Just when you think you’re out it pulls you back in … that’s a lie, I couldn’t tear myself away. “Cole” is just too engrossing, twisty, and intriguing to put down. Tijan’s book makes you feel as if you’re always on unstable footing; it’s secretive, curious, and a touch cryptic. Addison is a widow, of one year, and still grieving. She loved her husband desperately and mourned him as though she herself had died. Now she’s slowly entering the land of the living. Addison is strong, smart, and coming back into her own. Cole is a force. He has a presence without saying a word or making eye contact. Cole is a protector foremost, he’s a young leader, his men like and respect him. Most of all Cole is attracted to Addy and cares for her. He usually he gets what he wants, but she’s not merely a challenge.
Tijan populates “Cole” with a myriad of colorful characters. Addison’s best friend and force of nature Sia. Apartment building tenants Jake, Derek, and Dawn. The wonderful doorman Kenneth (Ken). One characters who bobs in and out is Carter Reed; a popular hero in a couple of Tijan’s books. Cole and Addy’s relationship begins as pure magnetism and chemistry and grows to trust, respect, then love. The sex is not descriptive but alluded to, and it’s quite robust. The pace of “Cole” is fast and the storyline is laden with twists, turns, thrills, and surprises. My intent was to start reading a couple of chapters and then stop, get some stuff done, and go back. Plans changed. I started reading and didn’t stop. Stuff got done when stuff got done.
Addison’s attending an event with her best friend Sia in Chicago. Sia’s been urging Addy to move to the city and out of the house she shared with her deceased husband. Addison witnessed the car accident which killed her husband a year ago. Sia might have the temptation to make her move. Addison’s been fascinated with a silver apartment building which rarely has vacancies. Sia’s able to wrangle a phone number from a friend of a friend of a friend. Apparently there’s an available spot right now. After a few false starts Addison takes a look; it’s not just an apartment it’s an entire incredibly gorgeous floor. She’s hesitant but eventually she takes it. After Sia helps Addy move they have a late dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. It’s there that they see an enigmatic man surrounded by a group of intimidating men. He’s fierce, beautiful, and magnetic.
It takes a while but slowly and surely Addison starts making friends in the building. One of her new friends is Jake, an attorney, who’s her age. He tells her that every month each tenant in the building hosts dinner. Jake invites Addison to his the next month and she asks if she can bring Sia. Sia can charm anyone and the building’s official “shut-in” is Dawn. It took Addison almost a month to get Dawn to talk to her. Within minutes at the party Sia has Dawn eating out of her hand. Sia and Jake have an instant connection; by the end of the party Addison is going to her apartment alone. Sia’s remaining at Jake’s.
One night Addison goes to get her mail, since she forgot to get it earlier that day. It’s then that she sees some men emerge from an unknown entrance. They enter an elevator that isn’t typically used; there’s a man who is bleeding badly. One of the men is the beautiful stranger she saw in the restaurant. They make eye contact before the doors close. One day Addy’s going to the gym but is advised, by Kenneth, the doorman, to try the track. The track is unusual and beautiful and she’s surprised to see the beautiful stranger there also running. He introduces himself as Cole. He tells her that he’s typically there everyday at the same time but Addison chickens out and doesn’t go. When she’s stood up for a Girls Night In by Sia she goes to the track where Cole finds her.
Cole asks Addison to be his date for dinner that night. They go to a friend’s restaurant but they leave before they can get to the food part of the evening. The next day he comes to her flat and tells her he must leave town for a funeral and business. But he’ll only be gone for a few days; the days turn into weeks. Meanwhile Addison’s ex-in-laws, are making trouble for her regarding the sale of the home she shared with her husband. Addison asks for Jake’s legal help. Cole flies Addison to him for one night in New York because he misses her and needs to see her. The evening when she gets back she attends an event with Sia and Jake. While Sia is mingling Jake and Addison hang out until they see her ex-in-laws and their attorney.
Jake wants to rattle the cages of the attorney and Addison’s ex-in-laws. In the midst of their subdued confrontation a man interrupts and Addison’s ex-mother-in-law is visibly shaken. The man is Carter Reed. He’s not there alone, Cole is with him. Some words are said and Liam’s grandmother’s name is mentioned which again causes Liam’s mother to react, paling visibly. Addy asks Jake who Carter Reed is he tells her an alleged retired hit man for the Mauricio crime family. Then she asks who the other man, Cole, is. Jake informs her that he’s Cole Mauricio. He’s not just in the Mafia, he is the Mafia. Addison leaves the party and when she gets home she logs onto the internet to do some research. What she opens up is a Pandora’s Box of secrets and deception. Mysteries that will soon put her life at risk.
“Cole” blew my mind in so many ways. How good it is, how engrossing it is, and all of it’s twists and turns. Tijan is brilliant with this book. I couldn’t put the book down for fear it would continue on without me and I’d miss something good. For everything going on in Addison’s life she wasn’t too angsty. Cole is a mysterious Alpha dreamboat; bloodthirsty and all. He’s also a tenderhearted romantic – he’s freaking adorable! The secondary characters are also shining stars: Sia, Kenneth, Jake, Carter, and Emma. Dawn however is a super nova! Frying pans! Who knew, right? Tijan finds the perfect balance in “Cole”. Starting out at neutral, gets playful, turns serious, playful, dangerous, twists, danger, shock, deadly, playful. It’s a freaking rollercoaster!
I’m giving “Cole” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Small Craft Advisory.
This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed