4.5 infiltrated Stars
Compared to Manic this book actually was relatively tame. Until halfway through, the lid got popped and a whole bunch of crazy, holy shit, what the fuck just happened came rushing out all at once.
Rook has moved to Fort Collins to work for Spencer at Shrike Bikes and start school while Ronin stays in Denver to manage a big campaign. Ford is living in Fort Collins too to help with the TV show, but mostly to help keep an eye on Rook.
And life is relatively boring. It’s 9 to 5 and vanilla and predictable. Until an FBI agent walks into Chaput Studio and Rook’s math tutor starts talking about Ronin’s past and then suddenly everything is very unpredictable. And then moves quickly into completely unhinged.
After the events of Manic – finally nailing Jon for everything he did to Rook and bringing closure to that part of her life, I fully expected this book to mostly be about Ronin bringing Rook around to the idea of marriage and settling down. I thought it would probably just be a really emotional journey as I watched Rook come that much more into herself, put her past behind her and solidify her future. I thought there would be whole chapters of her cementing her love of film in classes. I thought there would be lots of mushy conversations between her and Ronin. I thought there might be some good ah-ha moments with Ford and Spencer.
And I did. I got almost all of that. And a whole lot of hair pulling, lip chewing, deep breathing and trying not to freak the fuck out because these are fictional characters and everything will actually be ok.
I also got very possibly one of the absolute sexiest scenes I’ve ever read between Rook and Ronin. And it’s from Ronin’s point of view, which is extraordinarily rare and it was incredibly well done. It was gorgeous. Hot and sexy too, but mostly just absolutely gorgeous to be able to read these two characters connect on that level. To read Ronin’s thoughts as he was giving himself so entirely to Rook. Perfection.
JA Huss has solidified herself as one of my favorite authors. Of all time. She creates lifelike characters that not only have incredible depth and dimension to them, but they have big, thumping hearts as well. I am all in with these characters. They have infiltrated me in every way imaginable and I’m more than happy to help them set up house and home. Huss has a brilliant ability to lull the reader into thinking they’re safe, that all is well and then she ruthlessly puts everything on the line all at once. Everything you thought was a given is now questioned. Everything you thought you could predict is now completely off the table. With one immense sweep of her arm, she clears the board and then meticulously puts everything back where it belongs. And I cheered every single time. She had my heart in her hand and I cheered. That’s how much of a genius she is.
I waited too long to pick up this series. I feel like the idiot who is in class and then spaces off while the teacher is delivering the one sentence that will ensure you ace the class. Thank goodness the book gods that be put me in the right place at the right time to ensure I didn’t waste anymore time. If you’ve not yet read this series, please consider this review your last reprieve. Go out and pick them up and read them now. Right now. Then come back and we’ll compare notes.