Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
When Drew Edwards wakes up with a spinning head, the last thing he remembers is the sound of van doors opening and a prick in his neck. Now he is terrified to find himself tied and gagged, kidnapped by three men. Drew quickly guesses his capture is somehow related to the other missing men in the area. It turns out the kidnappers are grabbing gay men for an elaborate hunting game – they capture them, take them out to the woods, give them a head start, and then begin hunting them to the death. Drew knows his chances of survival against these seasoned military men are next to nothing.
Chance Collins has lived in fear of his father for years, and seeing this new side of him is even more terrifying. Chance’s father is insisting that Chance prove himself by being the one to track and kill Drew. And if he fails, Chance’s own life is on the line. After years of extreme emotional and physical abuse, Chance has a hard time defying his father. But as he gets to know Drew before the hunt, he knows he could never go through with hurting him. But if Chance rebels against his father, both he and Drew are likely to end up dead. Their only chance is to work together to escape the other hunters and hope to make it out alive.
This story caught my attention right away when I read the book blurb. I am always looking for books that are new and different and this one had a really unique plot. Sutherland does a great job with Drew, showing us the horror and fear of this man caught up in these terrible circumstances. He is strong and brave and wants more than anything to return to his family. But Drew also knows he is outmatched by these elite soldiers and his chances of survival are next to nothing. It was interesting to watch him come to accept his fate, but at the same time, remain so strong and determined. I also really liked Chance. It is hard to make a kidnapper sympathetic, but the story makes it clear how the emotional and physical abuse he has suffered made it so hard for him to stand up to his father. But when it comes right down to it, Chance is a good man and willing to risk his own life for Drew’s. He is on one hand so strong and confident due to his military training, but on the other hand vulnerable and emotionally damaged from his upbringing. I liked them together, and even though there was the slightly unrealistic falling in love while trying to escape death thing, I found I could believe in them and their developing feelings for one another.
I do wish that the suspense element had been amped up more here though. As I said, I picked this book up because of the thrill of the hunt story line and this part just fell a little flat for me. We spend the first portion of the book with Drew being held captive by his kidnappers, and I found myself anxious to move forward into the excitement of the chase. With Chance and his father being former elite military men who are trained in tracking and hunting enemies, I expected more detail on these parts of the story, more twists and turns as they are playing against one another. Or at a minimum, some cool tricks from Chance about tracking or escaping detection. But there isn’t really much of that, and in fact, Chance and Drew seem to do little to hide their trail from the hunters. I just wished for more suspense and excitement and cleverness. So this just seemed like some lost potential for me to take the book up a notch to really thrilling and suspenseful. And while I did enjoy this part of the story, it just wasn’t quite enough for me.
Even so, I did really like this one. Great plot and nice romance. I will definitely look for more from this author.
P.S. Love the cover. Just perfect for the story and really attractively done.