My friend and I read this one together awhile back and it’s darkish tone kinda freaked us out. At the time, I didn’t officially review it, ’cause my reading focus was on a more angsty romance level (and this has it!), but now that I know so many of us delight in romance books with a dark aura, I realize this one is right up our reading alley!
I felt him pause though I refused to look up. I’d learned a long time ago how to survive in Hell. The less I interacted with him the better.
A heartrending love story that kept me on the edge of my seat in both romantic anticipation, and fear. Romance shrouded in a dark cloud, and I both loved and loathed that twist. Well… not the twist as much as the man that instilled that fear in me. I wrote to my friend: “He is so freaking scary!!” But overall? I enjoyed it because it caused me to feel not just lonely and aching, not just romantic pining, but dread! And when I received this recent enthusiastic recommendation, I realized, it was time to pull it out of my reading vault and release my long overdue, pent up energy.
Stacy: I just finished Pulled by A.L. Jackson. And just… WOW. It’s really, really good. Think The Sweet Gum Tree meets Thoughtless plus… I don’t know… that special something. I highly recommend it for you. … when I finished it, I thought, “Maryse would love this!”
Maryse: I DID read Pulled (last year!). Very good, but OMG I was so scared for her. My fear actually overtook the romance ’cause *spoiler* right to the end.
And that’s exactly true for me. I’ve found many of the reviews (and recommendations) were right, about the sad yet beautiful love story part, but I was so focused on the scary aspect that I almost missed the rest. But you know me… I love scary stuff in my romances. Keeps my adrenaline going. And this one’s a bit different in that respect, ’cause it doesn’t necessarily involve falling in love with your captor… so *phew*. Instead of questioning myself, I was questioning… er. Nevermind. No spoilers! (although I will say, there was exasperation )
So what’s it about?
This story is a look into the lives of two obvious soul-mates (from their perspectives). Their memories, what broke them apart, their present situation and the serendipitous moment that caused their worlds to tilt.
Not our usual romance, though. I’d definitely consider this a darker read, as this book explores a marriage of convenience dominated by an abusive husband.
I knew then Nicholas would never bring me happiness. That had never been the point. My heart belonged to another and would never be his. All I wanted was a way out while Nicholas got the trophy wife he thought he deserved. The only thing I hadn’t anticipated was how the numbness I felt for him would evolve over nine years into bitterness and loathing.
Where at one time, it seemed like a plausible escape from a broken heart that would never mend, her escape eventually became her prison.
And then one day…
Ah!!! I’m stopping there. Just know that you’ll feel the love intensely (this is a romance, after all).
It wasn’t the dreams of him that bothered me; it was waking to the reality that he was no longer mine that nearly destroyed me. I woke every morning with my heart laid bare, wounds torn open, fresh pain oozing from every pore in my body.
I could see things coming, thrilled in the OMG YAY!! NO WAY!! part of it. But you’ll also be distressed. I trembled when I thought about the potential consequences. You will, too.
At the time, I was more on a 3 to 3.5 star level with this book. Something was holding me back. Going over my notes and chats from that time period, I see that I was also on a 100% full-on Fifty Shades kick, back when it was still so very brand new (book #3 hadn’t even been released yet!!). Remember way back then? Ahhhh the memories. I was about EVERYTHING Fifty and I was desperate for more FIFTY. I wanted more of that kind of dark, broken but intense romance.
Well, anyway, that’s how I found this one. I loved the writing style, enjoyed the unique story and the risky nature of it all, but I didn’t fall head over heels in love ’cause 1.) I was so wrapped up in Fifty and 2.) I spent much of my time reading this one, in fear.
And that’s where I missed out.
NOW, though, I think I could appreciate that scary part much more. In fact, I’m drawn to those reads more now, than ever, and the fact that I pretty much still remember almost every detail. I wonder, to have read it in this part of my reading life, what I would think? I’m going to go with:
3.5 stars to 4 stars!
One thing’s for certain! As many recommendations as I get for this author’s other books, I will ABSOLUTELY be reading more ASAP. She has an exquisite way with words.