Where did you get the book: E-Arc from publisher
Publisher: Forever Yours
Release Date: Out now
She’s on the run . . .
Jane Beaumont currently has in her possession: a cat, a hundred grand in cash, and a pistol. She’s on her way home to Bay City, Oregon-and away from the nightmare of her violent ex-boyfriend. She’ll lay low at Beaumont Body Shop, a car detailer that runs a private investigation agency in the back. The only wrench in her plan is Kage Archer: sexy, strong, and intent on protecting Jane at all costs. She’s wanted Kage forever, but putting him in harm’s way is not a risk she’s willing to take.
He’s not going anywhere
Kage is no stranger to the dark side of life, but he’s always walked on the right side of the law. Yet when Jane expressed her interest in him years ago, he pushed her away for her own good. Now, after learning of all she’s endured, Kage can’t leave her side-or hide his need for her. When a frightening situation turns dire, can Kage convince Jane that the safest place to be is in his arms?
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
I really really wanted to love this book. It had a great premise with the heroine escaping an abusive ex and rekindling a thwarted romance with her brother’s friend, Kage Archer. They had shared strong feelings with one another but circumstances between them was never just right. While the setting is in a garage for pimped out cars slash private detective agency which Jane’s brother helps run with his three friends, along with Kage who has his own dark past.
I thought this would be a fun and crackalicious read. However, this book suffered from Too Stupid To Live (TSTL) syndrome and that was mainly with the heroine, Jane, but Kage and the other characters have the same syndrome. I have read my fair share of heroines who have made some real humdingers of decisions which led to more danger and strife however in this case even the TSTL heroines in slasher movies will look at Jane and laugh.
I also didn’t like how issues such as domestic abuse and rape were glossed over that Jane experienced. It was such a short time frame from escaping her psychotic ex who abused her for four years, and then moved on with the romance with Kage really quickly. There was no time to reflect, although there were a few scenes in which Jane realised that she was her own person and can act on her own. But this rang false, and when she did become proactive she committed sins against common sense which just made me want to slam my head against a hard surface.
I also found Kage’s attitude towards Jane pretty off-putting, although he had more sense. But I found his actions towards her a bit like ‘Me Archer, You Jane’ ala Tarzan because he was the ultimate protective alphahole. I found him over-bearing because he just ran roughshod over her.
I had issues with the main plot with Scott, Jane’s psychotic ex, who abused her for four years. He was also a drug dealer and Jane stole 100,000 dollars as protection against him going after her. Yes, this is drug money and the reasons behind why she took it just made my eyes rattle in my head. But her logic fail continues. She also doesn’t say anything to her brother or his partners, including Kage, and they conveniently own a private investigation company where they could arguably have links with the local police department who could have helped out. But the story goes into an even more convoluted but convenient twist because Kage’s own uncle is the one of the powerful drug lords and is Scott’s boss.
There were also several scenes which made me want to DNF and give up but I was hoping it would improve. But each time I felt the book would improve another TSTL moment happened. It was at the point towards the middle of the book when Jane, who was kept in a safe room for her safety, was scheming with the help of her friends to escape to find Kage and help him when he had a lead to stop Scott. But did she know where he was? Nope. And Kage returned just in time with Jane fending off her brother and friends with a paint sprayer so she can leave the offices to find Kage. This was suppose to be funny but for me at this point just emphasized how stupid Jane was.
I also felt the side characters and how they were introduced awkward and sudden. It really felt like stage directions where characters enter from the left stage and then leave in the right. Charlene, the ex showgirl and mother figure, and Sabrina, Jane’s best friend, weren’t fleshed out and was only introduced to impart information or used as plot devices for Jane to commit another act of stupidity.
I feel bad about the negativity of this review but I honestly couldn’t like anything about the book or the characters because there were no redeeming features. And one of the things I really hate reading about is a hero or heroine who commits stupid decisions, especially a whole series of choices which leads to dumb outcomes is annoying. I could not engage with the writing which had pacing problems or the characters and I also felt the serious issues which Jane experienced were glossed aside. It’s a shame because this book had all the hallmarks of being a fun and sexy read but overall Archer by Debra Kayn was a dud for me.
I give Archer a D-