My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favourite novels in classic literature. The revenge story unfolds as Edmond Dantès systematically takes apart the lives of the four men who betrayed him more than a decade earlier.
In Dantès Unglued, the references are subtle, but they’re an underlying presence in the story which I won’t go into in huge detail as it would spoil the enjoyment for the reader going in blind, suffice it to say, I squealed a lot each time one popped up.
The tone in this is completely different than that of Psycho Romeo, the first in the Ward Security series offshoot of Jocelynn and Rinda’s Unbreakable Bonds Series (and if you’ve not read those, rectify that immediately!)
However, there’s plenty of elements which identify it as part of that world – the banter, the sense of friendship tying the men together, the volcanic hot sex and emotional connectivity between the main characters, and the fast-paced plot which anchors everything.
Quinn Lake’s been in and around the series since the beginning working for Rowe as one of his IT geniuses and we first met Shane as one of Jude Torres’ exes running the PI firm Hollis now works for.
Together they were explosive. The door scene in Psycho Romeo might just have met its match in the office chair scene in this one, Lordy when these two give in to that chemistry there really is magic happening in the periodic table!
The relationship happens over a fairly short period of time before the “I love you’s” but it absolutely works within the narrative. There is an instant attraction which is palpable and the two men are so staggered by how easily they slot together, it’s a no brainer really that they sweetly slide into a relationship without even realising it.
There’s no unnecessary drama which isn’t central to the book’s plot line (as opposed to the romance element) and the twist there is beautifully done, so major kudos to both authors for smoothly pulling it off (even when you know the book has that Edmond Dantès influence), that’s going some!
I loved the casual glimpses back into the rest of this expanded world, we see Jude and Snow, Ian and Hollis, hear about Lucas and Andrei’s upcoming wedding and have a memorable encounter with Rowe during this book. It’s great to keep that connection even though these spin-offs definitely have a tone and feel all of their own.
All I can say is this series, along with the earlier one it springs from, are right up at the top of my tree for books which do exactly what they say on the tin – provide me with a thrill of a ride and a beautiful romance with all the emotional feels I need alongside the (admittedly) hot sex.
#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.
PS: If you’ve never read the book by Alexandre Dumas, père, it’s worth it. The 1975 film adaptation starring Richard Chamberlain is my favourite of the many.