Love is the most dangerous territory of all . . .
Every day, bodyguard Owen Jackson puts his life on the line — and keeps his feelings for Penny Sandoval locked away. Assigned to protect Penny’s father, a presidential candidate, Owen can’t get emotionally involved. That is, until Penny and her young son, Cruz, are abducted and taken deep into the California badlands.
Owen knows the bleak territory from his childhood. Worse, he knows the gang leader making ransom demands — his own brother, Shane. When a terrified Penny escapes into the desert with Cruz, Owen has to save her: from the elements and from the gang in close pursuit. Owen has hidden the darkness in his past from Penny. Now his only chance of keeping her alive is to let her see the man he really is — even if it means losing the only woman he’ll ever want.
This is the first book that I’ve read in this series, even though it’s book 3. I’m not sure if that would have made a difference in my enjoyment of the book because I heard that we met Penny and Owen back in book 1 when Penny is a young woman pregnant with her now son, Cruz. Somehow, I don’t think it would have made much difference. For some reason, I’m not into romantic suspense books anymore. I’m not sure if I grew out of it or what but of all of the RS books that I’ve been reading, I’ve only liked a few of them and this book was one of them.
Badlands follows Owen and Penny as they go up against a band of bad guys who kidnapped Penny, the daughter of a politician and took her to the badlands. Owen is one of the bodyguards on Penny’s father’s security detail and he’s assigned to Penny and Penny’s son, Cruz. When they’re taken, he finds out that his brother is out of prison and is part of the group of guys that kidnapped them. Penny has a massive crush on Owen but doesn’t know his true background and Owen, who shares the attraction doesn’t think anything will change the fact that they can’t be together.
I started this book not too long after I finished another RS book that just didn’t work for me but Sorenson did a great job of hooking me into Owen and Penny’s story. I thought they were interesting characters with enough mystery and badass-ness to make this story work. The story was a little slow to pick up but as soon as it does, the story really takes off. This book has definitely made me interested in reading the other books and if you’re in the mood for a steamy suspense book, I recommend this one.
Grade: 3 out of 5