Love in the Shadows

Love in the Shadows - Dylan Madrid There were a number of things that did not work for me with this book, so after reading I did some research and found that, although there was no indication on the cover or in the book itself, this is the first story in a planned trilogy. Even knowing this is likely the reason for the many plot questions I have, the story still just didn’t work.

First off, the romance. I did not feel the spark that is so crucial to Quintin and Luca’s short first meeting. I did not buy that Quintin would drop everything the next day for these unknown people and run across Europe to meet this possibly dangerous man he spent no more than five minutes in the dark with. On top of that, there is a case of insta-love on both ends. Luca, international man of mystery built like a god, somehow knows all about average, boring Quintin and is ready to make a life with him. Although apparently still devastated at being left by his lover five months ago, Quintin is nonetheless on board. As if this wasn’t enough, the sexy head of security for the Ambassador steps in to bring Quintin back to London and within days is also asking Quintin to come make a life with him. The lack of chemistry, character development and the fact that both love interests spend very little time with Quintin during the story added to my inability to be invested.

As far as the spy games, I get the feeling the author was trying to evoke the feel of a 1950’s Hitchcock thriller. Luca’s family works for a mysterious agency and they are working on the case of finding the assassin. They know all about Quintin and, in fact, Luca’s mother has “chosen” Quintin to be with her son. There are connections hinted at as far as Quintin’s boss goes, that perhaps there was more to being hired than just to work at the magazine, but this is not developed much further. However, Quintin is the only one that can help them crack the case due to the unexplained liking Regina has for him after also meeting him for about five minutes so he is embedded by Luca’s family as Regina’s biographer and is tasked with extracting a confession. Quintin is apparently okay with all of this and, reporter that he is, really doesn’t ask any questions. I don’t know if he is not that bright, has a reckless disregard for his own life, or so desperate he will do anything just to be able to be with Luca again. Luckily, it is all wrapped up pretty quickly with all the men in Quintin’s life present at the showdown, but with very little information about what exactly Quintin’s role is in all of this.

After the wrap up of the mystery aspect of the book, we are left with an odd cliffhanger as Luca is trying to decide which of his suitors to go after, sexy spy in Italy who he spent a few days with, or sexy security agent in Spain who he spent even less time with. Unfortunately, I really didn't care at that point and cannot recommend this book as either a romance or a thriller

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.