I was so disappointed with this book. It could have been a five star read but it missed. It was good, even great in parts, but nothing like the first one. This was way too instalovey. Their attraction was solely physical and it took a long time before they got to know each other at all and by then both were smitten. Despite that, though, I definitely felt their love and wanted them to work out.
But first the good: The book was touching, exciting, and funny, too. I did like the characters (with the exception of some behavior I'll describe below). They were real to me. There were secondary characters, too, that I liked a lot, even heterosexual ones! They were all distinct individuals and mostly realistic to me. I loved Cole and hope the next book is about him.
The author did excellent research on what it would be like for man who just got out of prison after a long term. Cam's been in for ten years and at one point he complains about "these damn sippy cup things for coffee everyone had in their hand." That's the kind of detail that would never occur to me but makes total sense on top of being funny.
The first kiss was so effing hot it made my toes curl.
There was a lot more action in this book than the previous one, which I liked a lot.
The plot was reasonable if predictable and unnecessarily convoluted in parts. (The final explanation part of it, though, was silly.)
Hunter's dad was hilarious and completely believable. One of my favorite scenes is when Hunter is talking to his father about wanting to ask Cam out. Here are parts of it. (It happens early on in the book while they're still trying to ask each other out, but I'm putting it in spoiler tags in case you don't want to read it.)
Julian is a jerk in this book. We were told that he was in the last book but I never saw it. It's full blown in this one and sometimes he's out of line.
When Cameron gets to the halfway house, they tell him he's a guest. That's ridiculous. They should want him to feel like it's his home. They do expect him to do his part.
Nobody in these books has brown eyes. In this one, one MC's eyes are silver. Seriously.
Cam's room walls are painted steel gray. Gray. Like prison walls. Sounds comforting.
The older MC keeps going on and on about the age gap like he's an old man, but it's 27 to 40. It's more than I like, but he's far from old and it's perfectly reasonable.
For convenience, the older MC out of the blue decides
Cam frequently acts like a stereotypical weak woman not like someone who's been hardened by ten years in prison. Matt went from a strong guy in the first book, to a wilting flower that needs protecting, too, and he's also an ex-con.
Hunter was constantly, and I mean over and over, holding Cam's face in his hands. They touch each other too much, even in times when it's not really appropriate. It's like Cam's that woman that needs constant reassurance and protection.
In the major action scene about 2/3rds of the way through,
It went on WAY too long after the climax, and then the end there's a scene
A cop believes it immediately when he's told there's
and doesn't even get mad at either those who tell him or the ones they're talking about, just annoyed if anything.
MAJOR MAJOR VERY END RESOLUTION spoiler (don't read if you don't want to know what happens at the very end of the book, how they get their HEA.):
There were other things, but that's enough.