“He was going to kiss her. This man, her enemy, was going to kiss her, and she wanted him to. Desperately.”
FINAL DECISION: Action filled romantic suspense, this book kept me guessing as to the identity of the villains until the very end.
THE STORY: Jenny Parker is a pro bono lawyer and the daughter of a crime lord. She is trying to live her life apart from her family but she keeps being pulled back. When her father calls her to tell her that her younger brother has gotten mixed up in white slavery, Jenny knows that she has to protect her brother from the mess he has accidentally gotten involved in. She meets Matthew Ryder, a member of the Committee, a covert anticrime agency. Matthew knows that Jenny is lying about something and intends to discover all her secrets.
OPINION: The second book in the Fire series continues the stories of the men of the Committee in the United States. DRIVEN BY FIRE is about human trafficking. The plot is complex and goes in unexpected directions which pushes the story forward to its conclusion. The book is romantic suspense and the suspense is predominant here.
Jenny is an interesting character because she makes some morally questionable decisions. Often in Stuart books, the hero is steeped shades of gray while the heroine is bright and innocent. Not so here. Jenny’s family and her decisions make her more morally complex from the beginning. This allows a bridge between her and Matthew. Indeed, Matthew himself is a lighter hero than most of Stuart’s Committee heroes. He’s no Boy Scout, but he doesn’t seem poised on cold homicidal tendencies. While I am a big fan of Stuart’s antiheroes, Matthew is more a traditional hero and perhaps more palatable to those who find her more difficult heroes difficult to embrace.
For me, because Matthew is less dark and more normal, less time spent with him compared to Jenny and therefore he remains a mystery throughout the novel and I felt less connection with him and also less connection between him and Jenny. I enjoyed the book but it felt more suspense than romance to me.
WORTH MENTIONING: I loved the Easter egg reference to ON THIN ICE.
CONNECTED BOOKS: DRIVEN BY FIRE is the second book in the Fire series. It can be read as a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.