Ana has trained most of her life to achieve one goal: to prove that anything men can do, she can do better. Now she’s Sector One’s first female Rider, and being the best is the only way to ensure she won’t be its last. Distractions aren’t allowed--especially not her painful attraction to the reserved but demanding leader whose stern, grumpy demeanor has already gotten into her head.
Deacon has spent the last twenty years trying to atone for his past, but the blood he spilled as a mercenary and assassin will never wash away entirely. If his riders knew the extent of his sins, he’d lose their trust and respect. It’s easier to keep them all at arm’s length, especially Ana. But his newest recruit’s stubbornness is starting to crack his defenses.
And their sparring matches are driving him wild.
The passion sparking between them can’t be denied, but neither can the vengeance barreling toward Deacon. When his old squad comes back to punish him for his betrayal, Ana and the Riders are squarely in the line of fire. The only way to save his people may be to make the ultimate sacrifice.
But first, he has to convince Ana not to follow him straight into hell.
Ana has been driven all her life to be a Rider and her skills are unquestioned but she's no machine. No Ana is a thinking warrior, tempered by her ability to feel and right now she's got all kinds of feelings going on when it comes to leader of the Riders Deacon! Their chemistry is incendiary but Deacon's past quite literally comes to their door. The secrets he has kept put those he cares for in danger and Deacon firmly believes no sacrifice is too great to protect those around him.
Poor Deacon so used to being obeyed and yet with Ana around he really has to face what must feel like blatant disrespect. He's fallen hard for Ana but just cannot watch her get hurt. Deacon has been alone inside his head for so long that he's perhaps broken and truly might not understand there no mistakes only lessons to learn. Actions have consequences yes, but people have choices.
Ana is the only female Rider, ridden hard by her father and now trying to emulate the impossible, perfect Deacon. She's so used to putting up a calm and collected front that her feelings for Deacon lay her bare. She has always fought and now when it looks like she's lost the most important thing, it's time to step up and be the Rider she was born to be.
There's a lot more depth and information about the Riders and their leader in this book. The authors have upped the ante and started to open up more about these characters who are very diverse. The titular Gideon starts to become more transparent too and the insight we are given of the man who many believe is close to godlike is very intriguing as his people skills have been learnt and honed the hard way. For now, though, it's all about Ana and Deacon and I enjoyed their story although freely admit I much preferred the second half with its action and huge emotional pull. The duo known as Kit Rocha have exceptional world building skills but for me, it's their ability to take somewhat hostile, cool characters and make them feel oh so very real that always pulls me in.
This voluntary take is of an advance copy and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair.