When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.
Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.
Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.
Okay I admit it, it’s totally the cover that brought this book to my attention. I mean really, a hot guy with some sort of tattoo looking art on his back? Yes please! Digging a little further, I realized it is about not one, but FOUR hot guys who have been altered for strength, obedience and a slower rate of aging. Umm, sign me up!
So these four boys have been living in a lab in the basement of a farmhouse, where Anna lives with her father, as part of some secret experiment involving alterations to their memory, strength, obedience and aging. None of them have a single memory before they woke up in the lab 5 years earlier. Now, with having four male characters in the exact same environment dealing with the exact same issues, one can worry that they would all easily blend together. But the author did a remarkable job giving each boy a distinct personality and relationship with Anna. Nick comes across angry and hateful, so suffice it to say, his relationship with Anna is the kind where they try to steer clear of each other. Trev is Anna’s best friend, the one who is easy to talk to. Cas, well he was probably my favorite. He was the sarcastic and funny type, always good for a laugh and to add some comic relief.
“Yeah,” Cas added, “you can hitchhike your way across the country. Just flash your abs. I bet someone would stop.”
Nick snorted. “Shut the hell up.”
“Damn,” Cas said. “You’re cranky. We’re free! You should be doing the Hokey-frickin’-Pokey!”
“I would rather light myself on fire.”
“Awesome.” Cas rubbed his hands together. “Anyone have any marshmallows?”
Sam is the ringleader, or ‘ALPHA’, of the pack. Of course he is also the one Anna has had a crush on for years. Their relationship has it’s ups and downs, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching how it developed with everything happening around them.
The plot was very engaging, with all kinds of twists and turns as the characters race to solve the mysteries of their past. I really don’t want to touch upon this too much because it is something you do not want spoiled. Let’s just say there were many moments that completely surprised me and left me on the edge of my seat. Weave in a bit of romance and this novel was the total package. Another huge plus? It is the beginning of a series but can hold it’s own as a single novel. No cliffhanger was found and the story wraps up very well. I do, however, look forward to entering this world again with these awesome characters in the next installment!