ABOUT THE BOOK
One girl disappeared. After fifteen years, her cold lifeless body was found on the damp forest floor. Not an inch of her was unmarked by the horrors she endured. Alone, malnourished, abused in horrific ways; this was how she died.
One girl was found walking the streets, covered in dirt and scars. She had no memory of who she was, where she came from, or what happened to her. Even though the marks on her body attested to years of heinous abuse, her strength shone through at every turn.
Revenge and justice were sworn.
Years of searching brought up nothing but dead ends. Detective Niko James was too late to save his childhood friend, but he vows not to let down another.
The clock is ticking and the trail is pitch dark.
I picked up this book because I am scheduled to read the second in the series soon. Boy, what an emotional rollercoaster. There are triggers galore, but there is also a beautiful love story.
Detective Niko James has been searching for his best friend, Aislin Mathers, for fifteen years after she went missing at age thirteen and it all comes crashing down when her mutilated body is discovered in his hometown where his life went to pieces. He promised he would always protect her and he failed. His mission now is to find the son-of-a-bitch who caused her so much pain and fear. What he finds is another woman who appears to have been tortured the same way but she doesn’t remember who she is, let alone what happened to her.
Niko is a broken man until he meets “Doe”, the woman with no memory. His failure to save Aislin is channeled into his need to help Doe feel safe again. She was brutally raped and tortured for years by the look of her scars, and her nightmares are frequent. But Doe is learning to trust Niko with his unfaltering kindness and gentleness. Niko is a good man who suffered for so long trying to find Aislin. He was the only one who believed she had been kidnapped because she wouldn’t run away and leave him despite her heartbreaking family life. Now that he has put her body to rest he makes it his mission to renovate her family home that is next door to his. Aislin’s house is where he places Doe for the time being until they find out who she is. Doe’s identity is eventually revealed and Niko reluctantly lets her go home, but what happens next will change his life forever.
Supporting characters include Niko’s concerned partner, David Tavers, and his lovely wife Mindy who have Niko’s back despite Niko’s questionable choices. Niko has been apart from his family for some time, but he eventually mends fences with his brother, Reece, with whom he had a falling out, and the family is brought together under difficult circumstances.
Triggers aside, this is a surprising love story with broken individuals, suspense, and a shocking and happy-ever-after ending. I can’t wait to read Reece’s story in book 2.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
A. M. Wilson is a USA Today Bestselling author. She loves to infuse her stories with real life—the good, the bad, and the steamy parts. There’s something special about that pivotal moment when two characters realize their love for each other, but she likes wading through a little angst to get there. When she isn’t furiously typing on her computer, she can be found searching for her next all-consuming read. A. M. lives in Minnesota with her husband, two children, and black lab.
Alex Grayson is the bestselling author of heart pounding, emotionally gripping contemporary romance including the Jaded Series, the Consumed Series, and two standalone novels. Her passion for books was reignited by a gift from her sister-in-law. After spending several years as a devoted reader and blogger, Alex decided to write and independently publish her first novel in 2014 (an endeavor that took a little longer than expected). The rest, as they say, is history.
Originally a southern girl, Alex now lives in Ohio with her husband, two children, two cats and dog. She loves the color blue, homemade lasagna, casually browsing real estate, and interacting with her readers.