Release Date: July 31, 2018
Received From: NetGalley
Bodyguard Jock Bosh has one job: keep Fiona Madden safe. Safe from the men who’ve been hunting her. Safe from the bastard responsible for ruining her life. And with the attraction sizzling white-hot between them, that means keeping Fiona safe from him too.
Fiona has spent the past decade on the run. Her survival is the single greatest weapon she’s had against the men out to destroy her. Until Jock. Now, with him by her side, she finally has a chance to bring them down. But when her enemies make their next move and Jock puts himself in the line of fire, Fiona realizes that there’s more at stake than just her life-she’s also risking her heart.
SEXUALITY: presumed heterosexual
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: presumed heteroromantic
TROPES: protector x protectee, height difference, age gap, forced proximity
TAGS: adult, contemporary, romantic suspense, romance, sexual assault survivor
WARNINGS: sex trafficking, sexual assault, rape, stalking, harassment, ableism, mental illness (PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks), homophobia, slurs, gendered slurs, flashbacks, kidnapping, nonbinary exclusionary language (“men and women”), rape threats, torture, physical injury, hospitalization, nonconsensual drugging
DARKEST NIGHT is a superb addition to the WIRED & DANGEROUS series, taking us even further into the seedy underbelly of the horrific sex trafficking ring the team started hunting down in the first novel.
With this second installation, we get to learn a lot more about the mysterious iceman of the crew, Jock, as he watches over Fiona, Wren’s best friend and a victim of the sex trafficking ring the team is bent on destroying. He’s a deeply determined man who refuses to fail when he sets his mind to something and takes failure to heart until it’s practically all he can see, and won’t rest until he’s reset said failure. One thing I really loved about Jock was how very aware of Fiona’s past he was, and how his size and abilities could potentially be terrifying for her, so he makes an effort to make her feel comfortable with him. There’s so much consideration for her and her experiences, and a constant search for consent.
Additionally, we learn more about Fiona! In the first book, she’s not present and all we get to see is from Wren’s point of view, so until DARKEST NIGHT, she’s a victim and Wren’s friend, who she’s determined to protect. But in this one, we learn that, yes, Fiona is a victim, but she’s also a survivor who continually claws her way to relative safety, who clings to the aspect of her life that she can control, and who endeavors not to be afraid but can’t always quite manage that. She loves her dog, can’t function without coffee, likes to read romance novels and science fiction, and her prized possession is a necklace that Jock buys her. Fiona is a woman that any of us could run into on the street–she’s relatable and so strong. It’s impossible not to fall for her.
As with the first novel, the subject matter within the book is really intense and potentially triggering, especially for sexual abuse survivors. The team actively continues to bring down the trafficking ring that they were working on previously, and in the end, they do end up busting the ring. However, it involves Fiona and the other women who’d been taken and released in previous years being recaptured and victimized all over again. It was personally really difficult to read, so I would definitely advise to read with caution.
Also, personally, I was a little uncomfortable with Jock and his reactions at some points. I fully understand his mindset and not wanting to hear the ways in which Fiona has been harmed, but the reactions were really violent and volatile at times, which made me feel twitchy. Fiona doesn’t appear to mind it, so that’s cool for her, but if my spouse was (re)acting like that, it would be a pretty big no-go.
One little thing that I really loved was near the end when the little rivalry between Erick and Tarr developed, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out more in the next book.
Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.
For more, visit meganerickson.org