Marcia Hadley is married to an extremely wealthy man. First son and heir to his family's food & restaurant empire, Reggie Hadley has been indulged all his life. Sliding into a life of drug abuse, Reggie also becomes a wife-abuser.
After a particularly brutal beating, Marcia knows Reggie could one day kill her. So she carefully and deliberately sets out to disappear. She siphons money, sells jewelry, changes her appearance quietly leaves the west coast, only to reappear in Atlantic City as Dani Reynolds.
There she gets a job as a cocktail waitress at a happening night club, meets an interesting new man, Taylor Villanova and begins to repair her life and self esteem. Only it is just a matter of time until Reggie finds her...
The set-up and bones of the story is really good. I also liked the inter-cut scenes early on of Reggie hiring a detective and beginning his search for Dani. It added a welcome level of suspense.
I also liked the fact that Dani was immediately a fish out of water and was a bit of a puzzle to the other club employees. She radiated so many clues about being a fugitive that I am glad she opened up to Taylor and her boss, Nick early on. The club scenes were fun and strong and I would have liked more interaction with all the club scene characters.
But ultimately there were a few things that prevented this book from being a 4 or 5 star book.
The relationship between Dani and Taylor was nice and sweet. Taylor is just the sort of hero I like. I like them blue collar and a bit rough around the edges. But I do think their romance lack that 'oomph' of intensity that really elevates a good romance.
I also think is that there needed to be some judicious content editing. As i was reading I was always surprised about how much book there was left. On my Kindle the end location was in the 8,000s. The story felt a bit bloated and I found myself getting impatient with the pace. There were quite a few 'conversation' scenes where both Dani and Taylor would re-count events to their chosen confidantes of things that happened between them or emotions they were struggling with. Time and again these characters would be the sage advice givers giving pretty much the same advice. It had the effect of being too much telling and not enough showing. It made the story feel repetitive and served to slow down the action.
I also thought the ending was dragged out. Again I think editing would have tightened this up a bit. There was an 11th hour plot-bomb that felt over-done and unnecessary. It also weakened the character of the heroine in my eyes to an extent.