"I'll always look out for you, braveheart."
I usually have an intro ready when I finish a book. This one has my thoughts in a jumble and I don't know where to start. So many things happen in this story and I don't want to give away too much so I'll try to break it down to the necessary.
"Loving you is like finding the light. I can't ever lose that again, baby. I won't."
We were introduced to the secret organization called Vault in Perfect Chaos. We also met Kai whose story I was so looking forward to reading. I loved Deck but Kai is a whole new level of awesome.
He grew up in an institution called the farm, a facility belonging to Vault where kids are raised to become what Kai is today. He is a killer who was steeled and trained to be one of the best, ice-cold, emotionless and focused. His mother is a manipulating, power hungry bitch who killed his father and has his sister imprisoned in one of Vault's locations for helping a fellow kid escape. His current objective is to convince a brilliant scientist to hurry up developing a drug for Vault. He gives Dr. Westbrook a week to come up with a solution.
When London watches a man threatening her father from her hiding place in a closet she feels a chill down her back but also an inexplicable fascination. When he approaches her to press the issue of her father to speed up the drug research she negotiates a deal: Seven days of sex in exchange for more time for her dad. Kai is totally on board with this. London is fascinated with the contradiction that is Kai.
But it was his eyes that captivated me, and wouldn't let me go. A deep jade that held amusement mixed with a dangerous glint which completely contradicted one another
He is cocky, arrogant even, charming but also callous at times. And there are times when he shows an unexpected care for her. There is also a familiarity about him she can't shake. Soon Kai and London realize that they got more than they bargained for and feelings begin to arise they neither want nor can afford.
I think I've read enough dark books to say I can handle most fictional situations. Nothing prepared me for what London had to go through and there were times when I just wanted to curl into a fetal position and rock back and forth. The situations this heroine is pushed into are nothing short of heartbreaking, traumatizing and not for the faint of heart. Yet she shows resilience and extraordinary strength.
Day by day a layer of me was peeled away and I was left raw and exposed. I never thought I'd ever choose to die. But I did. But I didn't die. So I existed. I survived. And within the speck of dust, I had a speck of hope
London is a compassionate, gentle and quiet girl who wants to become a scientist like her father when we meet her. There is also a stubbornness that helps her overcome a lot of the tragic events she experiences. There are layers added to her over the course of the story but her inherent compassion and sweetness remain in spite of it all. That she doesn't lose her mind is a miracle. With Kai's help she is also able to bounce back from the trauma. Is her recovery realistic? Nope. But it was still damn good to see her getting better. She is the kind of heroine I have come to love.
She had an innocence about her, a quietness that played across her face, but there was also a stubborn quirk that lay beneath the natural beauty.
Kai is delicious in every way. He is beautiful, hilarious and often commanding. There is nothing soft about him except when it comes to London. And why should he be, he went through hell as well to become the way he is and he didn't do so voluntarily. Kai doesn't waste words if there is nothing to say and I have to say I loved this character trait about him. He treats London with sweetness and adoration and it is his care about this girl that starts to chip away at the ice that surrounds his heart and soon he finds himself caring for other people too. I loved that he never broke his promise to come for her if she needed him. Their sexual chemistry was combustible.
[highlight to see spoiler] I also had tears in my eyes when he had to blow up the house he and London found happiness in.
I’d never cared before. In order to care, you had to give a shit. I didn’t. Now I did and it was worse than any physical pain. It was acid eating away at my insides and feeling like there was no way back from the hell I lived in.This isn't a fairy tale. No butterflies, no rainbow farting unicorns. It is a gritty tale with a high angst factor that gives you light when you almost lose yourself in the darkness of it. It's the main characters' love for each other that makes it shine and takes away the weight. The cruelty and severity of human trafficking addressed in this story is a punch to the gut and I think it only scratches the surface of what is really going on in this world.
It makes me happy that, again, there is no question whether Kai loves London. His feelings are palpable.
I stared at her for several seconds, this remarkable woman who I'd go to the end of the earth for, who I'd kill for if anyone tried to hurt her.
We are allowed to slip into Connor's tortured mind and get a little bit of Georgie's POV. We also get to see all the characters from book 1 and an off-the-pages romance between the mysterious Tristan and Kai's sister Francesca. I would love to read their story.
I can only repeat my sentiment from my review of Perfect Chaos. Nashoda Rose has some serious talent and I will definitely read her backlist in the future.