Storm Lines – Jessica L. Webb

Devon Wolfe, a burnt-out psychologist, is on her way to a meeting when she stumbles onto a wounded cop. Bridget “Marley” Marlowe was knifed because she cares about people. At the moment, the people she cares about are Aimee, a young girl caught in a drug ring, and her grandmother Carla.

I can’t get enough of Jessica L. Webb’s writing. Despite their many differences, there’s something in her books that reminds me of Cari Hunter‘s, in that they’re equally dark and heartwarming. They tell the darkest stories, dive deep into the abyss of the most sinister parts of the human soul, yet they do this with the best characters, people you can imagine meeting and very easily getting attached to. I wouldn’t say they’re easy to love, however, but they are definitely worth the effort.

Love. There’s a lot of love in this story. Devon and Marley’s falling in love follows a very untraditional path. If you’re looking for hot and heavy, you’ll be disappointed. The romance is extremely slow burn yet intense. Fate brought these two together, they both feel it and neither wants to rush it. There’s no need to rush anything when it’s as obviously meant to be and there’s so much chemistry. Webb manages to tell that story without it being boring for even one second. It’s incredibly satisfying because it’s slow, not despite being slow.

The second love story centres around Aimee, who has already seen too much in her young life, but who is lucky enough to have found her grandmother, Marley and Devon. The four of them become a family of sorts, closer and stronger than many biological families.

As usual with Webb, the gritty arc is excellent but what’s even better is how the characters react to it, how hardship brings out the best in them. In Storm Lines even more than in her other books, at least the ones I’ve read (I still have Shadowboxer on my list), the characters’ strength stems from their vulnerability. Devon is overcoming a mental breakdown while Marley is recovering from more physical injuries. Neither allows her own trouble to prevent her from getting invested fully in saving Aimee and Carla, even if it means breaking some rules, something Marley is a lot more comfortable with than Devon. Storm Lines is very plausible as a thriller but what I will remember, I’m sure, is the people and how they come together in the face of danger.

5-stars

Storm Lines @ Bold Strokes Books

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