Monday, December 2, 2013

ALL IS LOST by Marie Wathen

ALL IS LOST (All #2)
by Marie Wathen
ARC Review
Published: October 29th, 2013

My rating: 3.5 of 5 ⭐️

Breesan Maxwell has armed her heart against being hurt and does her best not to connect with anyone. The first people to break through are Anna and Tristan, her loyal and determined friends who persist in dragging her into social settings, which is how she met the Walker twins, Morgan and Marcus. 

Morgan is a player of the highest order in his personal life, but for the influencial but highly disfunctional Walker family, he is the golden boy, the one who will lead the family into the future. Marcus has seen through his family's manipulative and nefarious manoeuvring long ago and turned his back to join his older sister in law enforcement. Both twins are intrigued with the beautiful but unreachable Breesan. Morgan is only interested in play, but Marcus' interest goes deeper, he is looking out for Breesan, believing her to be in the path of some dangerous dealings and individuals.

Breesan, who slowly feels her well constructed walls crumbling, is charmed by Morgan but feels safe and treasured with Marcus. And one night, when all hell breaks loose, and a nightmare unfolds, Breesan commits her heart to Marcus completely. The events that follow shake Breesan to the core and she desperately clings to the only stability she has left in her life, the only thing she can trust. Marcus. While holding the pieces of Breesan together,  Marcus still has a job to do, not just protecting Breesan but finding out who means her harm.

Morgan finds himself torn between what he has always done, bow to the expectations of his family, or follow the wishes of his newly awakened heart. In his struggle to find the right answer Morgan does what is easiest, he self indulges with alcohol and sex. Anything to numb his mind. Except instead of making things easier, he has just complicated his life ten-fold, by inviting a whole new set of problems his way. Problems with guns. And this time it is not so much the worry about who he has to choose, but whether he will even be alive to make a choice.

While the family's Golden boy keeps finding himself deeper in trouble, the Black sheep works tirelessly to untangle every mess, and a third member just keeps fighting to stay alive.......


Wow!! I feel like I've just read three books, instead of one and I haven't got an answer yet!!

This book is NOT a standalone book and should not be read without first reading BE ALL, the first book in the series. 
A lot happens in ALL IS LOST, at least it seems that way, because we have point of view from every direction. It seems every character gets a say in this installment and although it gives you a full 360 on the story, it also makes for a lot of information input to process. I certainly was never bored reading the book!

There is a strong plot line in here, but a very complex and thus far unclear one, which makes it seem like we have perhaps three different plots running together, all addressed from different points of view. This is book two in a series of four books and I am positive by book four we will see all the intricate patterns connecting in a grand finale, but in the interim we are reading on faith. Faith that the author is taking us somewhere incredible with this promising build up of suspense and intrigue.

Breesan seems to have lost a bit of her backbone along with the hard shell alround her heart in this book initially. But under the gentle hand of Marcus and the support of his team she regains her feet and in fact joins them in an attempt to uncover more information on who seems to have an unhealthy focus on her. 

Now that the lines are clearly drawn in the sand and Marcus and Breesan know where they stand with each other,  Marcus is free to let his natural protective instincts take over and never let Breesan out of his sight. Given the tense situation they find themselves in, they still feel it better to take their relationship slowly, but not their commitment to each other.

I'm not sure exactly what Morgan was up to in this book, other than run into one mess after another and coming to some harsh realizations about himself, his family and his place in the world. A necessary lesson learned for sure!! He seems to be working on a more realistic and mature approach to life.

The entire cast of characters is so closely entangled in this series, it is difficult to distinguish who is primary and who is secondary. We get to know all of them pretty well and get a good idea of where they stand and a good feel for personality and in some cases background.

The writing at times can be very detailed, especially in terms of emotions. Repetitive even. But it doesn't really feel stunted, it still seems to flow..... It is as if the personal moments between two people are experienced as if in a time bubble, where everything slows down for full impact, and it seems to work, like slow motion in a movie. All other dialogue and action works at full speed, but those private interludes move like Tai Chi, careful and precise, for full impact. It has an interesting effect on the reading experience. I quite enjoyed it.

Though not normally a fan of serials, given the quality of writing, I am very curious to read the continuation of this story!!

✨An engaging, suspenseful, irresistible and ongoing tale of family (dys)function.✨

**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**  Barnes&Noble


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