Into the Storm was welcome tranquility after, Behold the Stars, in this series.
The overall pace of this book was much slower. The romance was filled with angst; though not as emotionally draining as the first two installments in this series were for me. Although the hero, Showdown, is a member of the Night Horde MC, ITS not about the MC’s violent shenanigans, just the two leads and their journey to HEA and Signal Bend’s recovery. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the gritty MC shenanigans, but I just wouldn’t have been able to deal with another book with intense violence so soon.
Shannon is new to town and takes notice of Showdown right from the start. He’s noticed her too but has no interest in starting up a relationship after the loss of his family a year ago.
“Mostly, he felt like a dead man walking. He got through his days, he did his work, he talked to people, but with few exceptions, everything was hollow. Deadwood.”
Shannon is all but throwing herself at Show and he’s not taking the hint, so…
“She hadn’t seen any action since she’d left Tulsa, and that was four months ago. That was a long dry spell. She and Keith had left things on good terms. Maybe he’d like a weekend away in the country.”
When Showdown sees Shannon with another man, he comes him out of his fog…
“And why the fuck did he give a rat’s ass? She wasn’t even a friend. But he did. He’d been intensely and inexplicably jealous when he saw her with Joe City at Tuck’s, and he’d been inexplicably furious when they’d left.”
Shannon and Showdown start something, but he still has some work to do before he’s truly ready to be with Shannon the way she deserves…
“I don’t want to be fixed. Not by anybody but me. Just asking if you can see your way to hang around a spell while I do it.”
As the relationship progresses between Shannon and Show, things are relatively slow and I’ll admit to even skimming a bit as Show and Shannon find their way. What made this book a hit for me is that I thoroughly enjoyed the evolution of Show during this time. In the two previous installments of this series, Showdown is depicted as the level headed one, not quick to anger, thinking through things and sometimes going along to get along to avoid confrontation, particularly when it comes to dealing with his ex-wife, Holly. After dealing with what he has, Showdown is no longer that person; he’s not afraid to have the hard discussions and deal with the fallout; not just with Shannon, but others in his life as well.
I liked Shannon, but she was not a kick-ass heroine like Lilli and I felt that was who someone like Show needed. Shannon chased Show (not overtly, but she made it known she was interested) then when things didn’t go the way she expected, she was actually quite unsympathetic to Show’s plight instead of talking it out. And Shannon’s secrets fell a bit flat for me. Her reaction when her past comes out of hiding reminded me more of a TSTL ninny, not that of a grown ass woman in her late 30s.
Although this installment is very different than Move the Sun and Behold the Stars, I enjoyed the calm that befell Signal Bend as everyone overcame and rebounded from tragedy, especially Show and his girls. Lastly, we get a lovely update on Lilli, Isaac and Baby Gia; I can’t get enough of them EVER.