Top 10 of 2016 – 2 Taxi by Cambria Hebert

Number 2 this year feels a bit like the dark horse in Cambria Hebert’s 2016 library. 2016 was a massive year for Hebert’s Hashtag and Gearshark books. Those books have developed a huge cult following (in a good way). Taxi flew in under the radar but proved itself to be some of Hebert’s work to date.

Title: Taxi

Author: Cambria Hebert

Series: Take It Off (Serial standalones – All can be read alone, in any order and have HEAs)

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Suspense

Release Date: 6 May 2016

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5

Amazon US Buy Link (available on KU)

Synopsis
The meter is running…
One night as Rose Crawford steps out of a bar, she gives no second thought to lifting her hand to signal for a cab. After all, it’s the responsible thing to do.
A common occurrence.
Far safer than walking several blocks, alone, in the dark.
A familiar-looking yellow taxi with black, faux-leather seats, running meter on the dash, and a smiling driver pulls up to the curb.
Rose slides in. Gives the driver her address…
But she never reaches her destination.
Instead, she finds herself captive, at the will of a man who isn’t a driver, but a bona fide psychopath.
Trapped in a taxi she can’t escape, Rose begins to panic. As the miles between her and safety grow, hope dwindles. It isn’t until someone else joins her in captivity that her spark of hope is rekindled.
Derek is strong, capable, and surely together they can fight their way to freedom.
Then Rose finds out exactly why she’s been driven into hell. Derek may be an unwilling captive, but he isn’t going to help her.
In fact, he’s there to do the exact opposite.

Why is it a top book of 2016?

Taxi was a total surprise this year. 2016 was really the year of Hashtag for Hebert. She had amazing success with her Hashtag series including the finale book as well it’s spin off Gearshark series. #Nerd was most definately the word for Hebert this year but Taxi managed to carve a really magical spot for itself this year alongside the serial successes. 

Taxi earns this number 2 spot because it is so well written that it will shock even loyal Hebert fans. I don’t think any reader expects the plot line. And you stay on the edge of your seat. It’s so well done that it will scare you off from taxis on your next night out. 

Taxi also provided the ease of a standlone this year. Serials are *everything* right now. I saw a series by another author recently that was marked as being on part 38. There is a lot to be said for being able to pick up a single book by a new to you author or even a favorite and know you will get the whole story in one go.

Review

Taxi was a stand out standlone this year. I’ve really come to love Hebert’s Take It Off novels. They are all suspenseful but feature a sexy alpha male and a strong female who get a HEA. 

I’m going to go out on a blogger limb and say that this story is some of Hebert’s best work to date. I have read Hebert’s entire library (some novels multiple times) and I’ve never been so shocked by a plot. I not only fell in love with the characters but I was constantly on the edge of my seat because I could not figure out what was going on. And when the big reveal happens, Hebert created another twist that kept the plot exciting until the very end. 

Plot

I’m officially scared of taxis for the rest of my life! 

What would you do if you took a taxi home after a night out and ended up being kidnapped? How about when your kidnappers bring in the handsome doctor you’ve been scoping out from your coffee truck and chain him up beside you? Taxi is the story of how Rose, the coffee fairy, and Derek, the super sexy surgeon, deal with this very situation. The pair are kidnapped and held for an unknown purpose. Can you fall in love while being held hostage? Can you stay in love once the revealation of your kidnapping’s purpose is clear…when the man you’ve learned to trust may not be on your side after all?

Characters

Hebert created a strong leading duo and supporting cast. Sometimes, with a standalone, you’re left wanting to know more about a character. But part of Hebert’s magic is her skill at first person narration. You spend the entire book inside the characters’ minds. It’s my favorite type of narration and Hebert never disappoints in creating relateable and well rounded characters. 

I loved Rose. She’s spunky and a small business owner who has a great attitude. She’s a strong woman who keeps her wits about her under pressure. But she isn’t so hard that she won’t lean on Derek when he offers. I mean Rose offers to break her hand to try to escape the kidnappers at one point. She’s totally the kind of girl you want on your squad. She may be the “coffee fairy” but she also can definitely hold her own. I love that! 

Derek was a perfect leading man. His character has a few additional hurdles in the book beyond the ones faced with Rose. I don’t want to give anything away but the situation is way more messy for him. Derek is a serious guy. He’s a surgeon and carries a lot of weight on his shoulders. But he also has a really soft spot for the girl who runs the coffee truck at the hospital. It’s not an ideal situation but to be kidnapped with Rose is a big moment for him. It forces him to confess his feelings and stand up to protect her. What will he chose though when it’s Rose or himself? 

Feels

Who would have thought a kidnapping situation could have romantic moments? I really liked that Rose and Derek had some background together but had never pushed themselves. It sounds crazy but being kidnapped gives them a chance to really get to know each other. They give each other hope in a really scary time. You’ll connect with how afraid they are while also enjoying the blossoming of their connection. What better motivator to escape your kidnappers than a relationship with someone you really dig? 

I also loved the family element that Hebert was able to weave in. It really rounds out the characters even more. It makes them more real and frankly when you see how plays out, it’ll male you love and respect Rose and Derek even more. 

This is a must read. You will not be disappointed. But you may never get in a cab again. 

Cambria Hebert’s Social Media Links

Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter
Instagram
At the time of this posting there is a live giveaway over on my Facebook Page for a signed paperbacl of Taxi. Make sure you check it out! 

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