My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Last year, I read this freebie called The Escort by this new author; a book that came as quite the surprise for me. Ramona Gray’s story was short and sweet, and even being a novella, it gave me that sense of completion that many novellas lack in general. I also loved the couple so much that wanted more glimpses of them. I was thinking that she may write a sequel for the brother, but it didn’t cross my mind that the sister would get there first! LOL
The Escort started out when Julie, a rich yet reclusive girl, hires an escort to get rid of her V card. The hired escort, Cal, had some issues going on so he asks his twin, Court, to fill in for him. Court may look like Cal but nothing like him in so many other ways. Cal is all dashing good-looks, full of oozing charm, which comes handy in his “profession”, while Court, though as goodlooking as Cal, is more of a laidback guy. He’s also in the construction business. Court, of course, didn’t wanna be a part of this new shenanigan by his brother but the moment he meets Julie, he couldn’t deny the attraction. Oh Julie is not your average looking attractive girl with tans. She’s quite overweight, which has always been the bane of her existence. She’s also very shy with men, for which we can thank her now deceased overbearing and extremely controlling father.
Though I had a lot of questions about Cal’s profession and how come Court or their younger sister, Melanie, accepted it so easily, I liked the romance between Court and Julie so much that I overlooked a lot of things. There was just this feel good feeling all over. Thankfully, few of my questions regarding Cal’s backstory were answered in Saving Jax.
When Court and Julie finally get together as a couple and in love, I was expecting Cal’s book to be the next. He was obviously in deep sh!t with a crime lord of sort called Jimmy Golden. Yep, money can bring you a lot of things, including trouble. And he borrowed money from this known drug dealer. Cal was also beginning to resent his job as an escort and was thinking of leaving, which he does in the end. Then he gets a job at one of Golden’s bar as a manager or something. His famous charm definitely came handy with the customers!
Saving Jax is a surprise sequel, even if a long awaited one. This is the story of Cal and Court’s younger sister Melanie, or Mel as she goes by. There were some really good things in this story that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the H and h. I mean they were OK, I liked them enough but starter of their “relationship” wasn’t what I was expecting, and it totally threw me off-guard. Insta-lust is something that doesn’t always work with me. In here, it didn’t.
Mel meets Jax Anderson at the bar where Cal works. The spark of attraction between them is instant and undeniable. Jax is not a particularly goodlooking guy, with a scar on his face but he has this aura of danger that totally knocks the socks off of Mel on spot. Bad boys and all that. Soon, it was no secret that the attraction is quite mutual, hence the insta-lust.
Jax works for Jimmy Golden; he’s his right-hand man. His bodyguard. Also a hitman when he needed to be one. It seems Golden would trust Jax with his life when he doesn’t trust anyone with anything. Jax also owes Golden his life, for saving him when he was young and need someone. But here is the twist. In the years since that he’d been working for Golden, Jax has come to see and hear things that also made him despise the man whom many thinks he regards as his replacement father. Well, Jax doesn’t. He doesn’t like Golden at all and so, he’s been working secretly with the FBI to get Golden caught. Previously, Golden had proven to be a slippery thing, always getting out somehow. The FBI now wants something solid and impenetrable. Jax has promised to see the work done... there is more to this story and Jax’s relationship with Golden, which comes out in the end, alongside his relationship with Golden’s estranged, and resentful daughter, a district attorney to boot, Jade. We don’t get it all, but there are some hints of more than what meets the eye.
Now, Cal is the one who brings Jax in for a family dinner. Mel is there too... Somehow they end up in the bathroom and et voila, they’re going at it like the bunnies. I mean c’mon! Seriously? And you had known him for all of........... a couple of hours in the bar? -_-
Anyway, it did ruin my fun and colored my view of Jax and Mel’s relationship from the beginning. They also agree to remain f*ck buddies, and carried on that way for the most part of the story, though secretly, they both wanted more from this relationship. Jax had his own baggage that he didn’t know how to divulge to Mel. He didn’t know if he can really keep her safe. She’d be a weak spot no matter what, and in his profession, there can be no weak spots. Mel, on the other hand, wasn’t sure of Jax’s intentions... besides hot sex of course. She was sure a man like him won’t be around for long. Not a stable relationship material, so this can only be about sex....... So yah, it was a mixed up situation.
The best stuff, for me, was to have the opportunity to meet the delightful Thomas family, especially Cal and Court’s mom and dad. I absolutely adored Julie and Court together, and to my surprise, the author was able to give me many pages on them to portray the strength of their ongoing relationship. It was fabulous!
We also see a different Cal, who has began transforming from the man we met in book 1. He seems to be more relaxed, takes more care of himself. Most importantly, he seems to have become more responsible than he ever was. When Jade walked in, I knew Cal would end up with her. It was just that feeling you can’t shake. Cal is a charmer; Jade doesn’t suffer fools. She’s practical to boots, so I think their book’s gonna be a blast! ;)
Now, back to Jax and Mel. It was because of FBI’s plan that Jax had to take some drastic measures to keep himself safe from Golden’s wrath; who went down soon thereafter and was caught by the FBI. It put a strain on his relationship with Mel, resulting in broken-hearts and misunderstandings. I thank the author for not dragging it for long as I’d be seriously frustrated if that was the case.
In the last chapters, when their relationship was being tested is when Mel and Jax’s bond begin to seem something akin to real. That it just wasn’t great sex, but they actually had deeper feelings for each-other. I liked that feeling, so I ended up rounding the story to 3.5 stars. They have a challenging time ahead as Jax is about to enter the witness protection program with Mel by his side. Personally, I can’t wait to read Jade and Cal’s story, to find out more on Mel and Jax and definitely Julie and Court.