Long Memory, Short Fuse, Big Revenge!
The blurb positions this as an “interconnected stand alone” set in the Rydeville High Elite world. By that I know that there will be people that have been in previous books and that not all references to those people or things that happened before this book will be fully explained. I understood this going in and still decided to read this even though I haven’t read the first four books yet.
Knowing that, there are not just a few references in this book to things that happened in the past, there are a ton. Many are explained for new readers, which I liked. However, one of the main themes has to do with crimes that may or may not have happened in previous books by members of “The Elite”. The Elite is never really fully explained but seems to be one of those secret societies where the very wealthy try to run the world. Or at least their part of it and make money through selling drugs, guns and people.
The trope of the secret society of wealthy pricks is one that is done a lot in romance and lately I have seen it come up in a lot of bully romance novels. It is a good trope because it introduces mystery, suspense, and villains. However, these criminal organizations are generally very complex and have a lot of people and moving parts. So some of it is hard to drop in on when you haven’t been around since the beginning. This book is like that. A lot of bad things, and some good have happened with regard to the Elite in the previous books and not all are fully explained so I was floundering a few times. If I had a do-over or more time, I would read the first four books prior to this one.
That being said, I still really enjoyed this book. It centered around Jackson Lauder who wants revenge for the fact that his sister committed suicide. She did so because she was broken after being kidnapped, tortured and raped on an Island by a man named Christian Montgomery. Jackson and his best friend Sawyer find out that one of their old friends, Vanessa Breen, is the daughter of this man, though she lives with her mother and step-father.
They didn’t treat Vanessa very well back when they knew her because she was a hot mess at that time. She was usually drunk and she slept with a lot of guys and was a stage five clinger. So Jackson becomes her boyfriend in order to see if she has any information on where Christian Montgomery took off to when a warrant was put out for his arrest. Jackson plays the prince charming role very well to hook Vanessa.
Vanessa has her own issues which is why she was a hot mess for a while, but since she was kicked out of her house she has become sober and independent. Jackson finds himself admiring her and starts having feelings for her but at some point he thinks she has been playing him. So he becomes her bully. I won’t go further into details because the book is actually really good and the readers should experience it all for themselves.
I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
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