The Path of Least Resistance (The Shooting Stars Series, book 2), by Leah Downing
Publication: Full Net Enterprises; I edition; February 7, 2017
Synopsis: The deadly actions set in motion by Collin St. Germain during the Gulf War created a catastrophic chain of events, resulting in an IED triggered homeland terrorist attack over a decade later. In 2008, Fort Bliss was targeted by one of its own: Army Captain Burak Yilmaz. When it’s discovered that Collin’s wife has close ties to the Captain, she is thrust into the spotlight of a national investigation that leaves her scorned by the nation. Now, the time has come for her to confess what happened—what really happened with her marriage, her trial, and Captain Yilmaz—to the new love of her life before the couple embarks on a perilous mission to Africa. But, when movie star James Bayer learns the truth about what haunts Lauren St. Germain, will he still want her in his life?
Once again I loved Leah Downing’s writing in her new novel, “The Path of Least Resistance.” This is the follow-up to her debut novel, “Catch a Falling Star,” which was the winner for Cross-Genre Fiction in the 2016 Beverly Hills International Book Awards! Returning in this novel is Lauren St. Germain, her husband Collin, and Lauren’s friends Thom and Derek. Although I was expecting the story to continue forward where “Catch a Falling Star” left off, it actually went back to Collin’s childhood, military career, meeting Lauren, and so on – basically providing the back-story to the first novel. At first, I wondered why this one was not the first novel, but then as I read on I enjoyed getting this earlier perspective after knowing the plot of “Catch a Falling Star.”
I already loved Lauren’s character, but after reading this novel I have an entirely new and stronger respect for her. Although romantic and loving for the most part, her relationship with Collin began when she was young and inexperienced in the ways of the world. My opinion of their relationship flip-flopped several times while I was reading and evoked a variety of emotions. Downing provided a lot of Collin’s inner thoughts and inner dialogue this time, revealing more of who he really was and the details and effects of his childhood. Several times while reading, all I could think was how bizarre Collin was, but not always in a negative way. I did not like Thom and Derek as much this time around, often sadly surprised at how they treated Lauren and curious as to how their friendships have endured so long. I wasn’t a fan of her somewhat-friend Geneva either, although I was also glad that she at least had a friend to share things with. Geneva was critical and honestly, I think jealous of Lauren, quick to point out any flaws or problems prompting defensiveness in Lauren.
“The Path of Least Resistance” doesn’t contain as many subplots as the first in the series, but provides a wealth of information regarding Lauren, Collin and the explosion at Fort Bliss. Leah Downing has successfully followed up her debut novel with another fascinating story combining real-life successes and failures with suspicion and the paranormal. Her dialogue is honest and flows in a natural way creating a surge of realism in her characters while providing excitement and encouraging the reader’s personal investment in the story as a whole. This is a series that I am beyond excited about and cannot wait to see what’s next for these incredibly unique characters.
*Many thanks to Leah Downing for providing a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
See my earlier review of Leah Downing’s debut novel, Catch a Falling Star!