Author: Jessica Wilde Genre:
It’s the last thing I remembered.
I was afraid.
Afraid to fight, afraid to run… afraid to breathe.
Then, everything had gone dark. As if life was finally hearing my pleas, my cries to end the torment. To end the fear.
But even in the dark, I still felt it.
I always felt it.
My life had been a ricochet of one event leading to the next. Bouncing back and forth from good to bad. Happiness to despair. Hope to fear.
My name is Arianna West. I’m stronger now. Steady. Alive.
I can find a way to survive on my own. I can see what is coming for me. I can channel my fear into strength.
Except… I didn’t see Jack.
And Jack changed everything.
For readers 18+ due to language, violence, and sexual content.
“No, Jack. It’s over now, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have the ability to focus on that part of my life. I’ve got too many other things to take care of before I go back to being… well, a woman that just wants to be loved.” “Ari, I -” “Let me finish,” I said sharply and held my hand up in between us. He shut his mouth and nodded. “I know I should be grateful for what I had and I have no one to blame but myself for the decisions I made, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to be that woman. Every woman just wants to find that kind of love, that kind of companionship, but I’m not like them anymore.” Jack’s frown deepened and I could see that he wanted to argue.
★★★ 3.5 Stars ★★★
A very emotional and disturbing read about a woman escaping domestic abuse.
Arianna West suffered 3 years with a man named Roger who beat and abused her regularly. She has finally managed to escape and is being taken care of by her brother Jake in small town Milestone. Always fearing that Roger will find her and never allow her to be free, Arianna is the shell of the woman she once was.
When Jake’s best friend Jack finds Arianna on Jake’s doorstep beaten and desperate he and Jake make it their mission to never let anyone hurt her again. Jack and Arianna have a past, she has always loved him from afar and they were a close nit group of three whilst growing up.
Arianna harbours bitterness towards Jack for leaving her and Jake when she turned 18 for reasons that she assumes were selfish ones when in actual fact he has never stopped thinking about her.
Roger is not about to give up on his control over Arianna, and the three live in fear of what he is capable of.
_ _ _ _
The first half of this book was a bit slow on the romance front, it really focuses on the healing process involved in coming out of an abusive relationship. Arianna has two men constantly looking after her but she really wants and needs to take steps towards gaining self confidence and strength in order to move forward with her life.
Whilst told in Arianna’s point of view, it is quite obvious that Jack has strong feelings for her and there is never a question that they will start a relationship once she is ready to admit that she deserves a good man like Jack.
Overall, it was a very emotional and well written book.
P.S Jake and Jack are names that are far too similar for my poor brain, and I often got confused between the two, as I did whilst writing this review!
ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review
I live in Morgan Utah with my husband, daughter, and dog, Kolo. I write as often as my active daughter will let me and my husband has the patience of a saint. I find inspiration from dreams, people I meet, and life experiences. When I write, I usually end up drinking one too many cans of Peace Tea, eating three too many Fruit by the Foot fruit snacks, and accidently kicking my pup and best buddy, Kolo, too many times since he loves to sleep under my desk at my feet. I started writing as a teen, but my fear of the unknown won out every time and I threw everything out. After becoming a mother and deciding to stay at home to raise my beautiful little girl, I tried again when I couldn’t stop thinking of ideas. I loved every minute, every hour of sleep lost, and every character that came to life in my mind. It’s strange, but my favorite moments are when I have writer’s block because I can turn to my husband and find inspiration through him by just doing what we do best together. Talking, laughing, and just being in love. He doesn’t like to read, but he never stops encouraging me to keep going. Writing has become an important part of my life and every book has a special place in my heart.