Although we knew about Stone’s history from Prisoner, getting his point of view was equally if not still more devastating as we saw how he, being the eldest, took upon himself the responsibility of taking take care of the others, both in the past and in the present, and doing the dirty work himself so others wouldn’t have to.
And then there is Brooke, seemingly a spoilt rich girl who has everything, but who lets us see behind that façade from the get-go and gives a reader a lot of food for thought regarding how much of the ‘happiness’ and ‘wealth’ some people have could be just putting up appearances and following the invisible rules of the elite .
Brooke, somewhat naïve and innocent to an extent, with her highly-regulated life, and the hardened, disillusioned Stone, stripped of any notions of ‘propriety’ couldn’t be more different. And yet, they complement each other and fit together perfectly.
As Brooke puts it herself, she is a good influence on him and he is a bad (but in a good way) influence on her – while she shows him he doesn’t have to be a monster and can still have a life beyond vengeance, he teaches her how to stand up for herself and be her own person, and they both help each other see a way to live a life not predetermined by their past or other people and stay true to themselves even as they change each other.
Hostage takes place over several years, encompassing the time before and after Prisoner and brings the story to a wrap. Hence, although I would love to see other guys’ stories, I would also be fine with the series ending here, as the ending is very satisfactory and actually even more so than I had expected going in.
Other qualities I praised in Prisoner – great writing, vivid side characters, real stakes, truly dark elements, and organic development of the romance among others – are also present in Hostage.
All in all, Hostage was what very few sequels are – even better than the first book, and I cannot recommend this duet enough to the lovers of dark romance.
This review was cross-posted from my blog, Beyond Strange New Words.