In the highly anticipated sequel to LATE CALL, Dayton and Aaron learn once more than not everything is as straightforward as it seems, and if they have any chance of getting their long-awaited happily-ever-after, they’ll have to work for it…
We crashed and burned like a falling plane. Hard and fast with an inevitable explosion. Another few weeks together changed my life the way the first did. At twenty-four, I became naïve again. I became a dreamer again. A believer. And walking away hurts just as much as it did seven years ago.
But over doesn’t have to mean over-at least in Aaron Stone’s mind. His pursuit is relentless, his determination unwavering. He’ll go to any lengths to keep me and prove that I belong to him. Unfortunately, love isn’t easy, and whether or not I forgive him is irrelevant to his past catching up with us. Once again, our relationship is haunted by a secret, one that could destroy everything, and the secret is born from the need to protect the other…
But the tables have turned, because the secret is mine.(Goodreads)
After finishing Late Call, I couldn’t wait to see how Dayton and Aaron’s story would conclude. Yes, it’s a romance novel, so it is an almost given that it will end in a Happy Ever After. As I have said in many other reviews, it’s not the destination but the journey in these types of books. So how does Dayton and Aaron’s journey compare to other couples in this genre? Overall, I did enjoy it but I did have a few issues with some of the sub plots of the book. These are just personal issues and some other readers may be able to overlook them, but it did knock a star off for me.
The book starts up almost immediately after the events of Late Call, with Dayton now back in the States after finding out about Aaron’s secret. However, she is still undecided on if she wants to fully return as an escort. She starts to ease herself in by just escorting a client to an event. This ends in disaster when she find out that Aaron’s parents are also at the event.
Things become more complicated when it turns out that Aaron has paid for Dayton to stay off the books. He begins pursing her with a determination of a man who is in love with the woman he feels completes him. We have seen this possessiveness in the previous book, so we know that he will stop at nothing to win her over. Though Dayton won’t admit it, she is as much infatuated with Aaron as he is with her. If she wasn’t, then she wouldn’t feel the hurt and betrayal as much as she does.
The conflict and trust issues between Aaron and Dayton could have been enough to produce a riveting and interesting read. This coupled with the threat of Dayton’s past life being exposed just makes it more of compelling, but I had on issue with the book that I couldn’t shake. And that was how Naomi, the woman who was instrumental in almost ripping Dayton and Aaron apart, was almost shoehorned into the story to add an extra obstacle in the book.
Had Naomi been present in more of the book and we had seen more about who she is and what her motivations were, then I could have bought into her as the villain of the piece. For me, she came across as an almost pantomime villain and I couldn’t take her as seriously as I would like. The threats and the blackmail just became a slight cliché for me. Naomi was the boogie man in the shadows, waiting to strike. I think I was expecting more.
However, apart from my issues with Naomi, I really did enjoy the book. I love the easy banter between Aaron and Dayton as it comes across as so natural. They become almost living breathing people and I kept rooting for them, no matter what. They would do anything to protect the other from the ugliness of the world. This is evident in their actions when dealing with their enemies and the sacrifices they will make in order to make their relationship work.
This book also introduces a new member to the Stone clan, Taylor, Aaron’s British cousin. He comes across as much of a charismatic ladies man as Aaron is, but he takes it to a whole new level. He oozes sex appeal as if it is his own personal cologne. True, it would never have worked between Taylor and Dayton, romantically as he doesn’t come across as a one woman man. However due to the events in the book, he becomes Dayton’s confidant and helps her try to find a solution to her problem.
Final Call was a satisfactory conclusion to the romantic epic of Dayton and Aaron, but it just missed being a five star read mainly due to my issues with the handling of Naomi. There is no doubt that Hart can write great characters, fantastic plots and steamy sex scenes. She is a master at making you care for the characters she creates. So much so that the revelation in the epilogue makes me anxious to read her spin off series centring on Taylor and his intended Happy Ever After.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1 Late Call
2 Final Call
2.5 His Call