My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Trapped in a mall during a terror attack, Vivi Vincent and her young son, Michael, soon find themselves targets when it becomes clear that Michael may have witnessed details about the terrorists’ future plans. Placed in protective custody with FBI agent Jed Brennan, Vivi must face the threats not only to her life but to her heart as well.
Enjoyable overall, but there are several troubling elements that undermine both the story and the characters.
Vivi is supposed to be a strong and independent single mother struggling to cope with her traumatized son’s psychological problems. Sounds like the perfect heroine, right? Unfortunately, Vivi’s excessive and repetitive musings on her past relationship with her jerk of an ex-husband and her overprotective mothering undermine her character.
Jed isn’t much better. His constant self-recrimination and reluctance to give into his attraction to Vivi are irritating, and result in a complete lack of romance and chemistry between the leads. Thus, the eventual “I love yous” have no basis in emotion and feel forced rather than natural.
There are also plot and character inconsistencies that undercut the apparent anti-terror message of the story. To begin with the author seems to have trouble reconciling the terrorist theme with her political correctness. The apologetic tone presented via one of the villains appears to imply that terrorist acts could be justified under certain circumstances – an idea that is simply abhorrent. Nothing justifies terrorism.
In terms of the character inconsistencies, Viv’s ex goes from a complete and utter jerk who would threaten to commit his son to a mental institution and physically abuse his wife to a suddenly caring father and guilt ridden ex-husband. Really?
Moreover, the sudden inclusion of details without foundation and the lack of closure with regard to some plot points are also problematic.
In sum, not as good as the first book, but the hints at stories to come are compelling enough to continue with the series.