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Leo (Vigilance Book 3) Kindle Edition
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "The Four Winds" by Kristin Hannah
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
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- ASIN : B08L27BM1V
- Publication date : December 28, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 3568 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 266 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,277 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Of the three books in the Vigilance series, Leo is on par with Giorgio (Vigilance Book 1). The two books are similar in tone and pacing, meaning heavy on sex, light on emotional depth and rushed on plot development. (Niall (Vigilance Book 2) is definitely the standout in this series so far.) Leo is a fast-moving, engaging story and I recommend it for when you’re in the mood for a hot and heavy, albeit superficial, action romance with a really likeable couple. This book will not give you slow burn, complex character development or angst. But it is definitely an action-packed ride.
Our couple in this one is Leo, ex-CIA agent turned tattoo artist and vigilante member of Vigilance, and Ezra, the besotted, clumsy waiter who’s been crushing on Leo since the first time he served him breakfast at the restaurant next to Leo’s tattoo shop. The story picks up where Niall left off - in fact, some of the dialogue overlaps, appearing verbatim in both books and nicely tying the events together. We haven’t seen much of Leo in the prior books, but we learn that he apparently has been harboring a strong attraction to Ezra for some time, but has been denying himself the opportunity to start anything with him. Leo is fighting his inner demons. As a former CIA-agent, he is used to compartmentalizing. He also habitually prioritizes the mission over his own personal needs. We see Leo grapple with the typical excuses for resisting romantic involvement with someone (here, Ezra): Ezra’s too young. I’m not good for him. I’m a bad guy who’s done very bad things (and I’m not talking just talking about sex). I’ll put him in danger. I have to stay away.
Ezra, who is about a decade younger than Leo, is initially portrayed as a discombobulated mess who’s brain completely short-circuits when Leo walks in the room. Ezra comes across as young and inexperienced, as well as aimless and incapable, if not incompetent. The age gap highlights that perception. As the story progresses, though, we see a different side of Ezra which belies our initial impression of him. He is indeed capable, competent, smart and knows himself and what he needs. Yes, he is sexually inexperienced, but he’s not naïve and he is willing to experiment. Stitching the two Ezras together, though, is far from seamless.
The same applies for Leo. We are given background and start to scratch the surface of who his is and what plagues him. But then he reverses course abruptly and unexpectedly, particularly as it relates to Ezra.
Generally speaking, character development in Leo succumbs to an overabundance of sex. Casualties ensue, specifically explanations for change of course (for example, Leo resisting, resisting, resisting Ezra and then within the span of a few paragraphs, giving in completely), and transitions between emotional states. The sex scenes are smoking hot, but they feel superficial. The words on the page say Leo and Ezra have emotional investment in each other, but we don’t really experience that. The rushed pacing of the story provides an engaging plot but lacks natural progression of Leo and Ezra’s relationship. I was left with a great couple, composed of two really likeable characters, but a HEA that felt incomplete.
The backbone of all of the Vigilance stories is the mission to ferret out and dispatch the evil human trafficker, Congressman Swain, and his cohorts. There's lots of action and suspense surrounding that, but there was potential that wasn’t exploited. At times, things happened so fast that if you blinked, you missed it. The denouement could have been expanded upon significantly. I wish it had been because the setup was terrific.
The Vigilance stories also have a common pervasive thematic thread: control issues. In Giorgio, there’s a Dom/sub element that is also present in Leo. In both cases, it’s completely consensual, and in Leo, the sexual control aspect is amped up with the addition of bondage. But beyond sex, all three books show the main characters engaging in a battle of wills. In Giorgio and Niall, it’s a power struggle between Giorgio and Lane, Niall and Marco. That aspect is not really present in Leo; Ezra is not only happy to be submissive to Leo, but he needs it. But there is a very strong display of Leo’s need to control everything - the mission, Ezra and himself. He has a tight figurative leash on himself … until he doesn’t, and he has a literal leash on Ezra. The inferred control issues in the book help balance out some of the character development deficiencies.
Overall, this is an enjoyable read, assuming your expectations are appropriately set. The author manages to weave in some subtle humor throughout, particularly in the interactions between Giorgio, Niall and Leo; it’s a definite value-add to the story. There’s one more book planned in this series. The last installment is set to focus on the mysterious “X”, aka Xavier. I’m interested to see what the author has in store for us in that culminating story.
**I voluntarily read an ARC of this book. This review expresses my honest thoughts and opinions.