the pages are explosive in more ways than one.
As Wade Sterling enters the fold, we see a man in denial, a man enraged, a man of pride, and a man who has fallen in love. He is tenacious, as is Eliza. He is a seeker of justice, as is Eliza. He is ruthless, just as Eliza can be. This is probably why I loved every damn minute of this book. These two characters are ferocious, and very set in there ways. However, what really set this book apart from the others is that it had nothing to with our former heroines. Ramie, Ari, and Gracie were barely in it. Since the evil that was trying to use and destroy the women of DSS is out of the way, the story was very focused on these two characters without much interference from the secondary ones. It was more similar to the first novel in this way, and while I freaking loved the last two novels, especially In His Keeping, I appreciated the centralized plot surrounding Wade and Eliza.
I think that the change in pace was necessary especially with how personal this book was to Eliza’s character. When the reader is able to fully grasp the torturous background of Eliza and just how complex she is due to the trauma she suffered, I understand why it was written this way. Eliza is the epitome of transformation and growth, as one would see when a caterpillar goes through the stages of life, eventually becoming a butterfly. The story is quite beautiful despite the horrors lurking within. Add the sexy, alpha male that is Wade Sterling, and hell yes you’ve got yourself a fabulous book! I really would love to get into the nitty gritty of Wade’s background, but that’s okay because like I said, this is Eliza’s story. I loved seeing her strength and purposeful nature take on the hard edge after she finally let go of the past. It’s never easy to move on from any kind of abuse, or being another’s puppet (especially with a serial killer mixed in), but she did it and that gives other’s hope in the real world. That is an important message because while one never forgets such a traumatic experience, being able to move on and live life is something to be proud of, and very necessary.
Ultimately, justice was served, and that is something that puts a smile on my face. Besides, watching Wade and Eliza come to terms with falling for one another was fun, sweet, and sexy. Add in the danger, and those scenes with Dane (who I freaking love, and honestly, I think Tori and him *might* be a couple in the future. Yay!), and I just plowed through the book. Readers certainly will not want to miss this novel, and if they haven’t read this series, they should definitely pick up Keep Me Safe (the 1st book) and take the time. Thanks Maya!
**ARC provided by Publisher**