Maddy is an innocent “good girl” with a very “bad boy” best friend, Ryder, a playboy and something of a thug who has nonetheless been close to Maddy since they were six and nine.
She is badly in love with him, but hides it out of pride, not wanting to be another one of his many conquests. However, he’s starting to flirt with her openly, brazenly, and irresistibly, and when he steps in to protect her from her possessive and controlling boyfriend Ben, things heat up past the point of no return. But while they’re still trying to figure out what their relationship is and where they are going, if anywhere, a terrorist attack sets off an electromagnetic pulse that destroys the electrical grid, sending civilization into a downward spiral.
Maddy, Ryder, Maddy’s friend Eva and her on-again, off-again boyfriend Brody, are forced to flee for their lives and take refuge with Ryder’s survivalist parents. Can Maddy and Ryder sort out their relationship in a newly post-apocalyptic world? Can they manage to survive long enough to fall in love?
This is a good choice for a book to pack in one’s vacation carry-on for the plane or the beach – it’s a quick read, and a lively one. It is full of action, passion and danger and is difficult to put down at any spot in the middle– there’s too much going on. It ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, leaving the reader on edge while we await the sequel.
It is, however, difficult to like the hero – he ends up feeling almost as possessive and controlling as the abusive boyfriend from whom he “rescued” Maddy, and it does not help (much) that some of his protectiveness is justified by the situation. His tendency to revert to violence at every possible occasion, and to demand control over Maddy’s choices even while he holds back from making any form of commitment to her is, frankly, a bit chilling.
Maddy is in a fairly passive and precarious situation throughout most of the book, and does not seem capable of putting up much of a fight against the dangers that come her way, or even of taking certain basic precautions that any nursing student should know about, in a situation where an unwanted pregnancy could be a life-threatening disaster. The sex scenes are rather violent, with an air of both parties being driven to it rather against their will– whether or not you find this erotic is a matter of taste and inclination. Additionally, the book can be rather repetitive in its emotional patterns, going through the same cycle of mutual attraction-sex-rejection-brooding-mutual attraction at least three or four times.
Still, it’s a vigorous, action-packed page-turner that, while a bit too apocalyptic to be called “mind-candy,” can certainly provide an entertaining read for an hour or two for fans of romance novels.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader