Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
“Ye own me, Effie. I’m yours. I love ye.”
Jolie Vines’ Tormented is stimulating. Set in the world of her Wild Mountain Scots, this story follows Effie, the younger sister of Artair, the MMC of her book, Perfect Storm, and Gabe, the mysterious helicopter pilot from the earlier stories of this series. In Max’s book, Effie and Gabe share a kiss, igniting an attraction that continues to burn into Tormented. Independent and daring, Effie suffers no fools and finds herself in a predicament when she is fired from an adventure company. Gabe is on the run with his younger sister and brother, and he’s intent on protecting them from their father. By happenstance, Effiie meets Gabe’s sister, Ariel, and they connect instantly. As the story progresses, Effie continues to connect with Gabe’s sister and brother, offering them a respite through adventure from their hiding out. Through this, Gabe and Effie cannot deny their combustible chemistry, but both are intent on a temporary connection. As Effie finds herself the focus of a stalker, Gabe wants to protect her, even though Effie believes she can protect herself. Eventually, Gabe and Effie find they have fallen for each other; however, with the expectation of something temporary, is it possible for them to have a future together?
There is so much good about Vines’s newest story. Effie is a modern woman, incredibly independent and able to carve out a space in a male-dominated world. She is fearless and daring, and she goes toe to toe with an alpha male such as Gabe. She’s worthy of Ariel’s veneration and probably one of my favorite Vines heroines. She struggles with vulnerability, but she is able to become so when the story requires it.
Of the two, I had a more difficult time with Gabe. His characterization is clear, but I didn’t feel an attachment to him as I did with Effie. Vines’ depiction of him doesn’t seem as deep as the one for Effie. Therefore, I didn’t attach emotionally to his plight as it felt underwhelming. His attraction and protection of Effie grant his character more dimension. In fact, his role as protector seems to be his most prominent character trait.
My favorite part of Tormented is the way in which Vines draws her Wild Mountain Scots world together. There are moments when you practically hear “Wild Mountain Scots Assemble” when heroes from her past stories come together to help Gabe with the complications of his and Effie’s situation. Having a reminder of the strength of these heroes as “family” will always be the best part of Vines’ Scots, and it’s a highlight of this book.
Jolie Vines’ Tormented is an emotional, exciting story of two people intent on protecting their hearts but drawn to each other beyond all measure. It’s scintillating, $exy, and sensational. If you haven’t met the Scots of her Wild Mountain Scots series, you have a binge-read of it in your immediate future.
In love and romance,