Joint Review – Lost (Dobbs Hollow #2) by Laura Curtis

**Triggers – physical and mental torture, mention of rape**

Lost cover image

Publisher: Intermix
Publish Date: Out now
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Tara Jean Dobbs was a Texas police officer until her friend Lucy Caldwell almost died on her watch. She’s since left the force, left Dobbs Hollow, and vowed to never let a loved one down again. So when her best friend Andrea joins a seemingly harmless spiritual cult—only to disappear without a trace—Tara decides to find out what happened by becoming one of the Chosen herself.

Five months later, no one’s heard from Tara, and FBI Agent Jacob Nolan is going after her. Taking a false identity, Jacob finds it surprisingly easy to play the part of Tara’s boyfriend. But as they uncover the inner workings of the Chosen, they realize how much danger they’re in. Because Andrea isn’t the first follower to conveniently disappear—and they may be next.
This blurb came from the author’s website.

E: Last year I was lamenting on twitter that I was in a book mood but didn’t know what I wanted to write. Curtis was kind enough to offer me a copy of her first Dobbs Hollow book Twisted and I enjoyed it. As a result when I spotted Lost as available for review I had to give it a try. It was also enjoyable but contained several darker scenes/moments than Twisted. If you are going to give this one a try I highly suggest that you read Twisted first because that will give you a better idea of the place Tara Jean Dobbs is coming from.

It was very interesting seeing just how hurt inside Tara Jean was from the recent events in her past. She was certainly searching for both her inner strength and for her friend, Andrea. Jacob was also emotionally scarred from events in his past which sometimes caused him to lash out at others when they inadvertently triggered his memories. Unfortunately Tara was one of the recipients of his outbursts so when he re-entered her life despite her remembered attraction, she really didn’t want to have much to do with him. Watching them worth through their scars or at least address them over the course of this story was a very good thing to see and gave me hope for their Happily Ever After (HEA).

MinnChica: While I didn’t read the first book in the series, the blurb did catch my eye. When I saw this book, I couldn’t wait to see what Curtis would come up with. I didn’t have the chance to read the previous book, so I came into this not knowing anything about Tara and Jacob’s past with each other. I have to say, I didn’t feel at all lost, I really liked the dynamic of Tara struggling with the way Jacob had treated her in the past, as well as her own insecurities about what was going on in the cult camp. I really did enjoy the book though, even though it was difficult to read at times.

E: I will admit that I struggled a bit putting the pieces of Tara and Jacob’s mutual past together. I remembered Tara’s struggle and decision towards the end of Twisted but I think I really needed those intervening months fleshed out more than the pieces provided throughout Lost. While I struggled with their mutual past I enjoyed watching them come to terms with what happened and how their personal experiences colored their interaction. I also liked that Jacob felt remorse for what he had said and done in the past and the decisions he made as he encountered Tara again. Supporting characters who knew Tara as the policewoman viewed her as a broken individual but I never quite saw her that way, just as a person who was trying to reinvent who she wanted to be after facing a challenging situation. I loved how she insisted that Jacob prove himself but she never jeopardized what they were working towards even when she wasn’t happy with him.

MinnChica: I saw Tara in the same way. I didn’t see her as being broken, just someone who wanted a second chance at finding herself. I kinda adored her for that. She knew she needed a change, and she jumped at the chance. When a friend went missing, she did everything and anything she could think of to find and rescue her friend. I have to admit, I kinda loved the romance between her and Jacob. Because of the strict views of the cult, they had a slow progressing romance, and I adored that dynamic between them.

E: I will admit I did not expect all of the twists that Curtis included. I enjoyed watching Jacob and Tara work together and thought that Tara’s patience provided the opening while Jacob was able to build on what she had done and move things a little bit faster. I liked how Curtis explained the personalities of the cult members and why they were or appeared to be perfectly happy with the status quo. I thought the different ways members found or joined to be very interesting and demonstrated how very vulnerable and therefore dangerous a certain segment of the population can be.

MinnChica: I loved the different twists and turns that Curtis has in the book. I was shocked and amazed at everything that went down from the first page to the very last. I loved the fact that Curtis kept me guessing with every new scene, and I loved the way I was never too sure what exactly was going to happen next. It kept me at the edge of my seat, and I loved it. With both the romance and the suspense plot, I thought Curtis had an amazing story here!

E: I have to say I had a hard time as the book was approaching the climax because things took a significantly darker turn. As secrets were revealed and individuals became more desperate there were moments when I had my doubts about the feasibility of survival. With everything that occurred to Jacob and Tara I really appreciated that Curtis didn’t just wave over all of the aftermath and recovery needed. To me the way she handled the consequences really made this book and all of the stress/tension I experienced while reading worth it.
I give Lost a B

MinnChica: All in all, I found myself really enjoying my first read by Curtis. I thought the romance was so sweet and yet sexy at the same time. I loved the way the romance was made to build up over time, and through the hard stress of infiltrating the cult. I also really liked the suspense plot, I thought it was so well done, it had twists and turns I never expected, and I love when books can keep me on my toes. I’m definitely going to be reading Curtis more in the future.
I give Lost a B+

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