Author: Annika Martin + Skye Warren
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing 11/03/14
Length: 410 pages
Series: Criminals & Captives #1
He seethes with raw power the first time I see him-pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.
But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage-you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.
And you might crave him more than your next breath.
We don’t know exactly what we’re getting into when we start this story, but we certainly go through a roller coaster of emotions, both good and bad, and we learn that no one is what they seem. Everyone has a story, and lucky for us, our leading lady is a student who’s job it is to bring out everyone’s story.
We start off learning about Abbigail – she’s the teacher at the prison, doing a project of sorts as a means of getting her degree. Her mentor felt that this was a project, a job that she was right for – even though it’s so far outside of her comfort zone. It’s on one of her first days there that she feels a shift in energy – all because she crosses paths with a man who’s meant to be part of her destiny.
Enter Grayson – a man who’s been sent to jail for killing a cop but apparently there’s more to the story. We learn early on that he is innocent, or so he claims (as do most) and we watch how he plans to get out and get vengeance.
Grayson feels this shift in energy when he walks past Abby on that first day as well, and we know that they are forever intertwined. He realizes that through an ‘end of term project, each participant will get a story published in an online journal and that’s exactly how he can get work to his crew since he’s not allowed any contact with them, especially now that he’s states away.
So we watch how Grayson gets under Abby’s skin during class – how he takes up her personal space, makes her uncomfortable and keeps her off balance. He knows how to wiggle his way under her skin and this bodes well for him since it means that he’ll for sure get his words out there.
Things change when his story is published, and he’s able to escape from jail. Plans change though and Abby sees his escape unfold, is in the midst of it and finds herself taken prisoner, hostage while he escapes. Driving him away from the prison to where he believes he’ll be free. Challenge of course is that they already have some connection between them from their time in class, not sure what it is, but she’s marked – and she’s his, and that means that he wants to protect her even when it goes against everything that he and his boys believe in.
The story that we see unfold from here is Grayson on the run from the cops, taking Abby with him since there’s no other alternative. We watch their bond grow and change, and we watch as they share bits of themselves through their pasts to better understand each other. Each time she’s ‘introduced’ to a member of the crew, we see how much of a problem this is – how much the men really don’t believe in keeping anyone around – how relationships are leverage and how they are all afraid of what Abby knows and can share to get them all arrested. Stone wants to kill her. Calder wants the same. Nate has grown to like her but that’s because he has a bit more trust of her than the others.
As time goes by we see what life will be like with them together as well as what happens if/when they have to separate. When that happens, we worry about her safety, her sanity as well as Grayson’s. It’s hurts to watch it all unfold but we know that there’s something more meant for them that only this story will give.
So, i’m not going to tell more, but know that there’s all the expected heat, passion and chemistry that we’ve learned to love from a story written by Skye Warren, and it’s a nice introduction to a series where we are destined to meet the other men and learn what shaped them. Enjoy!