My Review: First off, let me say I read books one and two back-to-back, and I highly suggest that for any interested readers, because book two picks up right where book one left off. This makes it a very fluid transition from one to the other. And I will probably find myself re-reading book two before starting book three - because I will be desperately seeking book three when it releases. For me, book one felt a bit like walking through syrup - it's not that the book was bad, it just felt slow. Book two had none of those issues - I breezed through Hottest Mess, and couldn't put it down. I don't know if the pacing was better in the second book, or what, but it was a lot smoother.
It's hard to just review the second book, considering this is a trilogy and they're all so tied together, but I will do my best. I know this series is supposed to be a romance, and love is definitely a big factor, but for me, this feels more like a dark suspense than anything. I care far more about Dallas and Deliverance than I do about Dallas and Jane's relationship. And I have my suspicions about who The Woman is, but part of me hopes I'm wrong. This reminds me a little of Asking For It, by Lilah Pace - not the story, but the general tone of the book. And that's not a bad thing, the Lilah Pace books were amazingly well done. My heart breaks for what happened to Dallas and Jane - but especially Dallas, who suffered more (and longer) than Jane did. And I think this book does well showing how trauma suffered in adolescence can affect you in adulthood.
Cover Lovin': Fits well with the first book in the series.
Recommendation: This is a direct sequel, the middle of a trilogy, so you will want to read book 1, Dirtiest Secret, first. And be on the lookout for book 3, Sweetest Taboo coming October 2016!
Final Rating: I'm going to go with THREE AND A HALF out of FIVE stars (3.5/5) on this one. The pacing was better than book one, but I'm marking it down some because the romance just feels like sex and shame/awkwardness, not a true driving factor. It seems like the real story is the kidnapping, which should be a subplot (a major one, but still).
Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.