I can honestly say this is the best book I've read so far this year and is high up on my list of best contemporary romance books. That is really saying something because this book is part 1 of a series and ends on a cliffhanger. Usually that is enough, by itself, to make me earnestly despise a book when the other parts of the series are not yet available. I'm DYING to get the rest of this story but part 1 was so good, I can't even be mad that there's more.
First thing you need to know, Sawyer Bennett hits us with some good ol fashioned grade A writing in this book. The storytelling and weaving together of events from the past and present is just brilliant. Bennett gives us just enough information about what happened in the past to get us to the present and allow us to really feel what Sela felt. She doesn't, however, overwhelm the present story telling with extremely long detailed flashbacks. That is something I find super irritating.
Then there is the plot of this book which is just very well conceived. If you read the synopsis you know that Sela was raped by Beck's business partner when she was 16 years old. When the book begins, Sela plans to get close to Beck in an effort to find a way to destroy his disgusting business partner. Her plan doesn't quite turn out as conceived because it turns out Beck, and not revenge, is exactly what Sela needs. The problem is that Sela struggles to let go of her vendetta. Sela knows it will eventually destroy her relationship with Beck and we know it's going to all blow up as we read the book but Sela just can't let it go. So the book becomes about what happens when you can't put the past to rest.
I was really moved by Sela's internal turmoil. I was rooting for her to be able to go forward but I completely understood her wanting to wipe Beck's vile partner off the face of the Earth. I was equally sympathetic to Beck's position. The same way Sela understood the emotional bind he was in, I got it too. I spent the whole book just praying that everything could be resolved without the explosion that you could see coming from 10 miles down the road. Well, you have to read it to see how it all turns out but OMG, what a journey this was. I'm completely wrung out. I have no clue how I'm going to move on to the next book. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself until the next installment comes out in August.
P.S.- I've read several other Bennett books. There is a note at the end of this one that says it's unlike anything else she has ever written, that is totally true. If you think you know this author, think again, this book is something totally different from her.
**ARC provided by Publisher**