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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Defending Allye by Susan Stoker

There are some very serious themes and statistics in Defending Allye, because Allye is one lucky break away from becoming a human trafficking statistic. A professional dancer, she has somehow come to the attention of the ugliest of men, one who trades in human flesh, and who wants Allye for his own personal collection. Rescued in the process of being transferred to her new ‘owner’ by Gray, a former Navy SEAL now working for Mountain Mercenaries, she finds she can’t comfortably return to her former life, knowing someone out there has bought and paid for her life and will certainly try again.

There was a long period at the start of this book where Allye and Gray were out in the ocean together and having a long conversation while swimming for their lives in the freezing cold ocean. Now… I don’t know about you, but trying to have a conversation while casually swimming in a warm pool is pretty difficult, never mind while freezing to death, being slapped in the face by waves and trying to save every tiny bit of energy for swimming. I also didn’t buy that someone as competent and organised as Gray wasn’t carrying any kind of emergency rescue beacon he could set off if things went FUBAR.

Later in the books, two members of Allye’s dance troupe are kidnapped in her place, murdered, and ugly messages left ordering her to return. And during all this, the only people who seem to be investigating are Gray’s team. I was reading this in disbelief thinking ‘where are the FBI? This is clearly a serial killer’. Yet the FBI weren’t even MENTIONED: nobody from law enforcement even seemed interested.

I really liked both Allye and Gray. Their characters seemed well fleshed out and I believed in their romance. The complete disregard for what would happen in similar real-life situations got on my nerves, though, and I felt like the author just hadn’t thought through the logic of the plot. At the end of the day, I doubt I’d want to read any more in the series because it just wasn’t believable, which is all very well in a paranormal or fantasy romance, but really doesn’t fly for me in supposedly real-world romantic suspense. Three stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.

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