Tension (By a Thread, #2) by R.L. Griffin
The Stella who emerges from the rubble of the bombing in Montana is a woman full of conflict. She knows she should be grateful that she lived when others didn't, but after waking in the hospital as a celebrity, complete with a new moniker, she's bitter and distrustful, questioning everything in her life. She's unsure of her friends, her new boyfriend, and her job. In addition, a face from the past reappears and threatens to take the one good thing in her life.
Stella attempts to deal with the new scrutiny of her life with her usual sense of humor, but she's filled with a new emotion that she tries desperately to hide: HATE. Her recovery is hastened by her determination to find the man who turned her into a walking scar. She's going to kill him; she needs to kill him.
Stella isn't alone. She has her close friends and her dog, Cooper. Will their support be enough to help Stella accomplish her plan, or will this endeavor be her undoing?
This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.
Kelly - 4.5 crowns
BOOK REVIEW: Tension - R.L Griffin
A great sequel to 'By a Thread.
Stella is a woman scorned.
Is there anything more dangerous?
Tension is certainly an appropriate book title, you can cut every scene with the proverbial butter knife.
Stella is in recuperation mode and it hurts, not just physically but emotionally and mentally as she makes a vow to get her power back, but there is only one way to do it.
'The moment she awoke in the hospital, she felt the difference, smelled the difference. Hatred had invaded her entire being; every cell in her body was full of it. Every happy thought, every happy memory, every happy anything had been devoured by hatred and loathing.'
From the offset of this compelling sequel, Stella is a woman on a mission. Firstly, the road to recuperation is a slow and arduous journey that pushes even her stubborn tolerance. Emotionally she is destroyed, physically she is broken, and yet she pulls strength from the hatred and anger that resonates strongly throughout her veins. The poison of lies have pushed her to the limits of human endurance, as she refuses to succumb to the fear of what 'HE' has done to her. There is only one way to even the score and that's to finish the job he started.
Plastering on a fake smile, her life is unrecognisable when she wakes from her slumber as she slowly recovers from the shooting and bombing in Montana. Her saving grace is George, the man who lives and breathes by her bedside day and night, aiding her, forever a crutch in her time of need.
Her identity has taken on a life of it own in twitter verse - now known as the #FBIBeauty, deemed a hero for having survived this brutal attack, the world watches as a new celebrity is born. With old photographs of Stella in bikini's and her life-story plastered over the internet from the loss of her fiancé', to her alcohol-fuelled binges, to scraping through law school, no stone is left unturned - well, all except one. What really happened in Montana? And who shot Stella Murphy?
Stella knows the truth, she could not deny those eyes, his cologne, the way he spoke, but never did she think he would try to kill her to save himself.
Jesse McIntyre knows what it's like to live in the media spotlight, forever haunted by flashing cameras, he takes it upon himself to help Stella deal with her new celebrity status. Stella finds a new comforting connection in the sports star and confides in him fully. Stella loves George implicitly, but there are still certain things he doesn't know about her, and if he learned the truth she believes it would be enough to make him leave, run for the hills, so with Jesse's help, Stella plots her plan of revenge.
Her job has been suspended pending her recovery and cooperation in the FBI Montana case, as she takes the stand under oath. But it's not just the paparazzi that are keeping tabs on Stella's whereabout and tracing every movement, and it's only a matter of time before her shooter takes a deeper interest in the woman who has captured world media attention.
Millie remains a rock for Stella, as she fields all media requests and helps deal with the torrent of phone-calls while foiling spoof stories and rumours on twitter. Patrick on the other hand has a little explaining to do. He misses his best friend and wants her back, but Stella is having a hard time forgiving and forgetting when her new life is keeping her hidden under baseball caps and wig disguises and that's only when she isn't incarcerated inside the house with Cooper while George is working at the bar.
Pushing her body to it's limits is gruelling but necessary to see her plans through to fruition, the question is, will she find him in time? Or will he get to her first?
Tension was a thrill ride from the offset. R.L. Griffin really is the Queen of prologue's. She certainly knows how to keep her readers entertained while giving the story consistent flow with past and present tense. I was pleased that she answered some of the questions raised at the end of 'By a Thread', as we are treated to some hospital scenes that took place within the three month time lapse at the end of book one. You cannot read this book as a standalone, as Tension continues where 'By a Thread' left off, so be prepared to invest in this series and read it in order to appreciate the dynamics of the plot and characterisation development.
Due to the sudden events that unfold, Stella is a more subdued character in Tension, but it also made her more interesting. I felt a closer connection to her as we get a front-row seat to her rehabilitation and her emotions. She is rarely drunk and fuzzy. In-fact what I found interesting was she felt more sorry for herself in book one than in book two, yet considering her ordeal, I thought it would be the opposite. Stella's character has grown and matured exponentially as she puts an end to the self-pity party, deciding instead to fight fire with fire. Her story is devastating, she is left scarred and broken and yet she proves that she's no quitter. She's a Fighter, and you know that this story is going to come to a head, you just don't know how or when. That's the beauty of the shorter scenes and time crossover's because you get the full picture without unnecessary embellishments, making this an engrossing read from start to finish.
A great book with a darker vibe than the first. I very much enjoyed it. Looking forward to book 3.