*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Grave Bound & Underground are books one and two in the Secrets series. Underground is a direct continuation, so be sure to read Grave Bound first. The reader is left hanging at the end of book two, and I sincerely hope author T.R, Graves is working on book three since I'm dying to know what happens. I'm combining the review, with no spoilers (not easy), since the books are essentially one story.
Emily Riddle has spent her entire life in a commune run by her rather sadistic father. This commune is every woman's nightmare, where they are treated as possessions, not people. One summer day, she escaped the compound to swim in a nearby lake, and there she met Levi and Tope. She fell quickly for Levi's looks and his sweet, loving nature. Emily amazed me at every turn. She was educated and sought to educate the children in the commune. Even when presented with insurmountable odds, she didn't back down, but chose to fight for what she felt was right. I'm telling you right now, if I had an opportunity to escape the hell of that commune, I'd run in a heartbeat. Emily would rather risk everything to bring her father and the commune leaders to justice, even though her life was at risk.
Levi- What can I say about sweet, adorable Levi? He taught Emily what love is, how life can be beautiful. His idealism shone through in every scene, though I wonder if he understood what he was getting involved in. Tope- The DA elected to bring the commune down. Everyone in the parish knew the commune was involved in all sorts of illegal activities, and Tope was determined to see the leaders behind bars. The fact that he was head over heels in love with Emily, well that may make things more difficult. Noah- Sexy FBI agent who's been undercover for a year trying to bring down the drug empire Caleb Preston ran through numerous communes. Too bad he has feelings for Emily too, making it much more difficult for him to keep his cover intact. That girl has three sexy men lusting after her. I'd say she was lucky except for the whole 'Hell on Earth' commune thing...
These novels are fast-paced, keeping the reader turning the pages, desperate to know what happens next. Not only that, but I came to adore the characters quickly and felt emotionally invested in their stories. One interesting aspect is the changes in perspective. The novel is written in first person, and jumps around from character to character giving a unique perspective we'd have lost otherwise. There were a few times when it jumped within pages which drew my attention from the story. Otherwise, I liked the multiple perspectives. I'm just glad we didn't have to see into Emily's father Owen's thoughts...I'm not sure my psyche would survive.
Be prepared to bawl when you read these books; there were times when I couldn't see my Kindle through the tears. I must stress that these are New Adult books. They contain language, violence, and sexual situations that are not suitable for younger readers. Trust me on this one as I think I'm more lenient than many, but some of the subject matter is hard to deal with. I definitely rate this book for the 18+ crowd. That said, if you like edgy, romantic suspense, add Grave Bound & Underground to your to-read list. If book three was out now, I'd be reading that rather than writing this review.