The past can be hidden, but never truly forgotten....
Josie Banks is a girl without a past. After being found unconscious with no memory, she was shuffled in and out of foster homes where she suffered years of abuse - an experience that left her broken, damaged, and clinging to drugs and meaningless hook-ups to numb her pain.
When Josie disappeared years ago, she took a piece of Tristan with her. She’s the girl he thought he lost forever - the one he’s never been able to forget. Now a twist of fate has brought them back together, and he never wants to let her out of his inked arms again. But Tristan is haunted by a dark past of his own. On the run from ruthless criminals that shattered Josie’s world years ago, reentering her life puts them both in danger.
As Josie and Tristan’s lives become tangled once again, they find themselves unwilling and unable to escape the relentless pull that draws them together. But will the past leave their love in ruins - or bind them together for a lifetime?
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Josie's back story leaves you feeling sorry for her. Then other times I wanted to yell at her to see the man who would do whatever it takes to protect her from everything. I wanted her to allow herself to be loved again. Hell, I wanted her to have a friend that wasn't something or someone to use. The story draws you in because you have to know what happens with these two characters. It is a little different than most romances but that is what makes this book special.
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STORY: 3-3.5 stars
PERFORMANCE: 3 stars
OVERALL: 3 stars
This is not a dark book but a contemporary romance with a suspenseful edge to it. The story wasn't unique, the characters were. For example, the female main character Josie has a certain tradition or disorder that greatly affects the way she lives every day. The male main character also has a condition; one that could be seen as a positive or negative. Neither of these characters have conditions typically written about such as being blind and I admire the author for coming up with such complicated characters.
The characters were remarkable, at times, their story fell flat. For example, it would be very clear that one of the characters was supposedly saying something extremely profound, yet the words Vinings used for what was supposed to be a profound statement simply were not profound. Basically, I wasn't as moved as I should have been and found myself thinking of phrases that would've been much more powerful. Speaking of powerful, I think the story would have benefitted if fewer sex scenes were fade to black.
PS: Ms. Vinings certainly knows San Diego! It was fun to envision the city she portrayed so well.
When I first heard the voice of narrator Susannah Jones, I was thrilled. Initially, I thought she had the perfect voice for narrating! Unfortunately, my opinion quickly changed as it immediately became apparent that Ms. Jones had a tendency to over-emphasize certain words, seemingly selecting words at random and doing so often which quickly became very annoying and very distracting. Ms. Jones also had difficult pronouncing several words. For example, she struggled with the word, "gluttonous" pronouncing it, "glue-ten-us". It's hard to fault a narrator for struggling to pronounce complex words from other languages yet it felt as though Ms. Jones did not adequately attempts to find out how to pronounce some more commonly spoken phrases such as the French term, "laissez faire". She did not even properly pronounce the beer sold in America called, "Dos Equis". Assuming that Ms. Jones was paid to record this book, I would expect her to take the time to ask the author, publisher etc. or do her own research in order to ensure that she was properly pronouncing these words. Although some may consider, "Dos Equis" difficult to pronounce, part of being a good narrator is doing your research. Also, a good narrator can hide her accent or use her accent consistently, another negative of Ms. Jones' performance. Chapter 7 was chock-full of different accents, each coming and going sporadically. Other advice I'd give Ms. Jones is to be careful to not carry over a character's accent while narrating non-dialogue portions of the story and to focus on being consistent. At times she did a fantastic job of maintaining her level of volume, pitch, etc. yet a lot of the time it felt like she was shouting or overly enthusiastic, especially during the more suspenseful, exciting scenes.