Pages: 272 pages
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Source of my copy: Harlequin/MLM Media
Series: Fifth Avenue #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Austin, Hunter and Alex were inseparable during their school days, but the sudden death of their good friend Sarah Michaels tore them apart. However, her death was not as it seemed. Under the many falsehoods lies a corruption so sordid that New York’s elite would never believe it.
Now in positions of wealth and power, these men vow to use their influence to bring down the man responsible—Jason Treffen, an infamous philanthropic billionaire. With a plan in place, Austin, Hunter and Alex are ready for anything—until three very different women enter their lives, making them question their motives for revenge.
I really like the concept of the Fifth Avenue series: three friends come together to bring about the downfall of a man responsible for killing their friend, all the while meeting and falling in love with the women of their dreams. And each book will be written by a different author, which kind of adds a unique spin on the series and I'm curious to see how the continuity of the books will work out.
Basically, the Fifth Avenue series revolved around the taking down of Jason Treffen, a wealthy, successful New York City lawyer and well-known women's advocate. But beneath his glittering public image lies a manipulative man who runs a prostitution ring by blackmailing young women under his employ. It was a no-brainer for me to pick up the series because I love revenge stories and I couldn't wait to see how hotties Austin, Hunter and Alex (have you guys seen the covers?!) exact their revenge. Avenge Me is the first full novel (there is a prequel novella also written by Maisey Yates but it's not mandatory reading) in the series.
Austin Treffen hadn't spoken to his father Jason ever since his college friend Sarah Michaels committed suicide ten years ago. Austin was riddled in guilt because before she jumped off the building, Sarah came to him for help and he ignored her. Austin knew her suicide had something to do with his father, but it wasn't until now that concrete evidence has surfaced. Austin knew that he can no longer ignore his father's corruption. It's time for him to act and avenge Sarah's death.
Katy Michaels, Sarah's little sister, also wanted revenge because she knew Jason ultimately caused Sarah's suicide. She worked her way up to an events coordinator position to get close to him and get more evidence against Jason. Katy and Austin meet at a party and have an anonymous one-night stand that becomes anything but when they find out they both have the same goals and are after the same person.
I liked Avenge Me. Admittedly, I did have some issues with it, but it also hooked me to the series. In terms of writing and pacing, I thought the beginning was a bit clunky. I didn't really get a clear picture where Austin was coming from and his motivations--I mean, he vaguely said why but I didn't quite buy it until I got to the middle. That was when things really started to come together and we got more inner turmoil from him since he was essentially trying to ruin his own father.
I also had issues with the characters, especially with Katy. She's a weird mix of TSTL, snark and nice girl. I liked her overall but there's some instances when I found myself rolling my eyes with the things she said and her actions. Like in the scene when she told Austin what she was planning to do to take down Jason. Austin was all, "you know, if he finds out he's going to come after you and kill you, right?" and Katy was all, "no, he wouldn't do that... right?" Seriously, it did not occur to Katy (who's supposed to be street-smart) that she's putting herself in danger by going after a powerful man like Jason?
Since Avenge Me is a Harlequin Presents novel, the revenge aspect was mostly glossed over in favor of the romance--of Katy and Austin working through their issues and coming together as a couple. I would have liked to see more of the scheming and the "chess move" kind of actions taken that'll eventually lead to that first big step to Jason's downfall, like in the TV show Revenge.
Avenge Me is a great start to the series and a quick, easy read at about 270 pages. It's pretty much compulsive reading because once I started reading, I just had to keep reading to the end and then I immediately picked up Scandalize Me. Stay tuned for my review of Scandalize Me next week.
Here's an excerpt from Avenge Me. This scene happened very early on and was Katy and Austin's first conversation.
Ten years ago, one devastating night changed everything for Austin, Hunter and Alex. Now they must each play their part in the revenge against the one man who ruined it all. Read Maisey Yates’s dazzling debut of the Fifth Avenue trilogy: Avenge Me
KATY let out a long breath and started walking back down the empty corridor, back to the party.
Back toward Jason Treffen.
Talking to him had just about made her lose her mind. It had taken everything in her not to grab his glass from his hand and pour it over his head. Then break the glass on his face.
She considered the man as good as her sister’s murderer, so she was short on charitable feelings where he was concerned.
The door to the ballroom opened, and she froze.
Oh. Her breath left her in a rush, a current of electricity washing over her skin.
It was him.
The man whose eyes were like an endless black hole, drawing her in, a force she couldn’t deny or control. When he had looked at her, she’d felt as if she were grounded to the spot. She’d felt
like he had looked and seen her.
Seen everything. More than that, she’d looked back and she’d seen him.
Had seen a grief in him. An anger.
It had been, in some ways, like looking into a mirror.
“It’s you,” he said, his voice deep, smooth. Like really good chocolate. “I was hoping to run into you.”
“Wh-why were you hoping to run into me?” she asked.
“Because you’re the most beautiful woman here. Why wouldn’t I want to see you?”
“You’re a flirt.”
“That’s the thing, I’m not really.” He put his hands in his pockets,a wicked half smile curling that sinful mouth.
“I have to get back.”
She started to walk past him and he took her arm, stopped her progress. She looked up and met cold, dark eyes.
“To who?” he asked, his voice gentle, an opposing force to the hold he had on her.
There was something about that grip. Commanding. It spoke to every secret fantasy that lived in the dark shadows inside her. The parts of herself that had looked at every man she’d even tried to date and found them lacking.
But not him. He wouldn’t be lacking. Something shivered inside her, a whisper.
He would know what you wanted.
Copyright © 2014 by Harlequin Books S.A.