If you want to survive, you have to follow the rules…
Mikayla Morgan is wanted for her mother's murder. She's been on the run for almost a year now, avoiding not only the police but the real killer. Tired of running and desperate to clear her name, she breaks one of the most sacred rules: never return to the scene of the crime.
Every bounty hunter on the Eastern Seaboard is after the Morgan girl—but Shaun Denver and his partner snagged her. She's a piece of work, and Shaun can't decide if he wants to kiss her or kill her. When things take a sharp turn south, Shaun does the only thing he can think of to keep her close—he handcuffs them together.
As the danger mounts and the killer closes in, the chemistry between them threatens to explode. Shaun and Kayla will need to break all the rules if they hope to get out of this alive.290 pagesPublished June 2nd 2014 by Entangled Embrace
Source: Publisher in Exchange for an honest review.
Three stars: An entertaining romantic mystery though a bit unbelievable.
Makayla knows she is breaking one of her mother's rules of survival by returning to the scene of a crime, but Makayla has no choice. It has been almost a year since her mother was murdered, and Makayla must return to the place where she died to try and find the missing information her mother left her that will supposedly help clear her name. Makayla has spent the last eighteen years, her entire life, on the run with her mother, constantly hiding, trying to help her mother prove her innocence. Unfortunately, the past caught up with Makayla's mom before she could reveal the truth. Men are still hunting Makayla, including the two men who come barging in the cabin door. Before long, Makayla finds herself shackled to an incredibly hot bounty hunter, Shaun, and running for her life. Can Makayla and Shaun find the evidence to prove she is innocent or will they die trying?
What I Liked:
- I appreciated that this was a fast paced, exciting, mystery NA thriller. It has drama, but not the gut wrenching type of drama that NA is famous for. Instead this is a deadly game of cat and mouse as Makayla and Shaun race to find the truth all while shackled together, and along the way some sparks fly between them. If you are looking for something fresh and exciting in the NA genre this is a fun pick.
- I liked that this book had plenty of suspense and mystery surrounding Makayla's mother and her past. I especially enjoyed the reveals and the twist at the end. I was surprised and pleased with the resolution. The mystery was entertaining and engaging throughout.
- Makayla and Shaun make an interesting couple. From the moment Shaun storms in the room, Makayla is attracted. However, Shaun is supposedly the enemy. When the two are thrust together, Makayla begs him to help her, and reluctantly Shaun agrees. To prevent Makayla from escaping, Shaun handcuffs her to him, and then the pair spend the next few days dodging killers and searching for the truth all while shackled together, talk about an awkward first day. During their time together, they must learn to trust one another, which is difficult since they have both had tough childhoods and plenty of baggage. I liked the way they learned to work together and connected emotionally.
- The relationship doesn't start off well. The two are constantly bickering and they have a very antagonistic relationship, despite the attraction. After a few near death misses, things begin to change, and then there are a couple of heated encounters. For those of you who don't like a bunch of detailed and explicit sex scenes in your NA reads, there are only a couple of encounters and one sex scene that is tame. The romance is fun to watch unfold.
- The ending resolves nicely, and all the questions are answered. Mystery solved. No complaints on my end. I got the answers I needed.
And The Not So Much:
- I had two big stumbling blocks with this book because both could have been avoided but they weren't for the sake of the story. The first being when Makayla retrieves the letter at the beginning of the book. This letter means everything and she has been dead set on getting her hands on it for almost a year. Just when she has the letter in hand, she is accosted and she drops the letter. Amidst gunfire, Makayla recovers the letter, and instead of tucking it in her clothes for safekeeping, she decides to try and read it while the bullets continue to fly. Say what? Then of course the important information is again dropped and left behind. Unbelievable. Second, the whole thing with the handcuffs. Shaun handcuffs Makayla to him early on to prevent her from escaping. After handcuffing her, he loses the key within five minutes. Who handcuffs someone to themselves and then promptly loses the key? Then the two of them spend the next few days running while handcuffed together. There were so many times when they could have and should have removed the handcuffs. They were even at a Home Depot so why on earth didn't they buy something to cut them off? It got to be ridiculous after awhile. Granted, there is a bit of a twist at the end regarding the handcuffs, but I thought the whole premise was unrealistic and a bit stupid.
- Of course being a NA romance, we have to have some heat and sex. I am all fine with that, but the moment the big sex scene comes it is right after another dangerous encounter. I struggled with the fact that they could just run and then stop and have sex when danger was hot on their heels. Not to mention the fact that it was Makayla's first time and it was amazing, and also that Shaun didn't use any protection.
- The overall plot is a bit predictable as far as the romance and Makayla's issues are concerned. At least there were a couple of good twists at the end.
Rules of Survival was an entertaining NA mystery, and I liked that it stayed away from the well known drama laden reads that are so prevalent in this genre. This was definitely different and I enjoyed it for the most part despite a couple of big flaws. Still if you want a quick, fun suspenseful read with an antagonistic romance that starts under inconvenient circumstances give this one a go. I enjoyed the reveals and twists at the end, which made it all worthwhile.
"Hacker' is such an ugly word. I prefer boundary tripper."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.