This book was filled with so much intensity that I got hooked to it so quickly. The entire first half of the story (the Garrett brothers and friend, Manny Ortega infiltrating a foreign country to save Ethan's ex-wife, Darcy) held so much edge-of-seat excitement. I'm not gonna lie -- I had a lot of fun reading the the first half with the rescue mission, even if it seemed fairly unrealistic ('cause... honestly, three men going up against a large, organized group of ruthless warriors and getting out alive while saving two hostages?). But, hey, since I enjoyed it, I'm not complaining and that's all that matters.
The snippets of flashbacks detailing the romance between Darcy and Ethan was actually pretty romantic and interweaved into the story line decently. I was getting caught up in the moment with them as well (despite the fact that I really DON'T like instalove, and this was definitely instalove). I'm glad that the instalove was addressed when Darcy complained that she didn't really "know" Ethan -- I mean, the two met all of eight days before deciding to get married because they were in love. I mean, their entire courtship was built on sex and sex, and getting to know each other amidst having more sex.
I only assume that it was fairly realistic that their marriage fell apart so easily. Then again, what do I know about relationships?
So while it was instalove, I'm kind of glad that it was put into perspective and the two had time to grow separately before reuniting and continuing their romance. Of course, even THAT seemed to be pushing the "fated to be" instalove a bit more. But whatevs, I enjoyed it.
I DID have a hard time sympathizing with either side of the couple-dom though. Ethan came off too alpha-male -- I mean, when your man starts telling you where he wants you and that you should just give up your dream career for his own reasons... we've already got problems. But Darcy was equally to be blamed because she didn't seem to take her safety very seriously and was fairly careless with her actions as well. There were moments when both parties started grating on my nerves during their initial relationship in the flashbacks.
And Darcy is definitely a bit too TSTL for my liking. There's always a fine line between being able to take care of yourself... and stupidly putting yourself into danger's way even knowing that it's looming over your shoulder.
But the story line and the love line was fun, nonetheless, and I was having fun with it. You know, ambassador conspiracies, terrorist abductions, rescue mission, and all.
And then Dallas Garrett and Amy Walker happened.
And I was pretty much like, "Ethan and Darcy? Government conspiracy? That's still going on?" Because Dallas and Amy just came together and the next thing I know, I'm actually contemplating breaking out of my unyielding OCD-ness when it comes to reading book series and skipping ahead to book number six in order to read Dallas' and Amy's story.
Yeah. Way to dangle that carrot on me, Gerard. Well played. I must rush through the next two books just to find out what's going on with Amy and what's going to happen between Dallas and Amy and how they're going to get their happily ever after.
Because despite the fact that Dallas makes little appearance in the first two books, he instantly became my favorite Garrett brother in this book. I'm not sure why, but I'm swooning like a mad fangirl and he didn't even really have to do much.
This book got an instant extra star because of Dallas and Amy.
This book centered on Ethan and Darcy and was really only going to get maybe half an extra star from my initial average rating.
I even almost forgot that there was a conspiracy going on with the bad guy until a short cut-scene came back up detailing the why's of Darcy's abduction. I must give the book props, I was so definitely hooked on the rescue mission and then Dallas and Amy's meeting and short companionship.
In contrast, I still liked the previous book, To the Limit the most because Eve Garrett is so kickass and her man Mac makes the two of them such a fun couple. Darcy and Ethan only have so much story and started getting a little boring. However, now I have Dallas and Amy to look forward to -- I didn't even start falling for a Garrett brother until now (despite the fact that I did come close to developing a girl crush on Eve after the second book).
I guess this all proves that I'm still a hopeless romantic, fawning over beloved fictional couples like a giddy schoolgirl with a crush.