Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: "Exposed" by Brighton Walsh

In this sexy, suspenseful New Adult novel, a young woman hiding from her criminal past is taken captive by her ex-boyfriend, the ultimate bad boy. Evie is about to embark on the perfect life. Beautiful, poised, and engaged to a rising business star, she fits the part of trophy wife perfectly, except for one thing: her entire identity is a lie. Five years ago she created a new identity for herself, but it all crashes back when something she witnessed years ago comes back to haunt her. Now she's in danger of losing more than her social status. Determined to protect the careful life she's built for herself, Evie doesn't want anything to do with Riley, the criminal for hire who broke her heart years ago. But Riley has other ideas. He's never forgotten Evie, and to protect her, he steals her away. Hidden from the world, sparks begin to fly as old memories resurface and their passion reignites.

Thank you to St. Martin's Griffin via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Did I like this book?

Sadly, for a good long chunk of this book, I was bored.  We know early on that the two main characters had a relationship in their teens and have been separated for five years.  Circumstances bring them back together, and they quickly find that despite the five years apart, their feelings for each other haven't changed.  We also know that something big happened to Evie when she was young, something that changed her life forever and something she hasn't shared with anyone, not even Riley.  We learn all these things in the beginning, but then these same facts are reiterated over and over until almost three quarters of the way through the book.  I felt like the plot was completely stalled!  Sure, Riley and Evie have some steamy times, but other than that, it was the same thing repeated ad nauseum.

I liked both main characters to some extent, but I feel like something was missing between them.  Usually I love second chance romances, but in this case, there wasn't enough of a build up in the tension between the MC's.  I knew they loved each other once, and I knew they would love each other again, so it felt like I was just sitting around waiting for something to happen.  This coincides perfectly with the plot, or lack thereof: Evie and Riley sit around and wait for something to happen, and. It's. Boring.

It's unfortunate, because this book had so much potential!  Maybe somebody rushed its publication?  "Exposed" was sitting at a solid 3 stars until I read the ending: sooooo many questions and holes!  Everything was rushed and didn't make a lot of sense.  One of the main issues that Evie and Riley were dealing with was not resolved with the gravity I felt it deserved - the secret was foreshadowed and hinted at and built up until when the truth finally surfaced, I wasn't shocked at all.  Then, the problem just kind of went away.  Really?  I felt like screaming at the characters, "What are you going to do about this?"  Hopefully, since I was reading an advanced copy, somebody caught these mistakes.  But still, I couldn't help but be disappointed.

Will you like this book?

I'm almost tempted to say that if you liked "Captive", leave it at that and skip "Exposed" altogether.  "Captive" was just so much better!  But, you might want to give this one a try for yourself.  Be forewarned, though, that if you're looking for more info about the underground criminal world and "crew" that Riley and his brother Ghost are involved in, you won't be getting it here. 

Will I read more by this author?

In a word, yes.  Even though I hoped for more from this particular title, I still think the premise of the series is unique enough for me to give the next book a try.

My rating:  2.5 stars