Reckless by Bailey Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reckless picks up six months after Relentless and we learn that Marcus has been missing the entire time. The book opens amidst Marcus’s clinging to his fragile sanity as he fears that he won’t survive much longer as it appears that his captors have abandoned him, leaving him chained with no access to food and water. Within a few pages we meet Nathan and while it’s clear that he is a shifter, his response to Marcus’s suffering is at first bewildering as I wanted him to rush in a yank Marcus out of his prison immediately. Not one to leave her readers hanging for long, Bradford reveals why Nathan is both drawn to Marcus and wanting to flee at the same time and I soon found myself feeling almost as badly for Nathan as I did for Marcus. But that’s only the beginning of Reckless and the action and romance that follows kept me flipping pages until I could no longer hold my eyes open and returning to my Kindle as soon as possible the next day.
While I am relieved that Bradford chose not to detail the six months’ worth of suffering Marcus endured, his physical state, memories, and nightmares made it apparent that his kidnappers took great pleasure in abusing him. Despite his fear of other shifters, Nathan is unable to abandon Marcus and waits until he has no choice but to enter the camp and attempt to rescue Marcus. Because Nathan has had no interactions with other shifters since he was a young child, he does not understand why he is drawn to Marcus and compelled to help him regardless of his fears. Marcus on the other hand immediately recognizes that Nathan is his mate but is too ashamed of his physical appearance and emotional trauma to let Nathan know what is going on. Fortunately this is not enough of a deterrent to keep him from accepting Nathan’s help to escape his captors. But their trek to freedom is not an easy one as Marcus’s physical condition slows them down enough that his captors are able to plan an ambush. And Marcus finds himself in the position of having to soothe his mate when Nathan’s wolf instincts kick in as he protects his mate.
One of the things I enjoyed about Reckless is that because Nathan had no experience with shifters and because of Marcus’s own post-abduction issues, the men had to take time to get to know one another. Any attraction either felt was ignored for their own reasons and this gave them a little bit of time to form an emotional bond first. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for mating instincts taking over and causing a rush to mate. But given the abuse that Marcus suffered, the slow approach felt right in their case. It goes without saying that when the two men were finally ready to mate, it was hot. I also liked how much Nathan and Marcus were able to help the other heal. And while Marcus’s initial meeting with Nathan’s surrogate father did not start off on the right foot, I was glad to see that they were able to set it aside for Nathan’s sake. Equally enjoyable was getting to catch up with characters from the previous books, even if Aiden and Marcus’s reunion caused me to get a bit teary-eyed. As the party responsible for Marcus’s abduction has not been caught yet, I cannot wait to read Rendered to find out what happens next.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Check out the #ShiftWithMe: Reckless blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.
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