I started this book right after In the Shadow of Love by J. E. Leak and I found the same kind of film noir atmosphere. But while in the former, the feeling comes from the era, in this series, it’s from the characters, Campbell in particular. They’re becoming less of a mystery to Justine but not so much to us readers. I at once enjoy that and find it unsettling, but not in a bad way.
How I feel about Campbell is pretty much how I feel about this series so far: I can’t help liking them, rooting for them, and I kinda hate that I do because it messes with my moral sense. It’s also a testament to the author’s talent that they make me care so much. Although Justine is an interesting character too, it’s Campbell who grabbed my attention from the start and makes me look forward to book 3.
It all comes back to the author’s writing, which works a lot better for me in this series than in Her Wolf in the Wild, which I found a bit tame in comparison. I often associate thrilling with fast-paced but this book proves me wrong. There’s a constant feeling of danger, of urgency, that I guess comes from Campbell at all times. Beyond the story, beyond the romance (because yes, love is a big part of the story), this book is a captivating study of a complex person, of an attempt to rebuild what’s been broken by life, extreme circumstances, and grief. The contrast between the cold-blooded assassin and the attentive lover is fascinating, all the more so as the cold-blooded facade starts to crumble.
Love Burns Bright, the third Fatal Fidelity book, will be out later this year.