Read my review of the prequel to the Lost Boys series, The Thief.

This book easily works as a stand-alone, but I’ve now seen Beckett in two previous works by Fox (the finale of her Wild Heart Ranch series and the prequel to this series) and already knew I was intrigued by this character. I’m generally not keen on religious characters, but Fox has turned into an author I trust to handle all issues with care, so I was willing to make the leap here. It turns out that Beckett is the literal opposite of everything I generally hate about religious characters, and therefore I absolutely adore him. He is truly the skeptic the title indicates, and that makes his care and dedication to his friends and community all the more genuine and valuable.

Holden is a bit more “stereotypical” as a character (which actually makes him an anomaly in Fox’s books), but sometimes that’s exactly what the story calls for. We didn’t meet him in the prequel, for good reason, and his return to his hometown may be unplanned but comes at the right time nonetheless. I knew immediately that he would be quietly badass in his own way, and that was with only hints of his backstory and before he turned up the heat with his seduction game.

At first, I thought Fox had just figured out a fun way to give us some early spice before the traditional romance arc unfolded between these characters. Instead, she upends everything I expected about this book, making me cry harder than I did in any of her series that involved heavier issues like human trafficking. Though she may have broken my heart for real this time, it’s clear that Fox doesn’t hurt her readers lightly. The pain in this book is necessary for the main characters to bloom, and it may be the first in the series, but the theme of legacy is sure to reverberate through each of the books that come after.

Thus, we don’t necessarily get a traditional romance arc for what develops between Beckett and Holden, but it’s still an important and lovely story that highlights the difficulty of loving someone during and through a time of personal and emotional upheaval. Along the way, Becket and Holden also undergo excellent individual character development. Both may have fraught moments that involve confronting their pasts, but the results secure a better future for everyone.

I have the feeling that Beckett and Holden have been passed the mantle of caretaker for this lovely community of Lost Boys, and I look forward to seeing them in truly supportive roles through the rest of this series.

Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars
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