Rachel, you are so not sorry for that ending…
In Constant, volume 1 of the series The Confidence Game, Rachel Higginson left me dangling by my fingertips from the precipice in one of the most intense cliffhangers I have ever experienced and then goes on to apologize for it in the acknowledgements. Not that she shouldn’t, considering how she put my emotions through the wringer with each chapter. I have read a number of her other books and knew she was a very captivating storyteller. However, if I would have had any idea how kidnapped I would be by this book I would have done a better job blocking out a chunk of time from adulting before starting it so as not to conflict with my reading time. As it was, I had to read in little bursts here and there and it about did me in. Luckily for me I found this series after book two was already released, thank goodness, or I would have been a real mess anxiously waiting to find out what happens in the second installment.
Constant, is a fascinating and suspenseful journey into the brutal and controlling world of organized crime. The story follows Caroline and Sayer, two kids who are thrust into the Russian bratva in DC at a young age. Fate brings them together and forms an inexplicable bond that neither can resist. It is this fateful connection and their uncanny skill and street smarts that allows them to survive in a world where one misstep is all that separates them from death or dismemberment. Rachel begins the story by dropping the reader into the present day life of Caroline then seamlessly fleshes it out by introducing information and backstory, by way of flashbacks, to when she and Sayer first met and the subsequent progression of their relationship. This technique heightens the intrigue and suspense of the confidence game, the con that is built upon lie after lie and involves layer upon layer of manipulation and deceit, which has become their life and their only way out.
Rachel’s works definitely fall into the steamy adult category, with Constant being no exception. But, she is exceptionally talented at using passion in a really good way. She skillfully lays out her story and builds the connection and attraction between her characters before they combust from the flames of desire that engulf them as well as the reader. The heat and detailed intimacy never feels gratuitous and it fits perfectly with the characters and tale she so deftly weaves around them. It’s a true love story that reveals itself in the most base and natural way.
Also, look for my review of volume 2, Consequence.