I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
With a drug kingpin father, paranoid delusion uncle, and deceased mother, Cara has learned and protected herself with her trust issues. She runs a truck stop coffee house devoted to giving parolees second chances but trying to keep her life separate from her father's is proving more and more difficult.
As a DEA Special Agent, Dawson has devoted his life to taking drugs off the street and taking down the bad guys. When a drug dealer uses his skills as a sniper to take out a rival, he makes it his personal mission to send him to jail. Trying to get an in with the man's daughter may prove fruitless in entering the drug world but Dawson may have succeeded in finally finding love.
So he couldn't trust her. She didn't trust him.
Second in the Montana Heat series, True to You focuses on Dawson King, a DEA Special Agent sniper. His bestfriend was the hero in the first book and while his story was summarized nicely, I felt a little rushed and lost in the very beginning while the set-up involving the drug cartel plot opened up. Reading the first book would have definitely helped but after a couple chapters I was able to settle into the world the author had created. Even though I had a bit of a whiplash feeling as previous events were rattled off, the prologue was incredibly gripping with our DEA sniper hero being put to the fire.
She didn't even know his name. Not his real name.
The set-up of having our hero Dawson going undercover to try and get close to his target's daughter Cara provided a great tension filled romance. Cara was an extremely distrustful heroine, she was a tough cookie but what kept her from crossing into the stubborn for angst sake well was her willingness to put it on the line when she couldn't fight getting close to the hero anymore; she was strong and passionate. While Cara learned her trust issues, Dawson's was trained and because his work and life depended on his cover, he couldn't just reveal all to Cara. I know we're dealing with fiction but the author did such a great job of creating realness to not only the characters but the story. The focus wasn't mainly on Cara and Dawson's sexual relationship, although there are some sexy times, but their emotional one. They had a full circle of meeting, distrust, attraction, bonding, betrayal, hurt, and then coming together. All the building blocks were there to create and enjoy a rounded out romance.
This was no lie.
With a cover that seems to project a more light and fluffy story, this was anything but. The drug cartel plot gets slightly more attention than the romance. The suspense doesn't come from overt action scenes but more from the reader watching and learning who and how the chess pieces are moving. The author did a great job of creating a multifaceted villain, the heroine's father named Iceman, but I thought the story lacked from getting more of his point of views. I would have also liked a smidge more drug cartel action with a little less hammering of how crappy Cara's life had been, it felt like trying to force the reader to really be in sympathy with her.
"There is right and wrong, truth and lies. We are in between those lines."
The story has a little bit of a sputtering ending with the action being over and the emotional relationship aspects staggering to the end but this also gave the readers a fully constructed ending, however, the added epilogue then seemed a bit unnecessary and cheesy. This had trust issues that cover secrets that are too important to be openly revealed, action that occasionally flirts with believability, but hotness that endangers and seduces. True to You was an impressive, fun, and hot romantic suspense story that also had a sexy hero who made a mean cherry tart. I'll definitely be checking out Jennifer Ryan's backlist and future releases.