Today is the last day of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the States. Although there are horrifying statistics relative to domestic violence around the world, they can only begin to show the tip of the iceberg. Survivors must know that there is support and hope for them. I saved this book review for today as this novel shines a bright light on the abuse which is often tucked away into a dark corner. I applaud people willing to write on the subject. Jade Reyner, one of our own WordPress authors, has done just that. It is not my habit to read contemporary romance, but this novel struck a chord with me as a health care provider, because it deals with so many contemporary issues that affect women’s health. Marriage, romance, desire, love, domestic violence, loss, and hope are explored in a modern day setting.
The book is technically sound, well written and well edited. Some of the characters are deeply developed and some are superficially shallow, and that is how people in the real world strike me socially, so the novel is most realistic. The main character is challenged as she examines both her heart and her societal commitments. It is a love story that involves a lot of pain and growth.
From the very beginning, it is evident that domestic violence, including marital rape, would be prominently featured. Reyner did very well throughout her story, to illustrate the excuses and cover ups that women employ to prevent discovery and deal with the shame. The viciousness of the cycles and the honeymoon phase play a part to some degree, also adding to the realism. There is quite a bit of slapping around and throwing punches in this fast paced novel. Reyner also does very well to demonstrate the emotional extremes of both men and women. There are a lot of twists and turns making a rather common plot interesting to me.
The romance that the main character develops, while giving her some sense of joy, increases her shame as she struggles to come to terms with what is important to her. There are several graphic sex scenes; hot, erotic, and steamy. Interesting to me personally, were the British idioms and colloquialisms. I would highly recommend this read for those who enjoy contemporary romance, and those who may live, or touch the life of one who lives, in the shadows of domestic violence. The series promises to carry the reader further on this romantic journey of self discovery. I give this book 4 stars out of 5.