I read another recently published book by this author and immediately sought out more. Though I was bummed that more wasn’t currently available, I was thrilled to find that this book is the beginning of a longer series. I stayed up way too late the night I started and even managed to keep reading while I cooked dinner the next day. Can’t find much better praise than not being able to put it down.
A romance with four main characters means a proportionally higher number of relationships. Crane does an excellent job of introducing the heroes and laying out how they are each connected without ever overwhelming the reader with unnecessary backstory. The only time this backfires is when there is the occasional feeling of being inundated by the sheer amount of secondary characters; however, I appreciate that Crane doesn’t let her characters exist in a vacuum, and I was well-sorted with everyone by the end of the book. As the puzzle pieces slot together of how each of these four men can work in a single relationship, Crane also does an excellent job of featuring necessary emotional introspection (especially in terms of the second chance and completely unexpected connections) without delving into angst territory.
Some coincidences are necessary to get all four of these heroes in the same room at the beginning of the book, and I was willing to suspend disbelief for that. This later turns into well-done misdirection for some offscreen manipulation on the side of the external plot that I really enjoyed. Sometimes authors have to let criminals be dumb, and it’s not detrimental to the story. This allows Crane to solve the immediate mystery of this book while also setting up a much bigger overarching storyline that I look forward to following.
In many books, the “happily for now” exists because I’m not completely convinced about the staying power of the relationship (especially when formed through traumatic circumstances). For this story, Crane leaves us on a solid note of Quinn, Peyton, Sebastian, and Will willing to explore the potential of what they might create between them. But this mix of new and old relationships contains plenty of baggage, and I’m excited to see how these men deal with growing closer.