Empty Places was such a fun, thrilling, and captivating story I read it more or less in one sitting, something which came as a very pleasant surprise.
One of the reasons I rarely read m/f these days, especially suspense, is because all too often the female lead can only be described as ‘too stupid to live’. And, if I’m honest I have to admit that the blurb worried me somewhat. Threatening phone calls leave lots of scope for less than advisable behaviour. Thankfully Ellie Freeman did not live up to the stereotype. She does everything right; contacts the authorities, keeps a record of the threats made against her, and even accepts a gun although she hates the things. None of which saves her from the inevitable, of course.
In fact, this story kept on surprising me in that it managed to avoid being predictable completely. For starters, while the leader of the cult taking Ellie captive was every bit as creepy and crazy as you’d expect such a character to be, most of the other people Ellie interacts with there were no such thing. I liked that even now that I’ve finished the book I still can’t decide whether Ellie or Duncan was the stronger character; the fact that they both had their strengths and their weaknesses made them truly relatable.
If I do have an ‘issue’ with this story it is that Ellie, for me at least, gave in too easily in the end. I won’t say anything else since I don’t believe in spoilers, but personally I’d have let him suffer for at least a short while.
What struck me most about this book though is how exquisite the writing was. The sentences flow, the balance between thought, action, and description was just about perfect and the story read so smoothly I was surprised to have reached the end when I did. The author transported me first to that desert and then to the mountains. I suffered in the blistering heat, enjoyed the cooling rain, and could see the desolation.
Long story short: if you want to read a very well written, thrilling, sexy, and thoroughly entertaining m/f romance, look no further. Empty Places won’t disappoint!