Review: Holding the Line (The Firing Line #2) by Kierney Scott
It’s been four years since Armando Torres disappeared. He was DEA agent Beth Thomson’s best undercover recruit – and the best lover she ever had. In the time since he left, she has forced herself to move on. So when news reaches her that Torres is dead, she isn’t expecting the wave of emotions that overwhelm her.
It’s a gang hit, and there isn’t much of a body left to identify. But when she visits the morgue, her horror soon turns to disbelief at what she finds.
With notorious gang leader El Escorpion still evading capture, her mother’s health deteriorating, and her daughter starting school – can Beth recreate the passion from her past, even when her whole world is changing?
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
The second book in Kierney Scott‘s The Firing Line series, Holding the Line brings us forward four years from the roller-coaster events of the first book, Blurring the Line. Where my concern with the first book would be that it would be a stereotypical romance (it wasn’t) and so wouldn’t hold my attention (it did). My concern with this one was that when getting into trilogy territory you can have two difficulties:
1. The quality of the story will decrease as the books progress and so what started out very well ends poorly.
2. The second book can become a filler for the first and third books which hold all the juicy stuff.
Kierney Scott, again, has knocked me off my sceptic stool though and has created a second novel in a trilogy which I imagine could quite easily stand on it’s own as well as part of the threesome. I don’t like to give spoilers so will try not to say too much within this review to say too much about what happens within the book, however, I am going to assume you have read the first book. If you haven’t, you may find some of my notes a little bit too Spoiler filled and may find my review of Blurring the Line more appropriate for right now.
One thing I sometimes find authors struggle with when they fast-forward time is the characterisation for that time. People change over time, but when they haven’t written that time and naturally developed the character as a reader it sometimes doesn’t feel quite right, as if the character has been stuck in some time-limbo where they have aged but stayed exactly the same, it isn’t particularly natural.
I found Kierney Scott did a wonderful job of covering the development of character personalities to cover the missing time period, showing aspects of the personalities we didn’t see in Book 1 and giving us the opportunity to get to know other characters much better aswell.
One of the relationships which moved me the most was Beth’s relationship with her Mom. Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease, and having recently lost a close family friend to early onset Alzeheimer’s I’ve seen first hand how hard it is for the family closest to the person with the illness. The handling of the the illness, Beth’s emotions over her Mom’s deterioration, and how she tries to grasp at the hope of some normalcy with her Mom moved me to tears. This is probably one of the hardest issues to write about and it is done so well and with such dignity I can only applaud Kierney Scott.
I loved the addition of Beth’s new family, that being a Mom has changed her, softened her a little. She isn’t so hard and unwilling to ask for help. Alejandre has brought out the spark in her and given her a reason to live with Torres gone. Having her sister in her life ore has also been good for her and this is evident in the way she is so much more playful and relaxed. As a reader it is great to see these sides of her and to ‘meet’ and get to know her family.
I also enjoyed getting to know Patterson better, although after spending the first book quite infuriated she couldn’t see he fancied the pants off of her, I literally yelled at the book “He Loves You” when she made one of her snidely remarks about him in this book. She is quite literally blind to that situation, whether she wakes up to it, well you will have to read the book to find out … Like I said I don’t like giving spoilers!
Then there is Torres, the man we spent the first book willing her to fall in love with until he disappears. We don’t know where he has been for four years but we start this book identifying his body. Godammit are there no happy endings anymore?
Overall, Kierney Scott hit a home run (Yes, I’m English, but I do know what a home run is…duh!) with this book. I read it in two sittings, I literally couldn’t put it down and it has a corker of an ending, so good I hadn’t even realised it had finished and just sat gaping at my Kindle for five minutes while it sank in what had just happened (again…no spoilers!) I highly recommend reading this, and soon, as the final book in the series is out 2 June and I for one can’t wait to get my mitts on it!