My initial thoughts when I finished reading the book were that the characters and the writing were a bit flat for my liking sometimes, but that did not stop me from enjoying the book. I have no doubt that some people would find this book interesting. It has so much potential to be the kind of book that makes your heart skip and tears to roll down your eyes, but it just didn’t draw out enough of that deeper emotional experience. It has a pretty straightforward plot, predictable but the execution won me over. It’s obvious from the beginning who the villain is, which is not necessarily a bad thing, you get a bird’s eye view of the story, and you are just waiting for the events to unravel.
To be honest, I have never read a shark shapeshifter novel I liked. It’s a phenomenon that has never been explained to my satisfaction without making any book boring, but I just love how Danielle kept it simple and concentrated on building the romantic aspect of the novel. I totally bought into the love story, for several reasons.
Here is the question: Would you take a severely injured naked stranger (who does not want you to call the ambulance) home? Probably not, if the injuries were suspicious. Fuelled by money, that is exactly what Darcy does. We associate mothers with nurturing, love and protection and yet Darcy’s mom does not fulfill those expectations. She abandons her and her sister when they are kids, and their father is left to be their caretaker. When he dies and leaves Darcy the house, she inherits the mortgage payments, and it looks like he does not have a trust fund set aside. And now she has to scramble to cover the hole her father left emotionally, financially and logistically. This forces Darcy to reorganize her life, losing an opportunity to pursue her passion for painting which is a talent that I assume she got from her dad. With no extended family to help, she seeks jobs instead, one as a bartender and another as a graphic designer to stay afloat. That makes her decision to agree to take Gabe’s money and him home easy and understandable.
By all standards his healing process is not normal; he refuses any of Darcy’s attempts to nurse him to health and states that he just needs to sleep. Darcy concedes, but she is adamant at the minimum to bandage him. At this point, if I were Darcy I would be freaked out.
An assassin with integrity: That is how I would describe Gabe. He seeks more in life other than being a clan member. He is not satisfied with how his life is going. Being an assassin takes a lot of work, dedication, discipline and having no personal life. Gabe did not choose it; he was born into it.
It makes it a perfect situation for these two to fall in love. Darcy is a loner and doesn’t share so much of herself even at work. Even if she doesn’t know much about him, Gabriel is easy to like and live with. She has gotten comfortable with it. Gabe is polite and a perfect gentleman but on the other hand I cannot approve of the actions he has taken in the past because he has killed people. Have you ever heard the expression that you should trust your dog’s instincts? It looks like Oscar recognizes that Gabe is not a bad guy either. It’s funny that Gabe thinks he might have gone soft as he watches Oscar ignore his predatory nature.As they spend more time together, the attraction Darcy feels for Gabe becomes a challenge. She knows it cannot go anywhere, but she gives into it on what is supposedly their last night together.On the other hand, Gabe’s preconceived opinions of Darcy fade when he learns of her background. It doesn’t help Gabe that Darcy is a beautiful woman in her own right. His fascination crystallizes into a kiss.
You can tell the moment he discovers that he is in love with Darcy, it’s the little things like his attempt at cooking a meal for Darcy the night before he leaves and washing his hands after touching the chicken because he doesn’t want Darcy to be sick. It’s like Darcy gives him an incentive to make that decision to leave the clan permanently finally. He admires her sense of loyalty to the ones she loves and wishes he had someone like that. Taking a leap of faith to take a stranger who could be potentially a dangerous criminal even for money to make sure her sister can pursue her education, if that is not loyalty then I don’t know what is.
Gabe’s revelation of his true nature makes Darcy come to the realization that she has lost sight of her dreams because she has been so absorbed in taking care of her sister. These two characters complement each other perfectly. The night in each other’s arms makes their parting heart-wrenching. The love scene is not raunchy but still hot.
The villain does have redeeming qualities at the end. He regrets what he has done, and he agrees to tell the clan that Gabriel is dead so they would not hunt for him.
No cliff-hanger. I loved the book. I want to get a copy for my mom; I am sure she would like it better than I.