Jun 9, 2019

Review--72 Hours by 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. . .

The couple has 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 the 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. . .

I decided it was time to give Bella Jewel's 72 Hours a shot! It's been on my TBR pile for a few years now and I was ready for a sort of suspenseful read! While 72 Hours does have a certain amount of suspense to it, it's not without its flaws either. 

This was my first book by Bella and I can't say it will be my last either, though the book wasn't perfect it did have a pretty page-turning atmosphere to it. Lara and Noah are an ex-couple. Lara discovered Noah betraying her after she had a rough go of things and ended their relationship. Now she's trying to get back on her feet after such a breakup but Noah is back in town and is constantly hounding her wanting to "talk."

It's not long before Lara and Noah wake up in the woods with a message from a psychopath that  says they have 72 hours to get running before they will be hunted down. It sounds cheesy, but since they both know they were drugged before getting to this mystery spot, they know they ought to take this killer seriously. Naturally, things between Lara and Noah are a little tense in the beginning as they were not in a happy place before being taken, but naturally, that slowly changes over time.

Here's where things start to get a little odd, mostly just with all the things happening and there not being any real answers. Like this psychopath, he's real and all that, but I never felt like I understood his motive...other than being psycho that is. He was watching Lara and Noah for some time before he took them and spent years creating this "game" where he hunts them down like animals and kills them in the most bloody and painful of ways. Was it just because he's cuckoo? I mean, seriously? And this dude has serious game when it comes to hunting because he always seems to know where Lara and Noah were at.

And another thing that seriously nagged at me was the fact that Lara was running around in these woods BAREFOOT! The story is told mostly through her point of view and she mentions in the beginning of the 72 hours that they have before the psychopath will begin hunting them that she kicks off her high heels and starts walking with Noah. She's walking, running for her life in the woods BAREFOOT! She must have feet of the gods because that woman never once complains about her feet hurting as she steps on branches, rocks, dirt, and other earthly crap that you'd find on the forest floor. This baffled me! Ignoring the fact that I have terrible feet and would be in agony after a few steps without shoes of some sort, Lara apparently has feet of steel! And then it gets to the point where she's also running for her life in nothing but her underwear and is just dandy about it. I mean, not dandy, but not commenting/thinking about being cold or even just uncomfortable by literally running around in nothing but her freaking underwear? I mean seriously? No comment?

Besides that unrealistic reality that our heroine went through, I did enjoy the story otherwise. Sometimes the romance did get a little cheesy and over the top, but I guess that might be the norm with straight up romances? I don't know really. I know this is more romantic suspense, but yeah. More than once I was rolling my eyes and Noah used the endearment, "baby" a lot and for whatever reason that one always bugs me! LOL.

We also get the psychopath's point of view on occasion. Nothing more than a page, but it was interesting in some sense. He's a totally twisted character and I felt like he should have had a little more depth to him. Again, I never got a clear grasp on his motivation other than pure craziness. I suppose that's all it was in the end.

The story had a fairly nice pace to it. I mean, Lara and Noah get 72 hours to try to hide from the killer before he hunts them, but then when the hunt does begin it's like Lara and Noah never had a chance at all. The killer is unrealistically savvy and intelligent to always know where they are at, even after an "incident" which I won't get into. It felt like at times the story was a little too perfect. There was still a hefty amount of danger and of course a spine-tingling romance. The conclusion was even more surprising! I enjoyed the way Bella ended it instead of it ending earlier. It definitely helped add to character growth and development for the story to continue on like it did.

It may seem like I didn't really like this one, which I hope I don't sound too much like that. Of course, I'm not used to stories where the romance is more heavily focused upon. While this book had quite a few things that had me shaking my head and wanting to shout at the characters, villain included, I was still pretty entertained while reading and held in the throes of suspense! I am even contemplating picking up another of Bella's suspense books as I believe she has a few more that are grouped in with this one though 72 Hours still remains a standalone.

If you enjoy a good romance with a bit of suspense to it, coupled with a few questionable moments, I would definitely recommend this one! It's not perfect, but it was still a pretty fun read and I haven't totally written off this author just yet, so I might be looking into the next romantic suspense book by her sooner rather than later!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

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