Seven years ago, Jase awoke with the mystical power to heal people—and no memory of his past. The only clue to his identity is the number forty tattooed on his arm. Driven by a mission he doesn’t understand, Jase follows his visions to those he’s meant to save. He is convinced that the fortieth person he’s drawn to—a little girl named Macy Pearl—is the key to finally learning the truth…
Social worker Lucas Jacobson has made a promise to protect Macy, orphaned when her parents were brutally murdered. So when Jase shows up in Naples claiming he’s there to heal the child, Lucas is wary, despite his attraction to the enigmatic stranger.
Then Macy is abducted, and Lucas has no choice but to trust in Jase. Scouring the city from its glitzy resorts to its seedy underbelly only deepens the mystery—and draws the two men closer. But Jase is certain of one thing: if Macy dies, a dark fate awaits them all.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from 40 Souls to Keep. Sure, it sounded interesting and there was enough of a paranormal aspect to catch my interest. The surprise came when I became totally emotionally invested in these characters.
This was an intense book. Much more intense than I originally expected. The emotion was raw, mainly because of the pain that all of these characters experienced. It may have had something to do with the fact that there was a child involved. Not just any child, but a child who was broken, yet seemed to find a way to survive. Lucas was the perfect protector of that child. He impressed me from the first page he was introduced. He was witty, yet totally serious and dedicated to his job. I admired the way he put the children he was there to help above and beyond everything else. Besides that, I just plain liked him as a person from the start. There was just something about him that drew me in. On the flip side, I have to admit that Jase didn’t make quite as good a first impression. Not that i didn’t like Jase. He grew on me. Which, given the way the story progressed was actually perfect. When readers were first introduced to Jase he wasn’t a whole person. The more I got to know him and see how he interacted with Lucas and Macy, the more I grew to like him. Of course, his back story didn’t hurt either. *sigh*
Speaking of the back story. I like the way Libby Drew handled the time lapse in 40 Souls to Keep. It wasn’t forced and it didn’t bounce back and forth. It was just a part of the story – readers learned about how Jase had spent the past seven years at the same time that Lucas did. It made perfect sense and it flowed really well. It could have been awkward, but it wasn’t. It just worked.
As I mentioned before, this book was intense. That intensity covered every aspect. The action, danger, emotion, mystery and even the romance. Speaking of which, there was nothing graphic about said romance at all. The attraction between Lucas and Jase was immediate, mostly due to the circumstances but it was also real and totally heart wrenching at moments. All of which just added to that intensity. I don’t want to say a lot more because a lot of Jase’s attraction to Lucas is something that readers need to discover on their own. It’s worth it, trust me.
There were moments in 40 Souls to Keep that I wondered why characters did what they did. There were also times that I thought that Macy didn’t act or speak exactly like a child her age probably would but those moments were minor compared to the actual story. And for the record, yes there were tears. The bad part was that I knew they were coming. There came a time during the story that I knew that there was no way that things weren’t going to end badly for someone. I kept reading though because I just had to know exactly how Libby Drew would fix it. All the while I was silently praying that she would. Just a warning – the climax and the final chapters just about did me in…. and that’s all I’m going to say. 😉