Review Of “Escape” By Belle Ami

Note: I received a free copy of this book from Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review. Escape: Tip of the Spear Book One was selected as an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day. You can check out both the novel and other reviews here!

TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains multiple attempts of sexual assault.

Escape began with a premise that was both frightfully exciting and incredibly promising. But it contained a few too many stereotypes for me to fully enjoy.

When Harvard student Layla Wallace travels with her boyfriend to his home back in Dubai, she finds her world flipped upside down. Her boyfriend is kidnapped, and she, taken along with him by mistake. Not only an American citizen, but also the daughter of a well known nuclear physicist, her life is in danger every second she remains in the country. But all hope is not lost.

Layla and her father have friends in Israel, even if she doesn’t know it. And it turns out that they have a deeply rooted agent in the middle of Iran, a man named Cyrus. Ordered to abandon his mission, his new and only goal is to get Layla out of Iran as quickly and discreetly as possible. And if that isn’t possible, to take her out himself. But the attraction between the two is instant and undeniable. Can they allow themselves to trust one another? And what can the future hold when they get out? If they ever get out?

The concept of the novel, though a little overdone, was not poorly conceived. And the book started on a high note. Action-packed, suspenseful, and above all else, frightening, I was hooked from the first chapter. Escape maintained its fast pace from beginning to end, but the characters simply couldn’t keep up.

The author seemed to spend a lot of time on the plot, but I didn’t feel much depth in the characters. They seemed one dimensional, and while they had a lot of potential, Ami didn’t take the time to really develop them. She only scratched the surface. And to be frank, the same can be said of their romance.

If you’re looking for steamy, you came to the right place. You could cut the sexual tension between these two with a knife. But other than that, there’s really not much more going on. Every compliment he gives her is about her appearance. Almost every thought one has about the other is revolved around physicality. It’s sexual, sure. But despite what the author tries to convey, that’s all it is.

There are many instances of rape attempts in this book. This wasn’t necessarily unexpected given the book’s description, but I was unimpressed with the way these scenes were handled. It was almost distasteful. She is saved on both occasions by Cyrus. The first is actually how she meets him. And she automatically runs to him and is almost fawning over him. Gratitude is understandable. But you’d think she’d be a little bit more wary of a male stranger given what just happened. Or at least a little traumatized. It felt as if Ami was using the scenes for dramatic effect and nothing else. I hope that isn’t the case, but that’s what it felt like.

The ending was fairly obvious and stereotypical, and overall, a disappointment. That being said, the book was well written. I was unable to find an errors, grammatical or otherwise, and the author definitely has a solid voice. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get into the story. I rate this book 2/5 stars. I think avid romance readers might find more enjoyment in this tale than I did.

Remember, this is just my opinion! A lot of people loved the book, and you can check out their reviews, along with the book itself, over at OnlineBookClub.org!

As always, thanks for reading!

Sincerely, Fiction’s Mistress

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