Hidden Waters (Tattered & Torn #3) by Catherine Cowles
ABOUT THE BOOK
My family tried to break me. But, somehow, I made it out alive, even though the wounds from that survival are forever carved into my bones. Now, my only wish is for…normal. To know what it’s like to have friends, a job, a home.
The last thing I want is for my new roommate to see the scars I’m so desperate to keep hidden, especially not the ruggedly handsome man who steals my breath and sends my heart into overdrive.
But something tells me that Beckett has demons, too. I see it in the shadows haunting his gorgeous eyes and the way he looks at me with gentle understanding.
As our unlikely friendship becomes so much more, forces from my life slink out of the shadows. And we could both lose everything we’ve fought so hard for—down to our very last breaths…
I’m a huge fan of Catherine Cowles and book 3 in the Tattered & Torn series continues the family saga of the Eastons. Specifically, Dr. Beckett Easton who is back home to atone for leaving his family so many years ago, and Adaline “Addie” Kemper who is learning to live on her own away from her abusive father.
Addie is haunted by her past trying to be free from a world of abuse and control. She does not want to be a charity case and be taken care of for the rest of her life, so she gets a job, gets a driver’s license, and becomes roommates with the kindest and most considerate man she’s ever met. A man who gets her. Who listens and understands. But she can’t count on him to stay. Everyone who has been in her corner has left.
Beckett’s guilt has brought him back home to the family he abandoned when they needed him most. While atoning for his absence, he meets a beautiful and strong woman who makes him feel at peace for the first time in his life. He wants to protect her, but her fierce independence gives him pause to let her be free for the first time in her life as he guides her along on her path while falling head over heels in love. However, his nightmares and past mistakes may drive her away.
Addie and Beckett are two of the most broken and loving people I’ve read about. It is so heartwrenching and hopeful as they learn to trust each other and spill all of their worries and doubts. Addie has come a long way from a quiet, scared girl to a driven woman with hopes and dreams to find her mother who abandoned her, and find her freedom from a life of confinement and heartache. However, her nasty father threatens her every chance he gets as she tries to live a better life. Beckett is a true match for Addie with his kindness and acceptance. His hatred of Addie’s abusive father is understandable and he does everything in his power to make sure she is safe. He has some demons to fight as well with a horrible incident in his past as well as his guilt over leaving his family. However, these two lovely people learn to open up to each other and safeguard each other becoming stronger together.
Of course, in Catherine Cowles’ style, there is suspense thrown in as well as the love of the fabulous Easton family. Supporting characters are many which add to the wonderful essence of this story.
I highly recommend you read this romantic suspense filled with well-developed characters and intense situations. In fact, read the series. You will fall in love with the Easton family as I did and want to come back for more. Check out my reviews for Tattered Stars and Falling Embers.
Thank you to Ms. Cowles for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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“You deserved so much better.”
“I’m getting it. I’m making that beautiful life now. And I’ll appreciate it so much more because of what I’ve been through.”
It wasn’t enough for me. It never would be. But I admired how Addie could view her past. I struggled not to hold her too tightly. The urge to burn the world down around me was too strong. I wasn’t good the way Addie was. I still wanted to start with Allen.
“Beckett,” she whispered against my ear. “I’m okay. It doesn’t hurt. The skin is ugly but—”
I reared back. “Nothing about you is ugly.”
Her cheeks flamed. “It is. It’s just facts. I don’t care. There are so many more important things.”
“Show me.” I was already climbing to my feet.
Addie stood shakily. “I don’t want you to see it.”
My gaze locked with hers. I poured everything I was feeling into that one look. “Please.”
She didn’t say anything for a moment, searching my face for something. Then she nodded and turned around. Slowly, so painfully slowly, she unbuttoned her blouse. When she was done, she simply stood there, not lowering the shirt. Her ribs expanded and contracted in ragged breaths. Then she let the fabric fall to the floor.
Angry slashes crisscrossed her back. They were varying tones, shapes, and depths. In that moment, I knew Allen had done this to her over and over. My hands fisted so tightly I was in danger of breaking a knuckle.
I moved closer and then sank to my knees again. “It’s just me.” My hands went to Addie’s hips. She gave a slight jolt. I stilled. “You okay?” She nodded, the movement jerky, her breaths ragged. I slowly swept my thumb across a patch of raised skin. Then I bent forward, my lips going to the worst of the scars. I ghosted them over the flesh that had been torn apart but had come back together stronger than it had been before.
“Beauty in the strength that carried you through. Beauty in how you refused to be broken. Beauty that you never let yourself become cruel like him. Addie, there isn’t a thing about you that isn’t beautiful.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.