by Nicole Edwards
Release Date: May 24, 2022
Publisher: Nicole Edwards Limited
Book #7 in the Brantley Walker: Off the Books series
Number of Pages: 326
Source: ARC from author
Ages 17 and up
CW: physical abuse, murder, military PTSD
After taking a bullet during a botched kidnapping attempt, Reese Tavoularis went AWOL. Rather than return to Coyote Ridge to fix what he’d broken between him and Brantley Walker, he remained in Dallas, leaving his team in the lurch and using his recovery as an excuse to keep his distance. Or, more accurately, to hide from the repercussions of his own actions. Now he’s back to make amends and convince the man he loves to give him another chance.
When Magnus Storme is accused of kidnapping, Reese finds his footing back with the team as they all band together to prove Magnus’s innocence and find the missing woman.
First, I want to say that the turmoil this author put these characters (and me!) through in the last book, Secrets, was all forgiven in the last few chapters of this book. I had such a huge smile on my face for so much of the last part of this story. If you were frustrated with how things left off, don’t give up on this series. As I mentioned in my review of that last book, I trust this author and I knew I just had to let everything play out. (While I will not post spoilers for this book in this review, be aware that because of how this series plays out there may be spoilers for previous books in the series. This series should absolutely be read in order so please, if you haven’t read the previous books yet, stop reading this review here and go and read these amazing stories from the start!)
When this story picks up, we’ve jumped ahead 6 months from the devastating shooting of Reese and the tumbling down of our core couple’s relationship. Now it’s time for some groveling…and it better be good. Brantley is stubborn and stoic, but he loves Reese with all that he is and all that he has. Which means, no matter how angry and hurt he is for all that Reese put him through, he can’t turn his back when Reese finally shows back up on his doorstep. Reese knows he screwed up. But he also knew, back when things fell apart, that he needed to work on himself and get his head straight before facing Brantley. Reese knew he’d only get one shot at trying to fix things and couldn’t afford to mess things up again. My heart was hurting for these two, but also held so much hope.
In the meantime, seeing JJ and Baz living the life they were meant to have together after everything they’ve been through was such a joy. Especially being able to witness the contentment JJ finally has and her confidence in this relationship. They are definitely a bright light throughout this book and I we get to continue on their journey with them.
The couple that has been working its way more and more to the foreground in these books is Trey and Magnus and I love them together. In this story, Magnus is in trouble and the whole Off the Books team is ready to jump in and help. It was so nice to see Trey not only open his eyes, but make the admission as to what he saw with those open eyes to some key people in his life. I cannot wait to see what Nicole Edwards has in store for these two and their new lives.
This story is incredible. There is love and joy and heartache and suspense, everything that keeps me turning pages in a book.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**