Obsession can be deadly…
Nobody knows that better than Shadow Harper. It seemed like a dream come true when a rich, suave older man noticed her during her second year of college. Stefan Stockman seemed to love her obsessively. He came into her life and swept her off her feet, seduced her, married her…and then slowly, eventually, that dream come true became a living nightmare.
Now, three years after she finally escaped him, she’s trying to put her life back together. Haunted by memories, struggling with post-traumatic stress, she spends most of her time locked away in her home on Pawley’s Island, a small town on the South Carolina coast. Her rare moments of joy come from her trips to the nearby beach.
She compulsively checks the locks on her doors, makes sure she has her cell phones—five of them—and if she misses something on her schedule, it throws her into a panic.
When she accidentally leaves a sketchbook on the beach, an anxiety attack seems imminent. Her art has become her salvation, her sanity, and losing even one sketch is like losing a piece of her soul. When she returns to hunt for the sketchbook, already fearing it’s gone for good, she’s surprised to find it still sitting there, saved by a sexy fellow beach lover—the mysterious Dillian Jenkins.
He’s brash, bold, brutally handsome…and gentle. He’s the exact opposite of the man who’d tormented her for years, and Shadow finds herself slowly, almost reluctantly, falling for him. Even obsessing over him.
When her ex-husband once again intrudes on the happiness she’s finally discovering, Shadow turns to Dillian. But will she find shelter there…or another betrayal?
Genre- Romantic Suspense, Thriller
*ARC kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I’m a little torn with this one. For most of the book, I was hooked. I completely loved it. It was exciting, sexy, addictive. But somewhere around the 60-70% mark it sort of went downhill. Throughout the entire novels there was some editing errors (which I’m hoping is only because it’s an arc copy) certain things just didn’t quite make sense…For example, it would say the main character, Shadow, was outside but then it would say she stormed outside… I ignored those because of how much I loved the story (and again, I was hoping the errors were simply because I was reading an arc)
I also didn’t like that a lot of details were glossed over, or not included at all. The story is about a woman named Shadow who escapes an abusive spouse. She meets a man named Dillian, nicknamed Jenks, and the two form a relationship. The beginning of their relationship was pretty rushed, which I didn’t mind at first, (I liked that it got right to the point in that aspect) and a lot of their earlier interactions were not on page (like their first date, important conversations, etc.) I liked that we got the beginning stages of the relationship out of the way because I was hoping that meant we’d get to read more about them as a couple, but later on I realized that the author did that with other important aspects of their relationship and Shadow’s back story. When Shadow told Jenks about her past, I expected she would be telling the reader as well. That was not the case. We do get a pretty good idea of what happened to her but I picked up the novel because it was advertised as a “romantic thriller” and much of what would be described as the “thriller” moments were not there. In fact, the “thriller” moments barely added up to a full chapter.
Again, I ignored it because I really was loving the story. Towards the end, when things started to heat up with her abusive ex, I again felt like things were rushed and glossed over. Things weren’t quite as polished as they could be. Too many little details were left out and it sometimes made things very confusing.
This novel had the potential to be an amazing one. I loved Shadow and Jenks’s relationship, the chemistry between them, and how he treated her. Jenks was sweet and protective, but not possessive. He never treated Shadow like a “victim.” Shadow had been through hell and back but she came out stronger than most would. I admired her for that. She always made sure to stand her ground and listen to her instincts. Unfortunately, the lack of attention to detail got in the way and the story fell flat. There were too many loose ends that weren’t tied up. Too many questions that were left unanswered. It was so infuriating to read because I enjoyed the first half so much! By the end of the story, I felt that it wasn’t even worth the read. Especially with those last couple of pages. *spoiler alert* -it ended with a HFN. Barely. I would call it a “maybe possibly has the potential to be a happy for now but not really.”
I was left VERY unsatisfied. I would not recommend this for romance lovers or people who are suckers for a happy ending (romance-wise) Shadow’s ending was a happy one but Shadow and Jenk’s as a couple…not so much.
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