by Kerrigan Byrne

Rating:
4/5


Plot/Storyline: 📖📖
Feels: 🦋🦋🦋🦋
Romance: 💞 💞 💞
Emotional Depth: 💔 💔
Sexual Tension: ⚡️ ⚡️ ⚡️ ⚡️
Sensuality: 🔥 🔥 🔥
Sex Scene Length: 🍆 🍆 🍆

I kind of don’t want to review this book. Because I just want to be done with it. It took me like two months to read and I just want to move on. Why? Because here we have a case of great characters nestled within an unexciting and unoriginal mystery plot. And I really do hate to say that because I adore Kerrigan Byrne.

If this book had been done with different characters, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it much at all. Piers and Alexandra were the saving graces here and I only wish they were given a story as amazing as they were. But the mystery plot was thin and kind of boring. It didn’t compel me to keep reading. The end was a little absurd and unclever and it was missing the darkness that I have come to expect and love about books from Kerrigan Byrne. Overall, the book just didn’t feel like her. I wouldn’t have known I was reading a book by her outside of the first chapter. I’ll say no more on that subject because I am not a person who likes mystery plots or villains. If you are, you may want to disregard the above.

As for Piers and Alexandra….they were what kept me reading. In the first chapter Alexandra suffers a graphic rape. That’s what sets this book off and we jump 10 years later to when she meets Piers. The whole of Alexandra’s life has been altered by her rape. You see how the impact and devastation of it has woven through every aspect of her life, but mostly into her persona. It influences how and who she trusts. It changes how she interacts with the world. It has left her only half alive. And because of this she has idiosyncrasies and neuroses that manifest themselves, at least to Piers’ perspective, into tender and adorable personality traits.

Piers has suffered his own traumas. His face is half deformed from an attack he suffered before the book begins. I won’t say how because I don’t want to include a spoiler. Unlike Alexandra, whose attack changed how she sees the world, Piers’ attack changed how the world sees him. According to everyone, he’s a beast. A terror. Yet, underneath his intimidating exterior, is a tender and softhearted man, full of invisible scars that he’d gathered throughout his life from events that have left him distrustful and suspicious.

Piers and Alexandra are exactly what they each need at exactly the right time. Their relationship is what made the book for me. How they learned to trust each other and to bear each other pain. How they began to erase that pain and turn their dismal worlds into ones of happiness and faithfulness. The way Piers supports Alexandra, was so touching. I loved him for that. Even when his inclination to be suspicious propelled him in the wrong direction, he found himself wanting nothing more than to give her everything she needed. That’s not to say he doesn’t make mistakes. He makes huge mistakes. But when he does, he owns them and atones for them.

The best example of this is when he realizes that Alexandra had been raped. It was the best scene in the book. As he works through the realization and processes it you see first his shock, then the devastation, then anger, the weight of it making him sick and then blind with rage. As he puts the pieces together and recalls some of her behavior, his regret and his emotions were palpable. I’ll not be able to do that scene justice, so I’m not even going to try beyond this. But the whole book was worth reading just for this one moment.

You might think a book with a heroine that had been traumatized by a rape wouldn’t have much of a chance to be steamy. But this book was. And it was handled so well. Piers was so gentle and understanding with Alexandra. Even when he didn’t know what had happened to her. He only knew she was hesitant and so he was patient. So very patient. They worked up to things in increments and by the time they get to the first love scene, a whole 330 pages in!, the sexual tension is so thick that it made that scene so damn hot. I loved Piers’ need, how badly he wanted her, how he still reigned his desire so as not to scare her, and yet seemed fierce with passion.

Overall, I got a ton of feels from the moments spent on their relationship, especially from Piers. I was pretty bored reading the mystery parts. I would have loved this book a lot more inside a different plot line. I still enjoyed it and will remember the characters fondly.

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