Miriam's life is a hot mess. Her boyfriend Ben is no longer the man she fell in love with, and he won't stop knocking her around. Every time she tries to leave him or stand up to him, she gets hurt even worse.
Then one day she's saved by a sexy stranger named Jack. He's kind, handsome, and sweet: everything she could ever want and more. And he's determined to protect her at all costs.
As her passion for Jack ignites, so does the rest of her body...
But Ben won't give up his girl so easily, leading to a violent confrontation with deadly consequences no one could have predicted.
The opening of this book was awesome, but unexpected. By the romantic undertones I was expecting something a bit, softer, we’ll say, not a homicide scene. So from the beginning, my interest was piqued.
Throughout this story you move from past to present. Flashbacks are an area that can easily be handled poorly, or get so muddled I have no idea what’s going on. But Sweetapple has done a fantastic job here, and I’ll give her a very grateful two thumbs up for that alone. Flashbacks are a tricky thing, but she handled it beautifully.
One of the lead characters, Miriam, as you can tell by the synopsis is in an abusive relationship. Now, I’ve read in a few reviews of readers slightly bashing this character because of her submissiveness, or how she keeps returning to her boyfriend, Ben. But for anyone who has been in an abusive relationship, or been close to someone who has, often knows that the main goal of the abuser is to beat the person down (emotionally); to essentially wear down their free will, strength, and courage. So from my own life experiences, I would find Miriam quite the unrealistic character had the author made her any other way than she did. And I say bravo to her for that.
Another thing about this book that I enjoyed was the Jack was not your typical, bad boy hero. He was actually quite nice, a good boy but not in an overplayed way. With this genre the main characters, in my opinion, are often played to the extreme…Super badass chic meets awesome bad boy, they hate and love each other, do some funky paranormal stuff and poof, cue sequel. Hence why I usually skim this genre very carefully, because I can only stand so many extremes before I’m screaming “Oh, come on!” and putting the book away for good. So the fact that the author did add true, realistic elements to the characters and the story – I absolutely loved that.
Really, the author balanced this book beautifully. She created characters real enough to make their story believable, yet stayed true to some of the norms of the genre to do it justice. I can imagine that that was a hard task, but was well handled by Sweetapple.
Overall this was a surprisingly pretty good read for me. I loved the author’s voice and writing style, and her courage to go slightly outside the norms of this genre. It’s a nice blend of realness for readers like me, who don’t typically read in this genre. Yet it has all the cool elements fans of this genre will surely love.
Check it out, or pick up a copy!
About the Author:
Amber Sweetapple is a sassy mama to 5 wild and wonderful kids. She enjoys long evening walks in her suburban Detroit neighborhood with her writer husband Jack Sheppard. Her other favorite things are singing, chocolate, good wine, and writing her hunky husband into her stories. She also likes belly dancing, watching Real Housewives (don't judge!) and cooking dinner for her family in her crockpot. Oh, and cupcakes.
Check out her website, or connect with her on Twitter.