I thought this would be an interesting read, a girl who's investigating a kidnapping fantasy company that her roommate uncharacteristically signed up for, right before commiting suicide. Convinced she'd been murdered, the heroine wasn't going to stop investigating until she uncovered the truth. Enter our Hero. He's there to protect her; she thinks he's a rescuer from the fantasy company. He's holding firmly to his cover, while trying to figure out her story. The first quarter of the book was fine.
I don't like writing bad reviews, but I don't like finishing a book and immediately tossing it into the recycle bin either. Please save your money.
I don't mind contrived plots, in fact, as a lover of the romance genre, I kind of expect some contrived moments, and I don't mind there being characters who are basically caricatures of the type of person they represent. I'm a laid back reader who forgives a lot. That said, I do mind Ridiculously contrived plots, and Every character being a caricature.
Heroine - Sage - the intrepid reporter who won't stop at anything to get to the truth. With dogged determination, she's going to push every person she comes across, without any sense of healthy paranoia. She's not going to let caution or careful planning get in her way; in fact, the first chance she gets to ditch her protector, she'll do it because the truth is the only important thing, and whatever happens she's going to dive in head first because her name is Sage - named for wisdom - meaning she's smart enough to be the only one to figure out her roommate didn't kill herself, but too stupid to see all the other dangers smacking her in the face.
Hero - Johnny - once upon a time, almost the head of a major Italian crime family who hates who he was in the past so much that he's still conflicted when thinking about it, but wears his "Italian" like a blinking neon sign. He cooks like an Italian grandmother, making Italian dishes that are Magnifico, and can't have any kind of conversation that doesn't include Italian food or using Italian food like it's an experience. Did I bring up Italian a lot? Well, so does the author.
Villain #1 - psychotic controlling beotch riding her NBA dancer girls so ridiculously hard that it makes it hard to believe that her motivation for setting her girls up for awfullness was that she was desperate to be a mommy again herself.
Villain #2 - husband of villian 1, and I'm still not sure what he was all about. Maybe he was just there to be another villian to debate over. I couldn't tell if he was conflicted over the dancers not sleeping with him or if he was pining for a baby too, or maybe him writing Whore on the walls of the victims was his main reason for existing... to add to the... uhm.... suspense? It's hard to build suspense when you don't care about the caricatures, oops, I mean the characters.
Villain #3 - the obvious bad guy who's the pillar of the community. He's cracked in the head because he's not able to have kids. So he's figured out a way to kidnap ladies and steal their eggs, or just kill them if there's a chance his crazy might get exposed.
Yep, all of the Villains are nasty awful people hurting, terrorizing, and killing innocent people because they are missing the joy of children in their lives.
There are so many more examples I could give, but I've given too much time to this book already.
If you're wondering why I didn't call out Spoiler Alerts prior to my review, it's because if you don't read the book, then nothing's been spoiled. If you do read the book, you've only spoiled your precious spare time... and money. Please save your money.