Review of Locke by Harper Sloan

One of the most highly anticipated books of 2014 has arrived, people!

I’ve waited, as the rest of you have, with a pointed impatience for Harper Sloan to round out her Corps Security Series and deliver us our beloved, misunderstood, and angered dark hero, Maddox Locke. Well, she did exactly that and she did it with a passion.

To describe their story would be to say it was fierce, raw, and poignant. This is not meant in the sense of brutality and violence (although some mild situations do arise).

It was fierce in terms of the hunger, suspense, and an ultimate love affair between the characters over the last four years. And about the guilt each carried regarding the loss of their beloved friend; allowing their sadness to nearly destroy them.

“Ever since the day that Coop died, I feel like I’ve been struggling to find my place.” – Em

Raw in terms of revealing what’s kept Maddox from letting go of his demons and also while outlining, specifically, what those demons were – many of his heartaches, we never knew. It wasn’t about a man who had a shaded past and didn’t want to drag someone he cared about down into it. No, this was about a HERO who selflessly sacrificed his life and happiness for others and struggled alone to survive the nightmares that continued to haunt him.

“Every bone in my body has screamed at me to take what she’s been offering for years. I’ve seen her. I know what she wants, but I won’t let my demons hurt her. Not my Emmy.” – Maddox

Most effectively, this story was poignant. I felt what Em felt. My thoughts were shifting as hers were while she deliberated on methods she could use to break through to Maddox and offer him the freedom from the ghosts that violently kept him out of reach.

“I loved you once, you know.” I whisper more to myself than to him, but he hears me because I watch his eyes close. “I loved you unconditionally even though I was – no, even though I am – nothing to you.” – Em.

“I was dying, daily, every time you would look at me but look right through me.” – Em

This story wasn’t about vengeance or retribution. To me, it was about learning to heal and trusting another person to take you from the dark and guide you to the light without sacrificing and losing themselves.

Em was a strong heroine and I have to say, during the course of the Corps series I didn’t give her enough credit. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with her. In the face of an angered and beaten Locke, her pity for him fell short and in its place she relied on her own hurt and devastation to make him see what he couldn’t – a man worthy of her in every way.

“I’ve seen just about every emotion possible from her over the years, but never has her anger been wholly turned on me.” – Maddox

Locke wasn’t a broken and battered man. He was a survivor that, even when he yearned for her with a passion for so long, he pushed her away for her own well-being.

Harper Sloan, this was a bittersweet story and it was beautiful executed. I think I’ll even miss the anticipation of their next installment but can’t wait to see what’s next!


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