ARC Review: Backfire by Keri Lake

Ricochet was one of my favorite reads of 2015, so when I found out this seemingly stand-alone book was getting not one, but two sequels, those babies went to the top of my TBR. I started stalking Keri Lake's Facebook feed, and as soon as I saw the sign-ups for Backfire ARCs and the blog tour I jumped all over that.

It's been a few weeks since it released, and it's getting rave reviews, for good reason. Come with me through the jump and I'll tell you why you need to add Backfire to your summer reading list.

Spoiler free, of course.

Backfire was riveting from beginning to end, there were twists that I guessed and twists that I didn't, I really liked the main characters both together and individually, and it was dark and gritty with moments of levity and lightness, which I've come to really enjoy.

As easily as if I hadn't fought at all, he flipped me over, and his hands slid up under my shirt. Within seconds, my bra popped loose, and I nearly gasped at the relief, and in surprise that he's unclasped it so fast.
Like a damn tit-slinging ninja.

What I'm struggling with is trying not to compare it to Ricochet, the first book in this series, the reason I found Keri Lake. Ricochet is one of the two best dark romance books I've read, and I had Backfire hyped up in my mind, ready for a follow-up that was going to knock my socks off. It didn't. It's a solid book. But it didn't have that wow factor for me that Ricochet had. And it's not fair for me to compare the two. 

So I'm going to focus on the things I loved, and there were many: Detroit front-and-center once again, 

Detroit had always been a thing of beauty in the hours before it awakened. Both my home and my tomb. I was forged in the city like the steel of its rusted out factories. Infected by its unshakable hope. ~~Molded and shaped by its pain and abandonment, until I'd become as much a part of it as the graffiti that colored its destruction.
Wouldn't matter if I left Detroit. It'd never leave me.

an incredibly badass and sexy hero (with a car that curls my toes and feeds my addiction to pure American muscle), 

maleficent-black 1969 Camaro SS with a rear spoiler, cowl hood, and beautiful chrome rally sport grill

a smart and feisty heroine,

a riveting mystery that kept me guessing through all the reveals, (like the wonderful twist about a certain character's history!), 

a toe-curlingly sexy relationship between the MCs with well-written sex scenes and genuine affection for one another, 

I hated that she saw beneath the mask, beneath the bones and flesh, and yanked at my soul like a beam of sunlight fighting its way through murky waters of a swamp.
That warmth called to me, as she lay sprawled out on my bed--a fucking prayer trapped in a mind full of debauchery.

and a great side character that I'm looking forward to taking center stage next.

The only thing in the book that I can point to and say I didn't like, wasn't because it was problematic, or poor storytelling, or anything wrong with the book. It was just uncomfortable. Hard to read. Painful to think about even now. But I do love it when a book makes me uncomfortable, even when I don't like the thing that causes that feeling. 

Keri Lake is a gifted storyteller who deftly balances the hideous and the beautiful, who makes us understand how two people can be drawn to one another's darkest parts. She gives us an unflinching look at a crumbling Detroit while showing us why so many refuse to give up on the place where their roots run deep. The Vigilante Series is a study in the duality of life, and Backfire is equal parts awful and wondrous. I love the way Ms. Lake weaves together the strands of her tale, creating a stunning tapestry from pain and suffering. I'm looking forward to see what picture she creates next. 

Wench Rating:


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