Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Review Tuesday: Trevor's Redemption by Amber Daulton -- #RomanticSuspense #CriminalOrganization #ReviewTuesday

Trevor's Redempton book cover

Trevor’s Redemption by Amber Daulton

Daulton Publishing, 2023

How can love survive without honesty?

Shea O’Bannon broke off a budding romance with musician Trevor Madero when she caught him in a steamy clinch with another woman, but she has never really gotten him out of her system. When she encounters him again, at a club where he’s performing, she is drawn to him more strongly than ever. Though Trevor has a reputation as a ladies’ man, he swears the scene Shea observed was not his choice, that the woman (the brassy, bossy wife of a corrupt district attorney) more or less forced herself on him. After he defends Shea against the unwelcome advances of a slimy colleague from her job, she starts to believe Trevor is sincere and lets down her guard. Both physically and emotionally, the couple seems perfectly matched, but Shea senses her lover is hiding something important.

Through no fault of his own, Trevor owes his soul to a criminal organization. He tries to assuage his conscience, delivering drugs to dealers and collecting revenues but not selling directly to users, but that’s a near-impossible line to tread. Now that he’s back together with Shea, he needs to work harder than ever to hide his illicit activities – for her own safety as well as to avoid her negative judgments. But Shea’s too smart to accept his lies. She knows only too well, from her own family history and that of her friends, how criminal associations can poison the ordinary joys of living. Cutting Trevor out of her life is the most painful thing she’s ever done, but she’s certain that if she can’t trust her lover to tell her the truth, she’s better off without him.

Trevor’s Redemption is part of Amber Daulton’s Arresting Onyx series; Onyx is a shadowy, powerful criminal syndicate that has its claws in characters in each book of the series. Though I hadn’t read the previous books, I didn’t find it difficult to follow this one, except at one point when the author pulled in all the heroines from the previous books (who are Shea’s close friends). At that point, I was deluged by references to events in the earlier installments, which I must admit didn’t make much sense.

In any case, that was a minor distraction. The main focus of Trevor’s Redemption is, as one would expect from a romance, the relationship between Shea and Trevor. Ms. Daulton does a wonderful job portraying their intense mutual attraction as well as their affection and concern for one another. Her love scenes are incendiary. The action scenes are almost as good, as Shea and Trevor each take extreme risks to protect the other.

The book offers an unexpected twist at the end which I found surprisingly satisfying. I won’t say more, except to note that this ending provides a resolution to the nearly impossible problem of Trevor’s obligations to the syndicate.

Trevor’s double life, on the other hand, seemed rather implausible from the start. I don’t think it would really be feasible for someone to work part-time as a mob enforcer and part-time doing construction – with time off to perform as a musician. The plot of Trevor’s Redemption requires that the reader believe this scenario. It took some effort for me to suspend my disbelief.

Overall, however, I enjoyed Trevor’s Redemption. Both hero and heroine are adults who understand, from experience, the complex challenges involved in a relationship. In the real world, love does not conquer all. Shea and Trevor don’t expect that their path will be smooth.

Of course this is romance, not the real world. So despite their concerns, they end up with a happy ending.


Colleen C. said...

Loved this series!!!

Amber Daulton said...

Thank you for reading, Lisabet!!

Amber Daulton said...

Aww... Thank you, Colleen!

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