Free – Riley Edwards

 

Another happy instance where an author sends me a yummy book to read and enjoy, and later review.  This one is a thriller and I was thrilled to read it LOL. Shane and Lily had crappy childhoods and crappy parents.  They belonged to the elite Hollywood crowd and belonged to the Hollywood royalty.  However, Shane and Lily wanted a real life, not the star-studded life where your importance is based on what you own and who you party with. They were simple kids who liked to hang around the Santa Monica pier and sleep on the beach.  When they graduated high school, Shane left and joined the military.  After all his trainings, he was finally transferred to Georgia.  During all this time, they grew farther apart, until he invited her to visit for a week.  It was almost like old times, except that Shane was strangely reticent about his military work and friends.  During the last day, his demeanor changed completely into a cold stranger and he said goodbye in a very strange manner.  To me it felt as if he was saying goodbye forever.  Later on, we read that Shane had died, and I said to myself, hmmmm.

Lily was brokenhearted and tried to move on.  However, her father forced her to marry a business colleague, a Hollywood producer.  It was a ghastly marriage, full of adultery and disrespect and eventually she divorced.  She took a huge settlement from the douche and used her trust fund and the settlement and developed centers to help the homeless and hungry.  It was an idea Shane had when they were teenagers and she wanted to have something meaningful to do with her life and at the same time honor Shane.

Twelve years later, she still visits Shane’s tomb on the anniversary of his death.  She talks to him about all that has happened in her life during that year, and always cries because she misses him so much.  Coincidentally, every years there’s also a guy, heavily bearded, who also mourns sitting on a bench nearby, in front of a woman’s tomb.  She feels for him, because she can understand his pain, but never dares to intrude on his pain.  His body language is of extreme anguish when she glances at him.  And again I say to myself, hmmmm.

One day, two guys who look like detectives, detain her at her annual visit to the cemetery and try to convince her to go to the police station to discuss something.  She senses something funny and tries to get away but they grab at her and she falls.  And guess who is the one who shot at the guys and grabbed her and took her away from the bad guys?

The rest of the book is a roller coaster of action, where they are trying to catch a ranger gone rogue and is now selling arms to the enemy.  Since he has the same training as the good guys, he knows all their tricks and has evaded them for years.  But they came after Lily, who is the most important woman in Shane’s life and now the guy has to die.  I loved, loved, loved, how Lily reacted when she saw Shane.  She really let him have it and made him feel one inch tall, yay and power to the women.  Lily shines as a woman with strong feelings and strong loyalty. She loves with all her heart and loves forever, but has a strong inner core that served her well when dealing with Shane and his team.  I saw Shane as a man who made a mistake and kept stuck to that mistake.  Like he took a position and was such a dumbass he didn’t see there was any other way to do things.  Anyway, he had a big heart, even if he went about things in a wrong way, and he knew to keep  his mouth shut when his woman was screaming at him.

This book was highly entertaining and full of feels.  The secondary characters were all lovely, the gay couple who befriended Lily, and Shane’s team partners.  I sense a subplot related to Jared that may mean another book coming up.  I loved Lily and Shane and now am looking forward to Jared’s story.

 

About Luisa Rivas-Martinez

Newly retired, lover of romance novels. I've been reading since early childhood, loved those fantasy tales with Princes and Princesses. As I grew, my love for romance blossomed into romance novels, beginning with Harlequin romances. I hope that through this page, I can share my experience and joy on reading my romance novels and make friends.
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