I’ve read many of Tijan’s books, but I think Carter Reed is my favorite. It’s not *exactly* a second chance romance, since Emma and Carter were never together when they were younger, but they wanted to be together.The novel begins with Emma killing her roommate’s boyfriend because he is raping her. After getting Mallory, her roommate, to a safe place, Emma has to figure out her next steps. She can’t go to the police, but there’s a dead body in her apartment.
Oh, and the now-dead boyfriend was the son of a mafia boss. This pushes her to do something she’s wanted to do for 10 years, but has never done. Emma goes to Carter Reed, her brother’s best friend, her one-time crush, and the only person she can go to for help. Carter is also the current head of a different mafia family.
Can I just say I don’t know if I could have handled everything the way Emma does? She has her moments, with panic attacks and questioning her decisions, but she is strong. Emma makes decisions her friends are not able to make. She has to decide and war with her own morals and values, rationalizing the life she is now apart of. Emma has to fight, not only for her own safety, but to be a part of Carter’s life.
And Emma was never known to be a quitter.
Emma is not the only one who struggles though. Tijan teases the readers with glimpses into Carter’s mind, showing his struggles to bring Emma into an inherently violent world. This is the woman he would go to war for, and do anything to protect. His entire life is and was always devoted to keeping her safe. And Carter coming to terms with feeling something other than the thrill for killing is beautifully shown.
Overall, this was a 5 star novel. I would HIGHLY recommend this for those that love dark romance. NO CLIFFHANGER!! There is a second book but this book does NOT end on a cliff hanger!!