I knew something was up when I read the Dedication on this book:
Thanks to everybody who encouraged me to continue with Kit's story. Be warned... she's got a rocky road ahead of her. But I hope it's worth it in the end.
I saw this and thought to myself, "Dammit. Kit and Damon are going to break up." I dreaded it. I steeled myself for it. What I fool I was. Suffice it to say, Shiloh Walker and I have a vastly different understanding of the words "rocky road."
Let's back up. As the story begins, Kit and Damon are going strong, though they are both hard at work. Damon is cleaning house in his pack, getting rid of the crazies who thrived under the old Alpha. And Kit is solving cases for her investigative firm. Things are actually kind of... good.... until Kit gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Justin. The witch works for a powerful branch of law enforcement that is investigating Damon. They believe he is behind some unauthorized kills and if Kit can't prove he didn't do it, he'll be slated for execution. To make matters worse, Justin puts a spell on her that prevents her from talking about the case. Kit has to work against the clock to clear the man she is falling in love with, while keeping her mission a secret.
I really, really like Kit. She is tough, but she is also so very vulnerable. She endured so much as a child, and it's clear we don't even know the whole story. Entirely new atrocities are hinted at. And the memories still plague her. Still terrify her. But she soldiers on. There is something like steel at her core. She will not break. Her past makes her growing love for Damon even more poignant. She's always been afraid to love anything, for fear of losing it. Damon shows himself worthy of her and makes me fall for him as she does the same. The characters just strike such a chord.
And then it all goes to shit. Not the book. But everything in Kit's life.
I won't spoil it. But I will tell you that dedication should have come with flashing yellow lights and perhaps a skull and crossbones. This book gutted me. Completely and utterly. I cried. I shook my head. I talked to myself. And I cried some more. As I write this, I still feel sucker punched and slightly hollow.
It was amazing, horrible, terrible, wrenching, and utterly consuming. Worth reading, to be sure. But have your Kleenex ready and a support group standing by. You're gonna need it.
Rating: A-*ARC provided by author for review