Beth Yarnall’s sexy and emotional Recovered Innocence series continues as two broken souls discover that keeping their hands off each other is even harder than facing their demons.
Beau: Six years. That’s how long I spent behind bars for a crime I didn’t commit—the murder of the woman I loved. Now I’m free, but life on the outside is a different kind of prison. I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. At least I have my sister, Cora. She never stopped believing in me. She even got me a job at the private investigation agency that cleared my name. And then Vera Swain walks into Nash Security and Investigations and kicks my world on its ass.
Vera: There’s only one thing that would make me come out of hiding after two years on the run: finding my sister. I made the mistake of telling a monster about her, the same monster who beat me and broke me. Now I’m forced to confide in Beau Hollis of Nash Security and Investigations. He looks at me like he knows me—the real me. He sees too much, makes me feel too much. The pleasure he offers is exciting and addictive. But I can’t fall for him . . . because my love could get us both killed.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
After finishing Vindicate and finding out that the next book would be about Beau I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I’d be clamoring to get my hands on it to find out how he dealt with his new found freedom and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I was quite surprised by how Beau and Vera’s story played out and though it was darker in tone in comparison to Vindicate it worked for me.
The biggest surprise was Beau himself. In Vindicate he is resigned to his fate and comes off as angry, aloof and bitter ~ all perfectly understandable as he was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit ~ and I expected all of those to be extremely prevalent and pronounced as he got used to life outside of prison because even though he has been exonerated he still went to jail, but that’s not what happened. He is still has moments of anger and bitterness at the time he lost, but it’s tempered with the desire to move past it all and get on with his life. It shows a maturity as well as a hopeful outlook on what he could be able to accomplish if given a chance. Vera is an interesting character.. She’s strength personified and yet scared of her own shadow. She’s gone through hell, though that’s a huge understatement, and yet has found a way to live and not totally cut herself off from society at large and as she starts to reveal all that she went through, I couldn’t help but admire her even more.
I liked how Beau and Vera’s relationship progressed. You have two damaged people recognizing the broken pieces in each other and finding a sense of solace in that knowledge. Vera helps/forces Beau to get out the emotions that he is trying to bury and Beau shows Vera that not everyone will judge and persecute her for her past. This pushes them closer together, but Vera still holds some vital pieces of her past close and the explosion that happens when they are finally revealed puts their burgeoning romance to the test and the fallout and resolution to it were well laid out. There were somethings I guessed at, but there were a few twists that surprised me. In the end though I liked how it all turned out for them.
The subject matter in Atone is a lot darker and grittier than what was in Vindicate, but I thought that it was handled well. It was raw and honest and the author showed the subject respect while not compromising herself by sugar coating it. The book does start out a little slowly, but the writing is engaging and I enjoyed how all the twists and turns unfolded whether it was between Beau and Vera or the search for her sister. The last 30% or so, it really picks up and some of the things that happen surprised me and had me glued to my Kindle. The story is told in dual 1st person POV and there is a lot of inner monologuing. Sometimes that bothers me, other times it doesn’t. In this instance it didn’t because both Beau and Vera have isolated themselves from others so it made sense to me that they’d be more in their heads than verbally interacting.
The Bottom Line: Great addition to the series and I’m looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for us next!
~ ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Best selling author, Beth Yarnall writes romantic suspense, mysteries and the occasional hilarious tweet. For a number of years, Beth made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find their way into her stories. Beth lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their dog where she is hard at work on her next novel.