This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books are the last two books of the If You Can series.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Release Me If You Can by Christina C. Jones
Narrator: Leon Nixon, Wesleigh Siobhan
Series: If You Can #2
Published by Tantor Audio on June 15, 2021
Genres: Mystery, Romance
Length: 8 hours 5 minutes
Secrets always have a way of coming to light.Special Agent Renata Parker learns this the hard way, when the secret she’s held close for many years is finally revealed, exposing her as traitor to the team of thieves, spies, hackers, and federal agents who thought they shared a common goal — take down Damien Wolfe. Her dedication to their cause doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny — especially for Quentin, a fellow hacker who was drawn to Renata’s quiet energy before her true identity was exposed. With her loyalty in question, Renata finds herself in a position where she’s forced to rely on help from the very people she may have unwittingly betrayed. Quentin wants to trust Renata, but repairing their friendship — and possibly taking it further — requires the healing of past wounds, answering unresolved questions, and revealing unknown connections that bring new light to Damien Wolfe’s misdeeds.While Quentin and Renata search for common ground, Marcus and Naomi navigate unexpected circumstances in their budding relationship, and Inez tries to resist Kendall’s magnetic, dangerous appeal.Romance, danger, a little hacking, and a bit of espionage ensue as the team struggles to be released from the traumas of their past.
I wasn’t AS into Release Me If You Can as I was the first book, but I think that’s more because I was slightly distracted, than because anything was wrong with the book. I got confused a decent bit though and I’m not sure exactly what happened at the end honestly.
Like I said, I wasn’t 100% focused on what I was reading – I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life. However, some books have the power to pull me out of that and be a solid distraction while others I’m distracted from. This was the latter.
One of the challenges of this book was that while Catch Me If You Can really focused on Marcus and Naomi and stayed firmly within their POVs, this one tried to continue their story, start the new story of Renata and Q (Quentin), and I think we also got the start of another couple, sort of? There were enough characters and POVs that I got confused about who was who a few times. And that proved especially true at the end (like last 5 minutes) where there was a flurry of activity, and I really truly don’t know what happened. I relistened and I’m still not sure.
That said, I did enjoy the plot. That didn’t lose me at all and it’s really exciting and all kinds of twisty turvy. And there’s some fantastic backstory and surprises as well. I thought Ms. Jones did a good job of handling some pretty sensitive topics as well – I should note a trigger warning for Rape – it’s not graphically seen but it is referenced. And even though I don’t know who all exactly was involved in that last 5 minutes of activity, I do understand the plot significance and it’s a bit of a cliff. So yeah, I’m also excited to read the next book.
The narration was still really good – Leon Nixon and Wesleigh Siobhan delivered a solid performance. I do wonder if they could have played a part in my character confusion. Were the voices inconsistent? I don’t know. I’m hoping that I will be less confused in the next book (the conclusion).
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Save Me If You Can by Christina C. Jones
Narrator: Leon Nixon, Wesleigh Siobhan
Series: If You Can #3
Published by Tantor Audio on July 13, 2021
Genres: Mystery, Romance
Length: 7 hours 53 minutes
Deception and betrayal always carry a price, and sooner or later, someone has to pay.For a long time, Terry King and Damien Wolfe have dodged those debts while the people around them paid – in loneliness, grief, constant fear, and the loss of innocent lives.But no more.It’s time to settle up, and though the difference between victim and villain isn’t always clear, this familiar band of hackers, spies, and federal agents are holding nothing back. In this final installment of the “If You Can” series, questions are answered, hidden motives are revealed, secrets are brought to light, and this dangerous adventure comes to a conclusion. Partnerships ruined by betrayal.Lovers tested by secrets.Families broken by lies.With everything around them in shambles, which relationships will endure?And when the story comes full circle… who will come out alive?
This final installment took some unexpected twists and added even more romantic pairings. As with the previous book the characters and pairings got a bit intertwined and confusing, but the plot was solid and made this book an overall win.
In the Release Me If You Can I had confusion with the characters and while I was less confused on who was whom in Save Me If You Can, I did struggle with just how very similar they were. If I heard a name, I knew who we were talking about, but where I got confused was some of the back stories. Everyone’s life is so intertwined (which is part of the plot twists of this book and the series really) but as brilliant as it is for the plot, it gets a bit much for the characters. I think if each book had been focused primarily on one couple, and just their POVs, like in the first book – Catch Me If You Can – that would have worked a lot better. Let me see the other couples’ progression, sure, but through just 2 POVs. All the POVs just muddied the already hazy water.
That said, I did really enjoy all the characters and pairings. There were some pretty sexy moments, romantic moments, and heart wrenching moments. And that’s just the romance. The plot was equally complex – with shocks, twists and gut drops. And things did not end up the way I expected, which was also cool. I like when I’m fooled and get a less predictable conclusion.
The narration was good – I really enjoy Leon Nixon and Wesleigh Siobhan. I do think they help a bit with keeping characters straight (I was uncertain if the voices were inconsistent in the last book, and I don’t think they are). I listened at 2x and enjoyed the performance.