"I'm not who you think I am."
While his rodeo days have come and gone, cowboy Jack Drummond is in for the ride of a lifetime…with life itself hanging in the balance. An unexpected encounter with his old flame, Mara Jennings, triggers a series of events that Jack never could have predicted. There's just one problem: Mara isn't the same woman Jack remembers. She looks like Mara. And sounds like Mara. But reignited passions aren't enough to hide the fact that she's harboring a big secret—and hiding out from an even bigger enemy. Now, learning the truth might be the only way to stay alive. Or it could tear them apart—permanently.
Secrets, threats, and danger mixed with a hint of a romance.
Jack was just supposed to be on a fishing trip with his family. Until he runs into Mara, or a woman he thought was Mara. As the past indiscretions hunt Jack, he needs to make amends with Mara, and he goes after her. Just to witness an attempt to kidnap her. And from there, they are off to a wild run for their lives. The tension builds through the story. There are so many things that are uncertain, not least the fact, that MJ doesn't know how to, or who to, trust. So much information is unknown, so many players are unknown, it is hard to fight against something, when you are not sure what you are fighting against, and why. This uncertainty and confusion runs through the story, issues of trust, and the threat is constant. The run for their life is full of action and danger, without a moment's rest or peace. Some answers are forthcoming towards the end, but as the series continues from here, more clarity to the situation has to wait to be uncovered.
The romance is more of a hint of one. Jack and MJ do have an attraction towards each other, but at times it feels more like MJ is playing games with him to get what she needs, or to hide from the truth, to get Jack's attention elsewhere. Slowly, as they get to know each other while on the run, the rare trust is building between them, and the feelings are deepening between them. I liked that in the end they are shown as a couple, even though the road to it was left to the imagination of a reader.
The intense action, unraveling secrets, and layers of lies, even though a bit confusing at times, kept the interest through the story, that will be developed in the future books of The Gates series, yes, it ends in a sort of a cliffhanger
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me