This was a very different story than what I have come to expect from Carmen Jenner, which covered some serious issues such as PTSD and Autism. I really felt that both subject matters were dealt with extremely well, and it was obvious that a lot of research went into writing this book.
Jake Tucker is an ex-marine and a POW survivor. He is suffering greatly from his wounds, internal and external, and is pretty much alone in the world, except for his therapy dog Nuke who keeps him grounded and relatively sane.
“When others run from the sounds of chaos, we run toward it. Me? I ran so far that I became the chaos.”
Ellie Mason is a woman who knows what it’s like to feel scared, but now that she has settled in the small town in Alabama, far away from her fears, she is making a good life for herself and her eight-year-old son Spencer. Spencer suffers from autism and SPD, and life for the both of them is a struggle, but they get by as best they can.
When Jake and Ellie meet after she crashes into a tree whilst staring at him in her rearview mirror, it’s quite obvious there is an attraction, but with Jake’s demons, and Ellie’s priority to her son, their journey is not an easy one.
I absolutely loved the first half of the book, I loved the chemistry, and the whole mysteriousness of Jake, and the way he made Ellie feel by just being in her presence. It was quite an emotional story and I felt completely connected for the first 50% or so.
“War raped me in the ass with a fucking AK47, and I’m riddled with too many holes to tape a Band-Aid over. I got nothin’ left worth saving.”.
There was an awful lot of push and pull, and poor Ellie had a tough time watching Jake relapse over and over again, it kind of went round in circles at one point and I was waiting for something different for them to overcome, rather than the same problems rearing their head, but then I kind of regretted thinking this, because the last part of the book produced almost too much drama, that I felt was a bit too much. Also, not a big fan of regional accents in writing, it throws me off somewhat and whilst I agree it is completely necessary to include, sometimes less is more.
So, whilst I adored the first half of this beautiful story, I did feel a little let down by the end. That’s not to say I didn’t like it because I did, the characters were multi-dimensional and I enjoyed reading about all of their day-to-day lives, because they were so completely developed and rich in personality.
Overall, I highly recommend giving it a go if you love a tortured hero and a strong and sassy heroine.
Toward the Sound of Chaos is a standalone novel, told in dual POV.
ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review