Synopsis: Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being raped by the boyfriend. She had two choices. Call the cops and be killed by his family’s mafia connections or kill him first and hope to survive. There was no choice to her. She killed the bastard first and went to the one person who could protect her. Carter Reed. He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.
Review: This was a little bit of a roller coaster ride of emotions. The story literally starts on a dark, intense moment when Emma walks in to find her roommate being raped by a guy with some really dangerous, rough connections. She does not think much about it before she finds her gun and kills him. It's very much the fight or flight moment for her, and she fights. She spends the next few days, however, in complete shock and somewhat traumatized. She comes out of her fog, however, and realizes that they will need protection from a really bad mafia family. Emma has her own connections, however, and she approaches Carter Reed, - the guy that used to be her brother's best friend, until her brother was killed before her own eyes.
Carter agrees to help Emma, but there is a pretty high cost. She has to turn her back on the very friends that she is trying to help, and it doesn't help that they don't really understand why she is doing it. So, in many ways, they then turn on her. Emma and Carter are also spending time reconnecting, and Emma begins to see that Carter has always been a part of her life. I really enjoyed their story, as it has some of that "second chance" feel to it. Carter is definitely the alpha male type, but Emma does not always let him have his way, so it's entertaining.
I love this author and her writing style. I'm a big fan of the Fallen Crest books, so I couldn't wait to check this one out, as it is dealing with an older couple with more of a New Adult feel, and Tijan didn't disappoint. This book is also a little more overtly dark and edgy, although even the Fallen Crest books have some moments of darkness, in my opinion. I like how she writes her female characters. In this case, Emma almost has this frozen feeling to her - like everything inside of her seemed to stop with the death of her brother. Carter is the heat that begins to thaw her, but she still has to figure a lot of things out on her own, so it doesn't feel like she reconnects with him and then gives him everything that makes up her - if that makes sense. Enjoyed this one, as usual!