I’m not sure what brought this book to my attention. I have a feeling I saw it mentioned in a tweet. Although I have a couple other books by this author, I haven’t read them yet but decided to give this one a try.
Warning though, this is very tough subject matter so it may not be for everyone and it may be a trigger for some.
Morgan Young is NOT having a good day. It’s her birthday and she has just decided to perform a sexual act for her boyfriend. Morgan, her boyfriend, and her best friend are out for dinner when the boyfriend and friend announce that they are now a couple, leaving Moran feeling double betrayed – on her birthday even. She leaves the restaurant and runs into Tucker Nascaro. They went to high school together, and, in fact ,Tucker rescued her from a groping jerk who had her cornered in the halls. As a result, she’s always had a bit of a crush on him.’
Tucker was in jail for a while for assault on his own father, the chief of police. But he had a very ugly story he had to get out, and because Morgan’s father was a lawyer, Tucker took the desperate move of kidnapping her and taking her to a cabin in the woods in order to get her cooperation in getting her father to listen to his story. He comes from a home with sexual abuse, and what makes things really urgent is the abuser is in charge of a summer camp for boys. Being a victim himself, Tucker needs to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Even though she’s been kidnapped by Tucker, Morgan isn’t really afraid. She is somewhat considering the circumstances, but she senses the pain that Tucker is in. He tells her his story in bits and never does confess the entire story.
Talk about your tortured hero, Tucker ranks right up there near the top. I had to take breaks while reading this book at times. Tucker’s pain and his shame just radiate out of him. He feels extremely guilty for what he did to Morgan; he remembers her too and has a reciprocal crush. Because of his sexual abuse when he was young, his views on sex are totally confused. While he’s attracted to Morgan, he feels conflicted about his ability to act on them normally. I really enjoyed his character and if a review were to be based on one character, I’d be giving this one an A. But then we have Morgan. I have issues with her. When she does begin to realize what Tucker has gone through, I don’t get the impression that she is mature enough to deal with it. She wants him and that’s that. I don’t think she cares that much about what he’s dealing with sexually.
Plus, it seems that one minute she’s ready to give in to her ex, then only a few days later she’s all about Tucker. I get that there’s the history, but she didn’t really know him back then and I just get the feeling it’s more about lust with her. Tucker specifically lets her know that he’s the one who will get the proof to take to her father to back up his tale, but she doesn’t listen. She again just goes ahead and does what she wants, thus putting herself in danger needlessly. So her character drags the grade down somewhat.
So my final grade for this emotionally gut wrenching story is lower than I would have liked. Others might not have the same issues I had with the heroine, though.
Morgan Young had a perfect upbringing, and now she’s got a perfect boyfriend and a perfect future—until her twenty-first birthday changes everything. First Morgan finds out, in the most painful way possible, that her relationship is a sham. But that’s nothing compared to the nightmare about to unfold.
It’s too late for Tucker Noscalo. A brutal childhood left him with a bad reputation and a criminal record. Fresh out of jail, Tucker has a score to settle with Baybrook’s crooked chief of police—his own father. Nobody will believe Tucker’s explosive accusations without proof and a good lawyer, neither of which he has on his side. Until he sees someone he used to know, someone who just so happens to be the daughter of the best lawyer in the county.
He needs Morgan to convince her father of the ugly truth. But first he has to convince her, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get her to listen. Confronted by the story of Tucker’s dark past, Morgan feels utterly compelled to help him. And as their connection grows into a fierce bond fueled by raw passion, Morgan finds herself falling for the wrong guy—but never has the promise of love felt so right.
Read an excerpt.