A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review at SeductiveMusings.blogspot.com.
This review contains spoilers for The Stranger (Just One Night #1). The series should be read in order and no parts are stand-alone.
When we last saw Kasie, she was walking away from Robert Dade, the man who had single-handedly turned her safe but boring world upside-down by showing her a life she’d never allowed herself to dream of ever having. Unbelievably, Kasie was returning to Dave, her previously safe but boring boyfriend who was now suddenly threatening her with public exposure and humiliation if she didn't leave with him at that very minute. It had seemed unlikely that Dave wouldn't eventually find out what Kasie had been doing; Kasie hadn't exactly been hiding her dissatisfaction with their relationship since her return from Las Vegas, and there were more than a few disgruntled co-workers at her office who were more than willing to bring her down given any opportunity.
The truly shocking part of this turn of events was how Dave wasn't just angry at Kasie, he was clearly unbalanced about her betrayal to the point of revenge, vowing to keep her with threats both psychological and physical. And because Kasie’s sense of self-worth was still damaged from years of denying her own nature in an effort to placate her parents, she allowed Dave to take her away from Robert and punish her for her betrayal, at least at first. What Kasie does to escape Dave and the part she allows Robert to play in this second act is what drives the plot of Exposed, and keeps the reader hooked in anticipation of the third and concluding act.
The secret plots and machinations of all the major characters in Exposed were just intricate enough to keep me guessing but not so complicated as to cause any confusion. I was genuinely afraid for Kasie the whole time she was back with Dave but was also glad to see that Robert didn't immediately go in with guns blazing to rescue her. There was also more background revelation as to why Kasie is so desperate to keep her parents happy and how Dave’s influence went far beyond her initial opportunity at an interview for the job she intends to keep with or without anyone else’s help. By the end of Exposed, it seems that while the initial danger to Kasie has been neutralized, by going from Dave to Robert she may actually be going from the frying pan to the fire.
The underlying sense of menace to Kasie and her relationship with Robert that was set up so effectively in The Stranger is sustained beautifully in Exposed. We see that while Dave is clearly not the right person for Kasie, it remains to be seen whether Robert would be better or worse for her in the long run, especially if she truly wants to be in charge of her life’s direction rather than just going along with whatever the man in her life demands. I was riveted by Exposed’s twists and turns and I’m eagerly looking forward to the release of Binding Agreement, because I have absolutely no idea how all of this will end.
Sensuality level: 3.5