Cruel Summer (Undertow #0.5)

Cruel Summer


Kian O’Reilly is flawless as a killer. 

Well-practiced in the art of making murder look like an accident, he is selfish, wealthy, and totally arrogant as a soul-stealing immortal. But when he ends up stranded on Cape Cod with a stolen car and a dead drug dealer in the trunk, he thinks his luck couldn’t get any worse.

That is, until Ana Lane shows up.

Gifted as a mechanic and surfer, feisty Ana is not a fan of the entitled Frat Boys who show up every summer, messing with local girls. Believing Kian is one of those typical rich brats, she fixes his car and ruthlessly dismantles his cocky ego . . . which intrigues the dangerous soul thief.

Determined to spend more time with the prickly mechanic, Kian sets out to understand what makes Ana so fierce. Soon, however, he uncovers the painful truth behind the real Ana Lane, and the decision to save her, may destroy them both.

** This is the prequel novella to UNDERTOW and is based on the story of Kian and Ana the summer they met. While it can be read at anytime in the series, it is meant to be read after UNDERTOW and STORMFRONT.**  (Summary and book cover courtesy of

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review courtesy of YA Bound Book Tours.


I normally get frustrated when authors write prequels without continuing the story, but in this case Conway provides a solid backstory that still left me satisfied.  And now I’m excited all over again for the next in the series to come out!  In the first two books we get a sense of Kian and Ana’s relationship (and what went wrong), but we don’t have details in the backstory.  This prequel novella (quite long for a novella too, which is great!) tells their story.  The book certainly could stand on its own without reading other books in the series, which is fantastic. 

I enjoyed the balance of Ana’s feisty prickliness with Kian’s relaxed be begrudging attraction.  It’s interesting to see how they balanced each other out in the beginning and how MJ was won over.  Normally I don’t love novellas and can take them or leave them, but in this case I would highly recommend this for fans of the series!

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Folks who love the series, but read the others first!

Want to read the whole series?