Actual rating: 2.5 starsThe romance was kind of bland. I’ve read some really amazing romance novels by Elizabeth Lowell, but this definitely wasn’t one of them. The romance between Kayla and Rand happened fast and without the gripping emotions usually found in Lowell’s writing. There were opportunities to build on the characters (Rand’s twin brother’s death, his being a painter, Kayla’s travels, her parents’ deaths) that could have added depth to the romance but that were not capitalized upon.In some ways, the bad guys of the story were just as compelling as the good guys (or perhaps even more so, since they seemed more believable). I am not sure that this was the intention. I also felt like the perspective shifted between characters so frequently that it was sometimes difficult to keep straight who was thinking what. Some of the chapters were very short. Not quite on the same level as James Patterson short chapters, but enough so that it was slightly bothersome, and I found myself setting the book down constantly at the end of chapters to check Twitter and Facebook and generally not read.It should be noted that while this book is part of a series, it doesn’t seem necessary to read the books in order.