Book Review: Meet Me in the Dark by JA Huss

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Title: Meet Me in the Dark
Author: JA Huss
Genre: Dark Suspense
Release date: April 15, 2015
Rating:  4.5 stars

Synopsis
Eight years ago, Merric Case—AKA Merc, freelance assassin—was sent to rescue a sixteen year old girl from a Wyoming-based militia group on Christmas Eve. A new life, new friends, and a whole lot of new money came out of that job. But a choice had to be made that night, and the girl he should’ve saved was left behind.

Sydney Channing was collateral damage in more ways than one when the rescue she expected turned into an eight-year nightmare filled with lies, sexual servitude, and mind manipulation. Case’s last threat gave her hope that one day he’d be back—even if it was just to kill her.

And now Merc is back. But he’s not here to save Sydney. His job is to pick through her damaged psyche and find the truth using whatever means necessary. Sex, drugs, lies, and love. Those are his weapons of choice. And when Merric Case takes aim—he never misses the target.

Grace Review
This is a dark and twisted story about vengeance, truth and trust. It is a brutal and sad look at how two people made choices, good and bad, and how those choices changed their path together. As always, the author weaves together a complex story with so much depth and meaning, I had to re-read several scenes to grasp the new information. This is definitely one of those books where you weren’t sure who to trust or what the outcome would be.

He is the only man who can save me from myself.

This is a review where I want to tell you so much, and at the same time, I really can’t tell you anything. The synopsis should give you a good idea of what the author has in store for you.

If you are a romance reader, you may be desperate for some of those swoon-worthy moments that are always appreciated. But, if you are wanting hearts and flowers, then go to Target, because you aren’t going to find it in this book. Are there any romantic gestures? Ehhhhh. If you noticed the genre, this book is dark suspense, not romantic suspense or dark romance. There are scenes that will make you cringe. I wanted to hug Sydney often and rock her to sleep. So much lost hope.

“When you know you’re not a man’s first choice the worst thing you can do is settle for second pick.”

While Merc often called her stupid, I would have called it misguided hope. Having set high expectations for who Merc was and what he would do for her, she gave him chance after chance to live up to those expectations, only to see them broken, time and again.

As your reading this review, you may be wondering why you should read this, so let me break it down.

Quintessential JA Huss magic
If you are a fan of this author already, then this book should be a no-brainer. First, you get her trademark style of suspense, with new twists in every chapter. I kept trying to think two steps ahead as to where the story was going, only to have my predictions blown away. Should you trust either character? My suggestion would be, no. There is so much at play given Sydney’s past with The Company (a secret government with immense power). There are trigger words, brainwashing and a bit of Stockholm Syndrome. Lies, drugs and deceit cloud the truth, where at times, even the highly trained Merc, was left shocked.

“It’s easy to hide in the dark.  But the reckoning always comes in the light.”

Second, the erotic undertones that steam up the author stories are also there. Is it all consensual? Ehhhh, that’s a judgement call. Based on the aforementioned Stockholm Syndrome, drugs and a trigger word, it was hard to tell what Sydney would have done if not under those influences. But if you can get past that uncertainty, the scenes are still very hot.

“The hard fuck is hard on you because I push your limits.  Not because I fuck you hard.”

Closed gaps
If you have read the Rook and Ronin series, as well as the Dirty, Dark and Deadly series, this book will close up a lot of open story lines from those two amazing series’. What actually happened to Sasha and her family with the tragic events, which are only briefly mentioned in Slack? Are the threats to Sasha gone, following the events in Coming for You? This book answers those questions. And my #3 BBF, Ford Aston, gets a brief mention!

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Fucking Ford.

Still considered a stand-alone
If you haven’t read any of JA Huss’ books before, and are concerned about being confused, note that this book is being sold as a stand-alone. The author gives you enough background on The Company and Sasha that you shouldn’t be lost. A lot of references are made to the Dirty, Dark and Deadly series, but I did a group read of this book with Michelle, who didn’t not read that series, and still she loved this book and wasn’t confused. So have no fear.

For all of the reasons above, I would highly recommend this book. And I would suggest that when you decide to read this, you block off the day. This is not a book that should be read over the course of a week. It’s complex and filled with tension, which would be lost if you don’t fully commit to it. So stock up your supplies (liquor, meds, etc) and be prepared to enter this dark world, where your mind will be fucked, leaving you with one sweet hangover.

– Grace

*An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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