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This book picks up shortly after Captive ends and I loved that we still get bits with Ghost and Madison. I always love seeing where characters are after the story ends. With that said, this book is about Riley and the one person he has yet to get over, even though she has been gone for 5 years, Evie. And when I say gone, I mean, he has thought she was dead.
In a desperate attempt to get away from the man who tried to kill her (their boss), Evie works with Ghost and another member of their crew to create a new identity and say goodbye to everything she has ever known…including the boy she loves, Riley. When her cover is blown, Evie is pulled back into a world where she is fighting to not only protect herself, but also the only people she has ever really trusted and loved.
As Riley finds out the truth, he doesn’t stop to think. He just gets on his bike and goes to get Evie because he knows she needs him. I loved seeing that side of him but as he realizes that Ghost was in on the secret, the betrayal he feels is overwhelming. Unfortunately for all, Max is again after Evie and in order to protect her until they can come up with a plan, Evie and Riley have to hole up in a friend’s apartment.
There are a number of layers to this story. The first being the thing that Evie knows that put her on Max’s radar to begin with. I won’t say what it is but all you need to know is that in order to get out of the trouble she is in, she has to find out more and come up with some leverage.
There is an aspect of this story that won’t be for everyone but I thought Walsh did a wonderful job of conveying the impact it had on the character’s story without making it the focal point. The past plays a huge role in this story and Evie has something in her past that makes it not only difficult for her to trust, but also difficult to give up control. This is something that creates some challenges in the relationship that Riley and Evie have. That wasn’t always the case but Riley is a different person than he was 5 years ago and that is an adjustment for them both.
A good portion of the story takes place with these two in a confined space and I loved seeing them get to know each other again as well as realize that they are still very much in love with each other, regardless of what they have been up to for the time they have been separated. As secrets are revealed and things begin to come to a head with Max and the crew, Riley, Evie, and Ghost have to come up with a way to survive.
Overall I thought this story had a great mix of suspense, action, and romance. Walsh always does a wonderful job of developing characters and mixing in the sexy times with a great story. If you are looking for a story with all of this, definitely check it out. If you haven’t read Captive, don’t worry. I read both and while there is overlap on the characters, the stories are separate. With that said, you should definitely read it, and everything else Walsh writes, when you can.
Wow. I’ve only ever read two books by Brighton Walsh (because I’m behind in finding her) but I’m coming to realize that she’s one of those authors whose words reach within me. She can pull me right in with seemingly no effort and keep me there. In a person like me, who is very picky about writing styles that can captivate me, she passes my test each time.
“After twenty-two years, I’d come to the realization that people only saw what you let them see. Or, more apt, what they wanted to see. Generally the pretty, skin-deep things that didn’t make them uncomfortable. They didn’t look for the messy, ugly parts. . . the dark, twisted secrets hidden away. The skeletons inevitably buried in everyone’s closets.”
Evie has invented a new life after she ran from her last one. Nothing is real and she’s begun to lose track of herself; forgetting her real truths with all the lies she gives. But her past and her present are soon jumbled together at once, when she’s forced to rely on an old flame for her safety. Riley used to be her everything. They went on jobs together, and held each other most nights as they came down from the adrenaline. Young teenage love that consumed them both. But without Evie in his life for the past five years, he’s dug himself deeper into that life to forget her, for revenge, to keep breathing. And the feelings that they have for each other haven’t dimmed, if anything they’ve gotten greater.
“I knew that voice. I recognized it as sure as I’d recognize my own face. Because it was a voice I’d heard in my dreams too many times to count. When my dreams were dreams and not the nightmares that so frequently plagued me, it was his face I saw. His voice I heard. His body I felt. It was him. It was always him.”
Second chance romances are one of my favorite kinds for the emotions they bring out. With Exposed, you really get that big emotional surge of sexual tension, emotional tension that overwhelms you when they come face to face again. This is more than just a story of a girl needing to be protected by a guy she used to see. It’s about a girl who has fought so hard against demons that she’s created more than just one fake life. This book is about her finding her one true life, merging them together, and finding her inner peace. The tough girl letting down that battle armor to be happy. I really enjoyed Evie’s journey, and what Riley was for her. It was suspenseful (in more ways than one), emotional, and truly sexy. Ms. Walsh is an auto buy for me.
“I wanted to consume her. Because for the past seven years, she’d been consuming me.”
**Received an early copy in exchange for an honest review**