Parker Osborne is furious when he gets a C- on his film studies paper. He is used to being at the top of his class, but at Stanford he is a nobody. Parker is struggling to make friends and fit in and so he takes his frustration out on the hunky TA who gave him the bad grade. At this point all Parker wants is to drop the class and move on, hoping to never see Adam Hawkins again.
Before that happens, however, the world begins to fall apart. A virus is unleashed, turning people into what is best described as living zombies. When they begin to swarm on campus, Parker is rescued by none other than Adam on his motorcycle. The two flee into the wilderness, hoping to find someplace safe from the “creepers” but they seem to be everywhere, destroying towns and cities and leaving devastation in their wake. It is almost impossible to get any news about what is going on, other than rumors that it is a world-wide crisis. Adam and Parker have no idea where might be safe, but they know they must avoid the creepers at all costs.
Parker has hopes that his parents made it to safety at their house on Cape Cod, so with no other real options, the guys begin a journey across the country in hopes of finding Parker’s family. Along the way, the two must battle the creepers and fight for their lives, never knowing where might be safe and which humans they can trust. As Parker and Adam get to know one another, they find that their animosity is replaced with friendship, and eventually attraction. Adam is incredibly strong and brave and he makes Parker feel safe and protected. And Parker accepts Adam unconditionally, giving him the connection he has craved since the loss of his family years before. But even as their feelings grow, Adam and Parker know that they may never be safe. The world is falling apart around them, and Parker and Adam have no one they can really trust besides each other.
So clearly you can tell by the rating that I loved this one. LOVED IT! It is everything you could want in a romantic suspense. Fast paced, incredibly exciting, super sexy, and oh so romantic. Once I picked up this book, I could barely put it down, forgoing sleep and frantically turning pages to see how Parker and Adam manage to survive this crisis.
This book combines so many of my favorite tropes. We have the young love, college age angle with Parker as a freshman totally out of his element. We can see right through his entitled bluster about the poor grade to the young man who feels like he doesn’t fit in and can’t measure up. Then suddenly this 18-year old is thrust into a crisis where he has to face incredible challenges and take on huge responsibility. Over the course of the story we see how Parker leans on Adam, how he much he depends on Adam’s strength and confidence. But when it really counts, Parker is fiercely protective of Adam and willing to do whatever it takes to take care of him and to get them out of this mess alive. It is a nice character arc for both of these guys as they have a bit of a role reversal and we see how they depend on and care for one another. The fact that they start off as enemies and then fall in love is just icing on the cake for me.
The suspense element here is just fabulous. I love a good zombie apocalypse and this story is high octane from the minute the first creeper shows up. It is exciting and thrilling and terrifying and people die and you never know what is going to happen. Andrews manages to strike that tricky balance between intensity and calm, keeping the action moving, but at the same time giving these guys some breaks where we can catch our breath (not to mention allow these guys to have some realistic sexy times). We have all read those stories where the guys are having sex as bullets are whizzing by or whatever, but here the pacing is just perfect. And oh you guys, Adam and Parker are so super sexy together. The chemistry between them is crazy hot and they burn up the pages. So there is some crazy intensity here, both in terms of the suspense element and the romance end of things. Plus we get another of my beloved tropes, the road trip, as the guys travel together across the country, bonding and falling in love.
On top of that all, we get Adam’s deep dark secret (if you read the blurb, you will know what it is, but I am going to keep this review spoiler free for those who want to find out as they read). We get little hints across the story that something is going on with Adam and when the truth comes out, it tests the trust between the two of them, as well as leading to a major threat to the men later in the story. I loved how this element is worked in. We can see how much love and trust Parker has for Adam when, after his initial freak out, he accepts Adam unconditionally, something no one else has ever done. I also think it works perfectly as part of the larger conflict, and gives us a chance to see Adam as the one needing support and Parker able to take charge and be the hero this time. So this all worked really well for me.
Ok, so read this story. It is so good. Incredibly exciting, very romantic, hot as can be, and just overall a wonderful thriller. I love Keira Andrews’ writing and I have to say, this book has to be one of my all time favorites of hers. Definitely a must read, especially for fans of a good romantic suspense story with some horror thrown in.