Book Review: ‘Don’t Back Down’ by Sharon Sala
When it comes to Sharon Sala, there’s never a doubt whatever you are about to read is going to be kick-ass. She’s in my top 5 favorite authors ever! And was one of the first I really got into as a kid. She got me interested in romantic suspense. I’ve read and reread every one of her novels so many times that any of them I have on paperback have just about disintegrated at this point! But there is no doubt they’re well-loved. And I always recommend her and her novels to anyone looking for a great read. When it came to Don’t Back Down, I was beyond excited! It feels like forever since I’ve had a new novel by Sharon Sala. The fact that I was given the opportunity to read it before release day made it even sweeter. So keep reading for my Don’t Back Down review!
All the Players
Sharon Sala truly has a gift for weaving multiple characters and storylines while still keeping the main plot the center focus of the book. It’s a true gift. One that, in many cases, would have me losing interest. But somehow Sharon is able to blend and connect all of the characters. You still get a backstory and you get enough information to know what’s going on and where each character is coming from. But it’s never just two main characters. There is always more. And then there are the side characters that play more important roles than they would in a typical novel. Sharon finds a way to get every character enough paragraphs on the page to understand who they are and give them just as much depth as any main character.
In this case, the focus is on Cameron and Rusty. But Cameron’s sister Rachel is a large part of the novel as well. Along with her husband Louis and their daughter Lily. And then Rusty’s family comes into play when Cameron discovers who she is and who her family is. Instead of the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, she’s the girl from the rich side of the mountain. There are also a lot of other major players and situations that are guaranteed to have you riveted to the page. But the love story between Cameron and Rusty never stops being one of the primary focuses of the story. It never feels as if it isn’t delved into enough or given enough focus. It’s a beautiful and unique talent that never fails to have me hooked on a Sharon Sala novel.
Past and Present
One of my favorite tropes is second-chance romance. And while you may not be able to call what Cameron and Rusty had when they first met romance, you can certainly call it hot and steamy. While it seemed like a love at first sight kind of situation, it was really intended to be a one-and-done, never see each other again, don’t even know one another’s last name kind of situation. So you just knew that when they did inevitably see each other again, the sparks were going to be flying even hotter between them. Because they already knew what it was like to be with the other person and now they’ve realized they are within reach of each other. So I knew it was going to be passionate and steamy. And it certainly didn’t disappoint.
While Cameron’s past career in the military was useful when it came to teaming up with Rusty to save his niece, Lily’s life, Rusty’s current career with the FBI also comes in handy. Especially since they aren’t just after kidnappers but human traffickers. Along with dealing with the difficulties of their mountain town and the beliefs so many residents have. Rusty and Cameron have to work hard to not let their dueling community get in the way of their investigation. Or the two of them being together. And it takes every skill the two of them possess, along with the need to work together in order for them to figure out their next move. And bring these human traffickers down!
What I Loved About It
This novel gives the romantic suspense I came for in spades. The beauty in the love story alone would have been enough to keep me hooked. But Sharon Sala ups the ante with her talented ways of writing the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and action within that love story. I loved the depth of the characters and how I was able to understand their development. It felt like I went on a journey with them. One I’ll definitely be repeating a time or two. But the thing I love most about this read, and any Sharon Sala novel, is the satisfaction you get when reading them. It’s never as simple as “happily ever after”. It’s satisfying and you feel a strong sense of emotion when reading. This one puts you through the emotional wringer and has you coming back for more.
Are you a Sharon Sala fan? If so, what has been your favorite book by her so far? Have you added Don’t Back Down to your TBR list yet? Are you like me, and just counting down the days until it’s released so you can devour it? You can find and follow us on Twitter @capeandcastle to discuss all things Sharon Sala, Don’t Back Down, and anything else bookish! We are also on Instagram @capeandcastle! And if you’re looking for my personal accounts, you can find me here on Twitter and Instagram! Be sure to also check out our site for more content on all things Disney and beyond!