4 star

Safe At Last

Slow Burn, Book #3

By Maya Banks

ISBN #978-0062312501

Author’s website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jerjen


Gracie and Zack fell in love when they were still in high school and both knew they had found THE one. They were totally completely in love and devoted to each other and they knew they would get married, raise a family and live happily ever after. It did not matter to Zack that Gracie came from the wrong side of the tracks and many considered her to be “white trash”. To Zack she was perfect and he could not love her more. Gracie knew that Zack’s feelings were true and she never doubted his love. She could read people’s minds and she knew the truth. She loved Zack as much as he loved her. They were waiting to be married before they were intimate and both knew this would make the intimacy even more special. Everything was falling into place for their happily ever after and things were perfect, until they weren’t.

Zack returned home for the weekend from college and Gracie was gone. She just vanished with no word on where she went and no message from her. Zack was so sick with worry, wondering if she was kidnapped or murdered. He knew that she would never leave him voluntarily so something terrible must have happened. And although he did everything within his power to find her, he never did. He even went so far as becoming a security expert, hoping he would somehow be able to track her down through his connections. And although he found and saved many people while working for Devereaux Security, he was unable to locate the one person he desperately wanted to. He had never forgotten Gracie and he had never stopped loving her, but after twelve years he decided he had to move on with his life. Until he sees a painting of a place that was special to him and Gracie and realizes she must still be alive.

Gracie disappeared long ago because of an unthinkable evil that entered her life. She was not only violated in the worst possible way, she knew the person responsible was the one person she trusted and loved with all her heart. But she is a survivor and she has made a new life for herself. She is an artist and although she has only one friend, she is getting by day by day. But she has never forgotten what happened and she has never been able to forgive Zack. She knows she never wants to see him again and that she needs to move on with her life, instead of merely going through the motions of living.   Just as she too decides to put the past behind and try to move on, she comes face to face with Zack.

When Gracie sees Zack, she is terrified of him. She cannot stand being in the same place as him and she refuses to talk to him. Zack cannot understand her reaction to seeing him and he realizes that she must have left voluntarily and left him with no explanation. He is furious and although he is full of regrets for what could have been, his anger is stronger than his regrets. And the fact that Gracie is scared of him and refuses to talk to him, except to blame him for what happened in the past, confuses him.   Before he really has a chance to talk with her and find out what happened twelve years ago, she is attacked. When he realizes he almost lost her a second time, he knows he still loves her and will do anything he can to set things right between them.

I loved the plot and storyline. The fact that they have been separated for twelve years and there is such a gigantic misunderstanding between the two is entertaining and unique, I thought. That they could both live through the same experience and have entirely different ideas as to why it happened was very clever.   And actually, there are two storylines running through the book: Zack and Gracie’s past and the current attack on Gracie. I thought the author created two great plots and although they did not intertwine, they ran together parallel very nicely. I could tell that a lot of thought went into the plotting and storytelling and I really appreciated that.

The one thing that bothered me about the book was that I felt it was so repetitive when it came to Zack’s desperation to find Gracie and her fear of seeing Zack again. I felt like I read the same thing (sometimes written in slightly different words) for a big part of the book. I understood their feelings and concerns the first ten times I read about it, I did not need to be continually reminded of it. I would get sucked into the action and the story and then I would have to read about the feelings again and I felt it disrupted the flow of the story.   If it was not for that I would have rated this book five stars.

As I said earlier, I enjoyed the plot and storyline. I also enjoyed the paranormal aspect of the book. I always enjoy reading books that have paranormal included. I also thought that the characters were well developed and were people that it was easy to care about. I enjoyed reading about the relationships and friendships that were developed between Zack and his coworkers and Gracie and her one friend. I also thought that there was enough suspense to keep me turning the pages.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense. I would not recommend this book to young adults due to the language that is used. This is the first book I have read by this author and I plan on reading the first two books in the series.