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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Don't Look Back by Dawn Ryder

I did review Close To The Edge, an earlier book in this series by Dawn Ryder, and I didn’t enjoy it. However, a friend who is a big fan insisted I should give the author another try, so when Don’t Look Back appeared on NetGalley, I figured I’d give it another go. And my friend was right; this book was actually a lot better.

Some of the things I took issue with in Close To The Edge are still present; there is an awful lot going on which has been carried forward from other books in the series, so much of it that in fact the heroine didn’t even appear until 7% of the way into the story. Which was a real shame, because Thais Sinclair was absolutely badass and I wanted lots more of her. She gave no quarter, she asked for no concessions, and she called her hero, Dunn Bateson on his internalised misogyny and hypocrisy until he stepped back and took a good hard look at himself.

Dunn was the usual alpha hero, but he also respected Thais’ abilities and listened to her when she pulled him up on his natural instincts to put her safely out of the way of the action. The two of them working together were a formidable team, and their very similar pasts and attitudes towards dating and relationships made for intriguing conflict as they worked their way towards a solution which suited them both.

Regarding the plot, this book brought to a head the building conflict between the presidential candidate trying to shut down the special ops team and Miranda, the congressional candidate whose daughter is married to one of the team (and Dunn is her secret son, too). With several attempted assassinations, I did find my credulity stretched somewhat, especially with someone being able to carry a concealed and loaded gun into the presence of a presidential candidate, in a private interview, without being checked over by the Secret Service. Really? I mean, seriously? That’s absolutely an insult to the incredibly professional men and women of that agency, who would never let a breach of such magnitude occur. I can let a lot of things slide in the name of a good story, but that’s a step too far.

As a wrap-up for the series, this left a few too many threads untied. I felt like it was deliberate, possibly setting up some characters for a spinoff series - the sister of one agent said to have mysterious paranormal abilities felt very much like a setup.

As I said, I liked this better than Close To The Edge, but that was mainly because I enjoyed the characters a lot more. The messy plot let it down and the constant moving of PoV to characters who have already had their own book was a waste of words; I wanted more of Thais and Dunn, not a rehash of previous romances and plots. I still can’t give this any more than three stars.

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

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