“The last time I touched a man was in the backseat of a truck as we raced toward the hospital. I haven’t felt a pull like I did that night.”
Katya may have found freedom after being held captive, but she’s still haunted by the past. Fearing for her safety, she flees Denver to start over again in the small mountain community of Cedar Ridge. She welcomes the anonymity, even as she retreats further inside herself.
Travis saw more than he wanted to during his tour in Iraq, and he’s still living with the ghosts. He’s content to remain in isolation with his secrets, until an incident forces him to re-evaluate that choice.
Will Travis be able to save Katya when someone threatens her life or are demons from the past too strong to overcome?
Can two completely broken people save each other?
Trigger Warning: This book deals with the effects of rape and abuse; as well as living with PTSD. That being said, it does have a HEA.
[Book review originally featured on Ramblings of a Bookworm]
“My Katya, you are not fine. You won’t allow yourself to live because you’re still stuck in that basement waiting for death.”
“I can put on my mask for a while — be the kind of man my parents are proud of, a man who honorably served his country, all while hiding the monster beneath.”
I’ve been longing for Katya’s story since she appeared in From This Day Forward & Forsaking All Others. She was kidnapped and held by Landon Scott for months, and after she was rescued not much was said. I wanted to know how she survived and if she was okay.
Of course she wasn’t okay.
I’m honestly not sure how to approach this review. I want to say so much, but I’m not sure I have the ability to express the level of appreciation I had for this story. You NEED to read it. For no other fact than this is one of the most real worlds I’ve ever entered in a story and two of the best characters I can remember reading in … well I’m hard pressed to compare them.
The characters of this story, Travis and Katya, both share much of the same brokenness. I know you’re thinking, “Jazmyne, I hear that all the time and usually the characters are pretty much okay and their brokenness has been greatly exaggerated to hype the book.” This isn’t the case. These characters’ behaviors and choices were real. To live through war, or the hell of being held captive, is not something that you can relate to if you haven’t been through it. Seeing each of these characters barely existing in their lives, sporadically coping, and pulling into themselves, I saw a pain so deep I wasn’t sure how they functioned. This is the first time I can remember NOT being annoyed at a character’s choices and simply feeling pain in my heart that they feel they have to make them.
My heart almost could not handle this story. Almost every chapter had me feeling another emotion! My heart broke, I cried, I laughed, my heart was stitched back together until it broke again, and that was just the first half. I swear I highlighted half the book! I want to share so much of this story with you, but I feel like if I do, it will give too much away. This story was all about the small things, the subtleties that aligned the storyline and characters. Two broken people should, logically, not be able to work. But when your break goes so deep it’s not understood by “normal” people, it takes someone with the same scars to reach you.
Read this book. Inside my head, and my heart, as I was reading I had so many feelings and thoughts pass through. I can’t begin to express them all here. This has been one of the hardest reviews I’ve written all year, as I don’t believe I can do justice to what I experienced. To honor those who are struggling, daily, to keep themselves afloat, read. Show them you’re willing to live life, even if through a story, in their shoes. Allow your heart to break, to experience their demons. Do all this so you can give them hope for a future where they will be able to finally breathe free.