When I was seventeen, I disappeared. I walked out the door of my apartment with a backpack and never looked back. I left the life of Cora Mitchell behind, seeking freedom from my real-life nightmare. But my freedom came with a cost.
I lived a fictitious life for the next six years, never letting anyone close enough to see underneath the facade that was Andra Walker. I was content with my simple little life.
Until I met Julian.
And the moment I started allowing myself to open up, allowing someone to see through the superficial, was the very same moment the Monster from my past would return to find me.
- The story starts off strong. It sucks you in and fills you with adrenaline. You are flooded with fear and hope that Andra (Cora) will escape her horrific life of abuse and terror. Each move you wait for the inevitable, the foreboding is INTENSE. I appreciated that the author did not get graphic in the abuse scenes. You know what happened, you live in that anxiety and terror right along with Andra, but without getting into too many details.
- Andra has built a new life for herself. She’s haunted by her past, afraid to let anyone in because of her huge secret, but incredibly strong. She’s confident, knows what she wants, and is content with her simple living. She has some truly profound lines that will stick with you: “Lies were not tangible things, but they still made an impact. Once they passed your lips, you couldn’t take them back. They settled in the space that trust was built on, rotting the foundation of the human connection. Stacking lies on top of each other meant adding more rot to what could be something good.” OR “There was a darkness in my soul, abused innocence. My darkness was mine alone to carry; I didn’t want to burden anyone else with it.” Andra appreciates things deeply and is incredibly moved by kindness. She’s got so much love inside her itching to be shared, but she’s scared and understandably so. You’ll cheer her on to a happy ending.
- Julian sees Andra as a puzzle he can’t help but want to solve. She’s irresistible, a mystery. She’s refreshing, beautiful, different, and takes everything to heart. The way Julian views Andra is stunning. He’s a great guy. Sweet, playful, and oh so sexy. Together Andra and Julian are HOT. There romantic scenes are full of lusty feelings and deep emotions. It’s about more, but the chemistry-sizzling. BUT seriously TAKES FOREVER. Lots of building.
- Six’s role is one of a fierce protector/occasional mobster. What I didn’t understand and wasn’t explained is if Six is such a grey area sort of guy with guns and networks and everything else, what made Andra’s abuser such a big threat? I mean, the guy didn’t seem super scary from an outsiders prospective. To Andra, who suffered as a young girl, he’s a monster, but why not search for other options besides constantly running?
- The “twist” was definitely a shock, but Andra’s reaction to it was sort of unbelievable. The feeling of betrayal and pain were there and gone too quick to really even sink in.
- The pacing was slow after that initial intro. The whole middle section fell into a little monotonous string of everyday life without much happening. The last 1/4 of the book was fast-almost rushed.
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