4 ½ out of 5
★ ★ ★ ★/★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Two lives intertwined and amalgamated in their shared tragedies. With love and trust they assimilate themselves to allow their damaged souls to overcome, and find peace.
Alexis Bolden has seen her fair share of tragedy and experienced enough abuse to last a lifetime. Witnessing the double murder-suicide of her parents and dealing with a string of abusive losers, Lexi often found comfort in the brutal ritual of ‘cutting’. And now, narrowly escaping with her life after the last episode of abuse, Lexi finally finds the courage to press charges and start a new life.
Sloan Stryker, a war veteran suffering from the physical and internal scars of war and bouts of PTSD, has found himself estranged from his disapproving parents, no job and homeless. Through a chance meeting and dramatic rescue, an unusual friendship develops between these two wounded people. Can they work past their damaged souls to finally come together?
There were many things I loved about this novel, however my TOP 4 are:
- The flawed characters that Ms. Turner was able to animate with complete and utter delicacy. Sloan and Alexis were both wonderful characters that were so intriguing and engaging that minor characters weren’t even needed for the first installment. The focus being set on our two main characters was a wise decision since there was so much to tell.
- The developing love between Sloan and Alexis. I really enjoy a true and honest love story that isn’t surrounded by sex but also not devoid of it. This story had a nice balance between the two and allowed for trust and love to develop before the sex occurred.
- I felt as though Sloan deserved his own special numeral because he was just that damn good! His character was vulnerable, strong, enticing, and utterly sexy. Hence, my interpretation of Sloan being, Jason Momoa who managed to conquered all of those feats on The Red Road and Game of Thrones. Sloan was just the embodiment of a good man, and I’m very interested in delving deeper into his past with the second installment, Open Wounds.
- The fact that this novel dealt with real-serious issues like, domestic violence, rape, PTSD, depression, and self-mutilation were horrific to read, but was also enlightening. To get into the daily struggle of people who suffer from these disorders, or are in these situations was dark but real.
However, like all good things there’s always bad that happens too. Here are my TOP 3:
- Dominique was such an unnecessary nuisance that I really questioned if I wanted to finish the novel when her character was introduced. Her character was stupid and lacked realism, so I was quite ecstatic when she only appeared sporadically throughout the novel.
- The dark-skinned, African-American heroine having green eyes. Now, I know a fair amount of black people with green eyes, one of them are even dark-skinned, but the rarity of this is so extreme that it’s amazing how many black heroines have it in interracial romance. I’m just so over this oddity and wish these authors would stop.
- The end was severely overdone and quite dramatic. I’m personally not a fan of unnecessary drama just for some conflict resolution, which I felt this book already had enough of. So, what Alexis does is just dumb and made her seem somehow hurtful.
To conclude, I think you just need to buy the book and read it for yourself! Feel free to tell me what you think.