Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
First of all, if you are reading this review for Adriana Locke’s newest book, Relentless then you fall into one of two camps: you are curious about the book and have yet to read it OR you have read it and are curious about my thoughts on it. This review starts with an exhortation for the first group: if you have yet to read Locke’s Mason Family series, jump in. Now. You can start with Relentless, but I wouldn’t. Don’t get me wrong; I ADORED Oliver and Shaye. I’ve been anticipatory for Oliver’s story because he’s the Mason brother who is the voice of reason, the steady one. That means, in the world of romance, his predictable, careful, structured life is due for an earthquake. And, in this book, it lands as getting rear-ended by his heroine, Shaye. She literally crashes into him and, in the immortal words of Dave Matthews: “Lost for you I’m so lost for you/You come crash into me/And I come into you,/I come into you/In a boys dream.” Oliver is “done” on meeting Shaye. Now, obviously, the book would be done at the beginning if it was easy for them to meet, fall in love, and live their happily-ever-after. Instead, Locke creates a grand tale of rejection, a fated meeting, an overwhelming attraction, past woes that fester, a break-up, and a beautiful reconciliation. Wrap all of that up in a workplace romance where Oliver is the boss and Shaye is his executive assistant, and Relentless becomes this compelling, page-turning tome.
And don’t be mistaken here: Siggy Mason is the true hero of Relentless and well, the other Mason family series books for that matter. In fact, Siggy Mason, the matriarch of the Mason Family, would be my own personal hero if she were a real person, not fictional.
But I digress.
Oliver and Shaye’s story is a reminder of life. The aptest line of Relentless is this one: “People are inherently imperfect.” That is the crux of their story. Both of them have had pasts that have marred them, changed their life filters. As they fall deeper and deeper in love, those scars and bruises threaten their future. In fact, as is the case with all of the Mason men to date (we don’t yet know Wade’s situation), they run at some point, and it takes the wizened Siggy to breathe truth into their existence. In doing so, a character like Oliver can pay his penance for breaking Shaye’s heart, but it can also serve as an admonition about life and people. Locke’s focus is one we need reminding of over and over again as imperfect people can hurt imperfect people. Thankfully, this is romance, so we are saved from more brokenness with the vestiges of love, and by the end of Relentless, the world is made right for Oliver and Shaye.
Over and over again, Adriana Locke shows her readers her power to entertain, challenge, and salve the savage beasts of our souls. Relentless’s beautiful story of two imperfect people finding love is simply a talisman for all of us looking for a little bit of light in a world that feels exceedingly dark. If you have yet to meet the Mason men, jump into it today.
In love and romance,