This book was better than the first book, but still not as action-packed and as well paced as I'd like. The characters were, overall, much more likable and did a lot for keeping me interested in the story.
Shayna was a fun and sassy person. Her impulsive decisions made for a predictable but rather realistic story. The almost ending caught me by surprise and I loved seeing her "in her element" and how respectful and understanding Billy was about it.
Billy was an overall great guy (still) dealing with issues (both mental and physical) from his time in the military. He was sweet, caring and most importantly emotionally present (which is rare in the alpha character trope). I liked how observant he was of the smallest details and how he appreciated when Shayna put effort into doing things his way so he wouldn't have to re-do them later. Billy and Shayna had amazing banter and chemistry. I wish that he'd told her how he felt earlier in the novel so the conclusion didn't feel so rushed.
The ending was no surprise, but it felt rushed when compared to the overall pace of the story. The world the author continued to develop in this series felt a little bigger this time around. The standout character for me in this novel was Mo and I'd love to read his story in a future book in this series.
My Favorite Quotes:
"There was absolutely no way to experience crisis, trauma, and violence - or even the threat of it - without it changing the way you viewed the world."
"It took losing the choice about whether to turn right or left to highlight which path you'd really wanted to go down all along."
This novel started off fairly interesting and with so much potential. Halfway through the story/audio book, it lost something critical which lead to me rushing through it just to get it over with. The overall writing style was good, but the pacing was slow and the character's only made it worse for me.
Kristina started off as a devoted, loyal and understanding friend. I loved how she wanted to help Noah get back on his feet out of sheer respect for him as a person. After Noah introduced the possibility of them being together and going back on it she became a needy and unsure annoyance. Then again, after all he put her through they actually deserve each other.
Noah was a marine who was discharged after an accident that left him with what seems like PTSD, hearing and sight loss on his left side (please correct me if I'm wrong!). I understand him lashing out in the beginning and maybe going back on his decision for something more with Kristina one time, but everything after that had me very angry. The hot and cold thing he had going on was becoming more and more frustrating by the minute. He ended up turning himself into a douche. At one point, it felt like the relationship was moving one step forward and 20 steps back because nothing concrete ever happened.
*SPOILER* Kristina had to give him an ultimatum to bring him back to reality and even that only worked weeks after the fact. *END OF SPOILER*
Ethan was a hidden gem in this book! This novel may not have officially contained a love triangle, but I'm still proclaiming myself as Team Ethan. He was so nice and understanding. At one point I was so annoyed at Noah I was hoping for there to be a plot twist for Ethan to have a chance. I'd love to read Ethan's story. He seems much more interesting than Noah.
I only finished this book because I sped up the narration times two in the last hour. This story was getting so unreasonable and the characters were so annoying that that was the only way I was going to contemplate finishing it in the first place. The universe the author created with this novel felt very small. I also would have preferred the 'Warrior Fight Club' being mentioned earlier in the novel because it was mostly filler up to that point. Considering it's also the name of the series I was getting worried when it took so long to get mentioned.
The Audio Book:
The narration as a whole was great. I could differentiate between characters easily. My overall problem was due to the story and not with the narration.
Billy seems to have his life in order. He works hard, plays hard and fights fierce. Despite the image he conveys, his wounds run deep. She's the battle that he never saw coming and not sure he can live without. Shayna is the one woman that has him questioning his long term plans. She's the beginning never imagined and the ending that he never wanted. Can he find the courage to conquer his demons and reach for the key to her heart? Fighting for What's His delivers the steam a Laura Kaye tale. From heartache to second chances, it's a gritty story filled with the emotion I've come to expect and that spark that I refuse to live without.