I rarely fall in love with an author’s writing after only reading one of their books, but some writers are that outstanding, some books are that unforgettable, and L.H. Cosway is most definitely that kind of author. We met them in passing in King of Hearts, but their story finally unfolds in this book—Karla and Lee are two people belonging to two very different worlds, but their attraction is immediate, absolute, and greater than the sum of all the reasons they should stay away from one another. A story of opposites attracting, of two hearts colliding and being incapable of letting go, against a backdrop of two worlds that could never co-exist, and of two realities that will forever stand at opposite sides of the abyss called life. From its compelling characters, to the competent prose that holds us rapt cover to cover, this is a book I could not put down, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a splendidly written tale of a love fighting to triumph against all odds.
“I may not have been the strongest woman in the world, but I’d always prided myself on living my life by a firm set of principles. Then Lee came along and threw a bomb on my rules, reducing them to a pile of meaningless rubble.”
Karla Sheehan is a young police constable trying to leave her mark in a male-dominated profession where her gender will always be her greatest weakness. Criticised and discouraged all her life for all she ever wanted to be, she is obstinate in her desire to prove her worth to herself and to all those who do not believe in her, but her greatest determination stems from a deep-seated need to help and protect those who cannot do it for themselves. Her clear-cut existence is thrown into a spin, however, when a cocky thug enters her life, set on seducing her.
“If you come, I’ll make you come with my tongue, and I won’t expect anything in return.”
Lee Cross has never had an easy life, forced to protect and put food on the table for his three brothers ever since he was a kid himself, and that life has taught him that in order to survive, he’d have to live by his own set of rules. Finding himself in a pickle with the law is something that Lee is all too familiar with, but finding himself having feelings for the very law enforcer whose duty is to dismantle his operations is nothing he could have ever prepared himself for.
“You, me…us, it would never work, you know that, right?”
“Not sure I agree.”
“Yeah, well, you’re not the one with a reputation to uphold.”
“Oh, really? What do you think my boys would say if they knew I was sleeping with a cop?”
As Karla and Lee fight their attraction as much as they keep succumbing to it, and as their worlds keep pulling them apart more and more each day, they are forced to question everything they stand for and everything they hold dearest in life. A romance between a policewoman and a criminal has disaster written all over it and for Karla and Lee, loving each other means finding themselves caught between a rock and a hard place time and time again.
“…being with him made everything else in my life a lie, and yet, the idea of being without him made everything seem empty and grey.”
Ms Cosway has made these characters’ inner struggle so real, so very palpable and poignant, that you cannot help but wish for them to find a common ground to build their happily-ever-after upon. The sexual tension between them literally sets the pages on fire—the perfect blend of scorching passion and heart-warming tenderness—but their journey to the finish line is never rushed, never forced, and never veers away from the very essence of these characters. The more they get to know one another, the clearer it becomes that their lives might have led them down two very different paths, but what is in their hearts makes them more alike than they ever expected.
“…when I look at you, I see a little piece of myself, but braver. That’s why I like you.”
I wished at times to have more insight into the hero’s character as well, to see some crucial scenes through his eyes and hear his thoughts too, finding myself inexplicably drawn to the many facets of his complex personality and curious to find out even more. It would have made this story even more compelling, made him less of a ‘bystander’ in some situations, in my opinion, and added even more angst to certain scenes. This did not affect my overall enjoyment of this wonderful tale, however, Karla and Lee being two characters you cannot help but love and cheer for from the very first page, and their every interaction made my skin tingle. This is such a wonderful addition to a truly exceptional series, exquisitely written and with storylines that are as varied as they are unique, and while this book can easily be read on its own, I would advise reading King of Hearts beforehand as these stories happen somewhat simultaneously and they complement greatly one another.
“Give me a chance, and I’ll prove to you that everything you think you see is blurred by perception.”