After her fiance dies, a woman tries to start over elsewhere, but a visit home stirs up both unresolved passion and new danger in this romance/thriller novel.
At almost 25, Candice-Leigh Carson is already an award-winning, bestselling novelist. But it’s not all good times: her fiance, Chase Matson, a detective with the NYPD, was shot dead on an undercover assignment. Also mourning Chase is Jaxson Monroe, his partner on the force and (with Candice) best friend since childhood; he comforts Candice, holding her in bed at night. When Candice learns that her other best friend, Christina, is pregnant with Chase’s baby, she again turns to Jax for comfort. After things become intimate, Candice flees in the middle of the night, changes her phone number, and moves to California, where she works in a cubicle at a computer company. On a business trip to New York City with her friendly new boss, Candice is contacted by detectives working Chase’s case—and by Jax. Strong feelings re-emerge and soon find lusty expression. But people in Candice’s life are hiding deadly secrets, and a violent confrontation brews. York (Surviving Brooklyn, 2015) keeps this novel at soap-opera pitch through dramatic events, stormy emotions, passionate sex scenes, and danger, spiced with some plot twists. But these twists would be more satisfying if they made more sense. Why, for example, would a crime boss need to elaborately gain Candice’s trust just to kill her, or Jax? Obstacles are contrived or clichéd, such as Candice’s reasons for avoiding romance with Jax: “I had erected a wall around myself… I didn’t want to be hurt again.” The plot doesn’t make much sense, and Candice similarly has some odd moments: she sees nothing overly sexual or romantic about sleeping all night entangled with Jax or about her boss wrapping his arms around her from behind. And, though she’s a novelist, Candice seems more interested in footwear, bubble baths, and closet organization than in books.
Dramatic and twisty but full of plot holes; plus, the writer heroine isn’t very writerly.