Devney Perry continues to impress with the wild, often painful thrills present in every single book she writes, and her latest heart-pounding adventure is no exception. Following closely on the heels of Steel King, we finally discover what happened to Genevieve and Isaiah up in that mysterious cabin in the mountains, thus binding their fates forever. It’s the story of a young woman trying to uncover decades-old secrets that led to her mother’s violent death, all the while falling in love with a man who thinks himself unworthy of love. The twists and turns are aplenty, keeping us guessing until the very last page, but it is the simmering, slow-burning romance between the leads that takes centre stage from the start. A must read for anyone looking for a terrific page-turner that is both an intricate, layered story and a lovely romance with two very likeable people at its heart.
It was done. Isaiah was safe. No one in the world could make me tell them what had happened at that cabin in the mountains. Because now, I was his wife.
After a lifetime of not knowing the identity of her father, twenty-seven-year-old Genevieve Daylee finds herself not only losing her beloved mother and gaining a family she never knew she had, in the span of mere weeks, but also marrying a virtual stranger. Her mother’s death sets in motion a chain of events that sees Genevieve uprooting her life in Denver, Colorado and moving to small-town Montana to marry the man who saved her life after being kidnapped by her mother’s killer.
We were really doing this. I was marrying a stranger today. I was marrying the man who’d saved my life. It was my turn to return the favor and save his.
After spending three years in prison for a crime that still haunts him, all Isaiah Reynolds wanted was a quiet, uneventful life free from complications, but everything changes when a killer kidnaps two women, and their rescue mission goes awry, forcing him to trust a near-stranger with his whole future—by marrying her. Determined to keep protecting his new wife from a vicious killer on the loose, all the while guarding their secret from the rest of the world, Isaiah plays the besotted husband in public to make everyone believe that their marriage is not a sham. Yet in private, they remain complete strangers. But as he gets to know the woman he married, he begins to discover that there’s a lot more to her than she lets people see, and that he might be the only person in the world who gets to see the real Genevieve Daylee.
I’d do right by her. I’d be respectful and honest. Fake marriage or not, I wasn’t a guy who strayed. I’d do my best to make this easy for her.
Somewhere between the awkward silences, their uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, and the fake public displays of affection, however, Genevieve and Isaiah begin to secretly fall in love with one another. Genevieve begins to look forward to every chaste kiss between them, every brush of Isaiah’s skin against hers, wanting to be the one who puts a smile on her husband’s face. And while Isaiah’s entire body screams with need every time Genevieve is near him, he continues to believe that his past sins make him undeserving of happiness, thus not letting himself have the person he wants the most in the world.
Day by day, I was falling in love with the lie.
As danger creeps closer and closer to them, Genevieve and Isaiah must rely on one another to flush a killer out in the open, forcing them to truly consider a future without each other. But when one half of a relationship expects people to always leave, pre-emptively sheltering her heart from pain, and the other believes himself undeserving of happiness, even when it’s at his fingertips, an angry ghost from the past is not the only obstacle to their happy ending.
“Do you think I would have stayed when I didn’t have to if I thought you were a terrible human being? Isaiah, I stayed. For you.”
Devney Perry’s prose is addictive, and her ability to craft a compelling, well-structured story that leaves no emotional stone unturned or, at least, peeked under, is unrivalled. A tender romance and satisfying whodunit that keeps us guessing until the very end, and with a strong family vibe at the heart of it, this is the type of book I am always in the mood for.
Isaiah looked in the mirror and saw everlasting broken pieces, but maybe my broken pieces would fit with his. Together, maybe we’d make a whole.
Bryce and Dash walked my way. They were both smiling, leaning into one another with their fingers laced. The perfect couple, so happy and so in love. With them around, Isaiah and I would seem exactly like what we were.
“Hey,” I greeted. “How are you?”
Bryce smiled up at Dash. “Great.”
Dash kissed her forehead. “Got some news to share in the garage.”
They seemed too happy for it to be bad news, but I wasn’t buying it. In the past six weeks, anyone with news had only delivered heartache.
I definitely should have stayed inside.
“I need to run these upstairs.” I nodded to the groceries. “I’ll, uh . . . meet you down there.”
Or lock the door and hide.
“It can wait.” Bryce let go of Dash’s hand, coming to the trunk. She picked up a case of Coke and the last two bags. “I’ll help you carry these up. Lead the way.”
“Oh, um . . .” Double shit.
Isaiah had been sleeping on the couch. He’d stayed the wedding night at the motel, but neither of us wanted to arouse suspicion or rumors, so he’d returned to the apartment. This morning, he’d folded his blanket and stacked it on top of his pillow, but both were on the couch.
Bryce would spot them instantly and know one of us had slept on the sofa.
With my hands full, I couldn’t exactly take the groceries from her. I was about to attempt it though, carrying an entire shopping cartful of bags myself, when a deep voice came from the garage.
“I got it.”
Bryce turned to Isaiah, handing off the Coke and sacks. “Okay, great. See you in a few.”
I forced a tight smile, then headed up the stairs and unlocked the apartment door as Isaiah’s footsteps echoed behind me.
“What’s that about?” he asked, putting the milk in the fridge as I took out the perishables.
“They have news.” I handed him a carton of eggs. “I don’t know what news, but I’m just glad she didn’t come up here.”
We made short work of the groceries, and before going to the garage, I hid Isaiah’s bedding. His maroon blanket got draped over the back of the couch, covering up some of the tan corduroy. The pillow got tossed on the bed with the others, like it had been there all along.
“We have to tell them.” Isaiah stood by the door. “The guys have been asking what’s going on with us. Not often, but enough. I can’t keep grunting or they’ll think I have a brain injury.”
Normally, I would have laughed, but the anxiety was sobering. “Today?”
He dug his ring from his pocket and slipped it on his finger.
Ugh. “Let me get mine.”
I trudged to the bathroom and retrieved my ring from the medicine cabinet, sliding it on my finger. The metal was cool, but it didn’t feel as foreign as it had two days ago. There’d be no more taking it off after today’s announcement.
“All right.” I joined him by the door. “I’m ready.”
“How do you think this is going to go?”