Alice Lange is a detective with a bias crimes unit in Seattle almost 10 years in the future. The book imagines that hate crimes have gone up enough to warrant dedicated police units, thanks to the current presidential administration in the US.
When Alice is shot at a white nationalist rally that she’s keeping an eye on, she’s taken to an ER. Doctor Stella Corbin takes care of Alice and sends her home after confirming that the bulletproof vest took the brunt of the damage.
Given Alice’s line of work, she often finds herself in the ER, both with her own injuries and those of others, so she finds herself regularly running into the beautiful, friendly doctor. Eventually they start spending time together outside of the hospital too. But Alice doesn’t trust anyone easily and Stella comes with serious baggage of her own. Can these women open up enough to reach for happiness?
Alice and Stella are both so guarded as a result of their wounds that it’s kind of like reading about two ice queens thawing each other—it’s gorgeous and difficult and I just adored it. The whole book is told in the first person from Alice’s perspective, but Ellendale did a fabulous job of ensuring we learn everything we need to know about Stella, so I never once felt cheated by not having her perspective.
The Writing Style
This book sucked me in from the first screen on my Kindle. I didn’t want to go to work (but I did anyway), and I didn’t want to pay attention to my family (although I did that too)—I just wanted to devour this book. Despite life obligations, I still managed to read Rabbit quite quickly because I couldn’t not read it in every spare moment.
Rabbit is 100% a romance, but it’s an angstier and darker novel than I’ve read in a while and it works so well. There’s a side storyline with Alice having workplace issues that give the story and her arc more depth, and add grit that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. Ellendale has her plotting and pacing down pat, and the excellent character growth makes everything all the more satisfying.
Also, this book is tangentially related to Ellendale’s Four Point series and features characters from her book Wildrose, but you don’t have to have read either of those to pick up Rabbit. I didn’t, and while I could tell some relationships had developed or circumstances had been explored elsewhere, it didn’t hold me back from understanding anything.
Everything? Like every single damn thing?
Okay, for real though. I loved Stella and Alice. They build a nice, solid friendship before ever progressing to anything romantic, and even that is done so tentatively that my gut kept wrenching for them. These are women who have both been through terrible things, so their path to love is not easy. It’s hard won, and it’s messy, and it’s entirely beautiful. This is a couple that will stick with me for a long time.
I don’t think the cover is bad, but it also didn’t give me any sense that I was about to read a romance. If I hadn’t read the blurb, I wouldn’t have picked this one up and that would have been a huge mistake!
Also, while there’s no sexual assault on the page, it’s something that comes up in a couple of circumstances.
I fell absolutely head over heels for Rabbit. It’s angsty and sexy and dark and delicious. It’s also one of my favourite books that I’ve read so far this year and I know I’ll be reading it again. I can’t recommend Rabbit enough!
Excerpt from Rabbit by Max Ellendale
“Sorry, walking would’ve been faster than that Uber.” Corwin announced her presence then shook the rain from her long black jacket.
“It’s okay. Haven’t been here long.”
“Let me grab a cup and I’ll be right back.”
I watched as she approached the counter. No longer clad in scrubs, but in a loose-fitting pair of yoga pants and a t-shirt that hung off her in all the right places, I found myself drawing my gaze away to stare at the pastry in front of me.
Corwin returned with a steamy mug of something a moment later and sat, crossing her legs then sipping her drink. “That’s better.”
“Coffee makes things better. Wine makes them fine.” I raised my cup in mock cheers and took a sip. Corwin chuckled lightly, shaking her head.
“Couldn’t agree more.” Again, the rim of her drink met her lips and I noticed myself paying attention. That was the third time in as many weeks that I caught myself admiring the gentle doctor and suddenly I began to question my motives for calling her. “What’s the matter?”
“Huh?” A jolt hit my gut and my gaze shot to hers from her mouth.
“Your expression dimmed suddenly, like you’d just thought of something horrible.”
“Maybe.” I shrugged. “Lately, all I think about is horrible.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781980802471
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