MEC reviews Against All Odds – Kris Bryant, Maggie Cummings, M. Ullrich

I was interested to see what it would be like to read a book written by three established authors – is it easy to identify who wrote what, will their styles meld? I’ve read and enjoyed Ullrich and Bryant’s books, but Cummings is not an author I was familiar with – how would she stack up against two authors I really like?

I started reading the book trying to dissect the writing and ended up forgetting all about the fact that three people were involved in writing it because the story just grabbed me by the ears and dragged me along for the ride.

This is a romantic suspense novel that works extremely well. The start is a bit horrific – a mass shooting at a bridal shop where the two leads are both trying on bridesmaid dresses – but the authors manage to present it in such a way that the gore factor is not over the top but it still hits you hard. They even switch things around where Peyton, an off-duty cop, is the one who needs saving by Tory, the realtor.

The romance is handled quite well – prior to the shooting, the two women meet and flirt a bit, to the point of exchanging numbers so its established that there is a spark and interest from the beginning and the relationship would have likely developed if the day had not gone so terribly wrong. The chemistry between the two works particularly well – fueled by the fact that they both experienced the same life altering event and have been lucky enough to survive and make the most of their lives.

Both women are strong – they each deal with what happened in their own way, but they do deal with it and help one another. The set up could have easily fallen into an angst driven melodrama, but the characters and the story didn’t go for the easy route and focused on the healing rather than how broken the events could have left them.

The suspense factor worked so much better than I expected. The book is told in three POV’s: Peyton’s, Tory’s and Bradley (the shooter). I normally hate when the killer gets a POV as it is usually cheesy and over the top, but whoever manged Bradley’s POV did a fantastic job – inserting a certain level of menace and suspense and also giving a nice twist as he begins to obsess over the two women who managed to escape the shooting.

Overall – a really great romantic suspense that manages both parts of the equation perfectly. This is a book you won’t be able to put down.

Definitely recommended. 

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