Publisher: Pocket Star
Series: Lodestone Trilogy, Book 1
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*Novel provided by the publisher for a honest review
For more information please visit Cherry Adair's website.
A reckless adventure in a deadly paradise.
Thrill seekers Zakary and Gideon Stark travel the globe in search of extreme adventure, but a trip to Venezuela to jump off the world’s highest falls catapults them into a perilous game of life or death—where they don’t know the rules.
A one-night stand that will change his life forever.
Kidnapped with a woman Zak knows nothing about, the brothers are held prisoner deep in the jungle. A risky, deathdefying escape separates them and nearly claims Zak’s life . . . until his recovery reveals a baffling new sixth sense.
An unexpected diversion with lethal consequences.
Now, to find his missing brother, Zak and the mysterious Acadia Gray will have to out-smart, out-gun, and out-maneuver not just the brutal kidnappers but also a new player who joins the adrenaline game: a ruthless opponent who wants the Stark brothers dead—at any cost.
Hush the debut in the Lodestone Trilogy is yet another wonderful addition to Cherry Adair's rather impressive repertoire. Though this is my first time reading any of this author's work, I can certainly say that if all of her novels are such high octane adventures paired with scorching romance, then I'm definitely hooked! Without a doubt, this is an edge of your seat thriller that kept me up late until the wee hours of the morning wanting to know more!
The world building was beyond impressive as the oppressive quality of the Venezuela jungles came to life. Wrought with suspense and never ending action the vast dangers of this wilderness really help to emphasize the peril and plight of this band of unlikely victims. And despite the fact that half of the novel takes place within this setting, there was definitely never a lack of suspense, action, romance, or pacing. Instead, I thought this was a never ending roller coaster of not only situation after situation, but of emotions as well. But, it was the vast dimensionality of these settings that I truly enjoyed as the atmospheres are completely believable as is the danger that lurks within the shadows be it from the jungle, the down trodden village, or the city streets. Each holds its own unique mix of peril that is only overshadowed by the characters and situations themselves.
As for the characters, they are just as highly developed if not more so. While each has personality quirks that aren't exactly attractive, these foibles only serve to make them seem all the more human. I especially loved Zak, there's just something about a tortured, self deprecating anti-hero that I like. Admittedly, he's an ass through over half of the novel, and even afterwards, he's still is a bit. But, his chemistry when paired with Acadia is intense to say the least. Acadia herself is much like Zak in her own way, only in addition to being brave, intelligent, quick on her feet and resourceful, she's also extremely organized, a skill set that saves not only her life, but Zak's many times over. And then there's Gideon, Zak's brother. He's definitely a character I would have loved to know more about. What we did get to see of him, he was an interesting and amusing man, who oozes just as much charm as his brother. But, where Zak is somewhat bitter and riddled with guilt, Gideon is an example of the man that he use to be before tragedy struck.
But, while the depth and insights were rather impressive, it was the bonds that Adair was able to create which seemed almost effortless. Because of these bonds, either the familial bond between Zak and Gid, or the romantic one between Acadia and Zak, there was an intense, endearing and gripping emotionality that made this novel all the more impressive and addictive. Truly, it was a roller coaster of emotions which was hard hitting and visceral at times. And the romance, wow! What more can I really say? It was scalding, tense, and beyond hot. The chemistry was perfectly captured making this an evolution from a one night stand, to one of love and hate, to one of pure, devotional love. The romance ended up being just as much of an adventure as the action packed side of the plot and certainly no less suspenseful or quick paced.
And then there's the plot itself. I'm not one to often be caught unaware and the twist endings tend to be a bit predictable for me, which is a little disappointing at times. That is certainly not the case in this novel! I found myself easily buying in to the logical leap of who the 'true' culprit was only to be shocked when it was revealed that they were nothing but a red herring. While the ending did feel just a little rushed, let me tell you, I never saw it coming. How fun is that? I really enjoyed the ride and the evolution of this story. Truly, Adair shows herself to be the Queen of romantic suspense, a genre that I don't often find myself reading. No idea why, especially if they're anywhere close to being as intense as this one. And that leads me to my final point, the excellent writing style. Descriptive, insightful, Adair's writing brings the characters and world to life with so much information that the world is lush and practically jumps off of the page. I really wasn't expecting that, but there it is. Amazing writing! With a little twist of paranormal thrown it, it was simply the icing on the cake setting a wonderful stage for the novels to come!
In the end, this novel won me over, utterly and completely. I can definitely assure you that this will not be my last venture into Adair's novels and I can't wait to see what happens next in this thrilling and addictive series! Highly recommended to romantic suspense lovers who like just a hint of the paranormal for some great flavor!
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Scars
Advisory: Strong sexual content