Okay, so a guilty admission here. I loved this. I kind of feel like I shouldn't, but I'm not sure why. It's one of those books where if I had to describe it to someone else, I would probably find the premise and plot silly and would find myself justifying reading it. Which I guess is what I'm doing now.
But Ward pulls it off beautifully. Her characters are surprisingly well rounded and real - I've discovered that she posts "slices of life" with them on her bulletin board and I wonder if this is part of their charm and depth, that she spends a lot more time with them than just in the pages of the book.
I was cheering for these characters, for Mary to take a risk and let someone in, for Rhage to take a risk of his own and let go. It took a while - and I do wish he's just told her his secret a lot earlier - but they got there in the end.
There's not a lot of plot in this book, and what there is seems to be mostly set-up for the next in the series and maybe others later, but it doesn't matter. The story is carried beautifully by the characters and I got to the end feeling fully satisfied.
I'm kind of glad I read this now as the third in the series will be out fairly soon and poor Bella has been left in a bit of a hole - literally. Fortunately, the excerpt at the end tells us she'll make it out again.
I had a lovely time getting to know Rhage and Mary and I'm looking forward to Zsadist and Bella's story soon.