I loved this book. I really loved this book. I'm probably going to end up buying a few copies of this book to give to friends who I think will also love this book.
And before I go on, let me just get this out of the way, because every book out there seems to get compared to 50 Shades of Grey, and I'm sure that will happen with this one as well. It's almost as if the author knew that would happen, and just to show you she knew, she threw in a few lines - such as the comment that they were too many shades of messed up to be together, and then there's a mention of the sky being a shade of grey.
There is the element of domination and submission and such but that's where any comparison ends because I believe that even on her worst day, Maisey Yates can outwrite EL James, and she doesn't need the framework of a teenage vampire love story to do so. Anyway, that said, I usually stay away from books that involve domination. If I see that in the description or notice that people on GoodReads have tagged a book BDSM, I usually don't even bother to read it. I found myself cringing for a moment in this book and thinking, no, don't go there. But I kept reading and I'm glad I did. This was the first time I've read about these situations and heard it explained in such a way that it made sense to me. As I said, I don't read a lot of stories labeled BDSM, so maybe there are lots of great examples, but anyway. Point being, as someone usually a little icked out about this, I wasn't icked out by this - icked, really putting that Master's Degree to work here, aren't I?
Now to the point of my review. This book is so good. This is the sort of book, I want all my friends to read, so we can discuss it later. Intense storyline - dark, gritty, tragic; strong characters dealing with loads of internal angst, including a decade of guilt, as well as some messed up external circumstances with which these characters are having to cope - family problems, work issues, difficult friends - it's all there. And, of course, it's got the usual elements of a Harlequin Presents - money, power and sex - and in this case, maybe more so than the usual Presents, abuse of all three. Before I got my hands on this book, I kept reading about how this book was different from the usual Presents - and it is, mostly in that it's longer, and there's more of a storyline, or rather a more involved storyline. Usually the books focus on a couple and their relationship. There is a couple and there is the focus on their relationship, but there's also a lot more happening. These two people are a mission to destroy a man that ruined the life of someone who was very important to them. That part of the story continues in the other two books in this trilogy.
I loved the characters in this book. Strong female character, that's always a necessity for me to enjoy a romance. Katy's determined and she's not at all intimidated by a guy with a lot of money, and she's very much in control of her life. But before she can truly begin to live her life, she's got to avenge the death of her sister. Austin is another big reason to love this book. Austin wants the same thing as Katy, her sister having been one of his best friends. For ten years, he's lived with the guilt of not having done more to help her. But despite wanting to focus on avenging the death of Katy's sister - he also wants Katy, in a way that he feels he shouldn't. The chemistry between these two is great and the sex, so hot. I enjoyed reading about the way the two grew to care about each other.
I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a steamy, sexy read with a great storyline.