Title: 72 Hours by Bella Jewel
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: C
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A red-hot, pulse-pounding thrill ride by USA Today bestselling author Bella Jewel!
It’s all part of his sick game. A game he’s been planning for an entire decade. Now everything is perfect: One woman and one man have been selected. They used to be a couple—and they can no longer stand one another. They are the perfect victims. He doesn’t intend for the game to be easy. He wants to push them to the brink of insanity, to make his hunt real. . .
Lara and Noah have been captured and dumped into a massive wooded area. There’s only one rule in this fatal game: They will have 72 hours to find a way out before a sadistic serial killer begins his hunt . . .But what he never could have expected was the explosive passion that ignites between the two ex-lovers—one that makes them strong. Fierce. And determined to do whatever it takes to escape—and to survive.
72 Hours by Bella Jewel is a sexy, page-turning thrill ride!
72 Hours by Bella Jewel is a fast-paced, suspense-laden novel that pits two estranged lovers against a sadistic psychopath.
Lara and Noah’s break up was acrimonious and despite Noah’s best efforts to discuss what led to their split, Lara adamantly refuses to talk to him. So when they are kidnapped and left in the Florida swamp and told they have 72 hours to find their way out or they will die, will they be able to work together to save themselves? Or will Lara’s lack of confidence and dislike of Noah hinder their efforts?
At one time, Lara was self-confident and fearless, but after a life defining loss, she is filled with self-loathing and her self-esteem is at an all time low. At the first sign of trouble with Noah, she bailed without giving him a chance to tell his side of the story and she has gone out of her way to avoid him in the months since. When she begins running into Noah in the days leading up to their kidnapping, she is surprised to realize she still cares for him, but will she give in his pleas to talk to him?
Noah is somewhat aggressive and heavy-handed in his attempts to reconnect with Lara. He still loves her and he would like nothing more than to explain the situation that led to Lara breaking up with him. After the kidnapping, Noah is harsh with Lara as he tries to get her focus on trying to find a way out of their predicament. Once he has convinced her to work with him, his attitude softens and he has a much easier time getting her to co-operate with him. If they are able to figure out a way to save themselves, is there any chance Noah will be able to salvage their relationship?
While the premise of 72 Hours is unique and interesting, poor character development and very irritating personality traits make it impossible to like or really connect with either Lara or Noah. Even in a life or death situation, Lara is incredibly whiny and virtually impossible to motivate to DO anything to save herself. Yes, she went through something awful at one time, but to have absolutely no self-preservation instincts after the kidnapping is just too hard to believe. Noah deserves a medal for finding the patience to put up with her and it is extremely difficult to understand why he still wants to be with her considering her ridiculous behavior.
Which brings us to the romance element of the storyline. Life or death situation. 72 hours to save themselves. And yet, Noah and Lara find the time to hook up couple of times. They also manage to have a heart to heart talk about what caused their break up. Suspension of disbelief is often a necessity when reading fiction, but the plot of 72 Hours is a little too far-fetched to believe.
Most of the novel is written from Lara’s perspective, but there are also short passages from the killer’s point of view. While it is obvious this person is quite troubled, these peeks into his mind are so ridiculous they really add nothing to the storyline.
72 Hours by Bella Jewel has plenty of action and the final resolution of Noah and Lara’s horrific ordeal is quite satisfying. A little predictable but overall, an entertaining read that will appeal to fans of romantic suspense.