Title: Never Tear Us Apart
Reviewer: Ivy @PoisonIvy70
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Publisher: Bantam January 5, 2016
Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I’m a fifteen-year-old again–the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She’s grown-up now–beautiful, quiet, composed–and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for.
I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she’s safe.
Somehow we reconnect. We become friends . . . but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone.
So, yeah, I’m stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she’ll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer.
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Quite the change from what I’ve read before: The books that I’ve read by Ms. Murphy’s before this have been lighter contemporary, so needless to say, between the beautiful cover and the intriguing premise (young woman recovers from horrible kidnapping/abuse and then falls for kidnapper’s son), I couldn’t help but want to see what could come of this. What I got was a sad and tragic story filled with strong, resilient characters like Katie and Will. This takes its time to unfold and I thought that Ms. Murphy handled a story with alot of potential triggers for readers in as sensitive a way as possible.
Understandable slow burn: There’s a solid connection between Katie and Will from the very beginning, and their chemistry is good. Katie’s a survivor and fighting to get her life back, and dealing with it in a realistic manner. Will’s a natural protector and I loved his desire to be there for her, even when it would be easier to walk away. So, I think it worked that their physical relationship takes time to build and I was good to go along for that ride.
There’s lots of flashing: Katie and Will’s story unfolds with alternating flashbacks, interspersed with present day chapters. It’s a style that’s not to everyone’s taste, but I think it worked, for the most part. It takes a bit to get into the flow, but it helped with getting to know the characters better and not hitting the reader right in the face with the gruesome details of Katie’s kidnapping and Will’s upbringing. To have that opportunity to get to know how Katie and Will survived the aftermath, really gave me the chance to get to know them individually and root for them to find their way to each other.
Angst turned up to 11: You know that top level angst, where you just know it’s all going to hell in a handbasket but you’re powerless to stop it? That is the feeling I had throughout this read. Here’s the point where I’m unsure – it’s a cliffhanger. Sigh. This is a difficult setup to begin with, and then Ms. Murphy adds another level of pain with questionable choices by Ethan. As if this isn’t enough, there’s a crucial bit of obliviousness necessary by Katie to make it all work. I’m not sure I agree with it, but since this is a duology (with the second part coming this spring, I’ll withhold final judgment until I get to read that part.
Intense, sad and paced in a realistic way, this is a marked departure from earlier books I’ve read of Ms. Murphy’s – and this is not a bad thing. While cliffhangers will never be my favorite, taking things slow considering Katie and Will’s past makes sense. Also, I need to know how it ends. If you like cliffhangers and difficult premises, I’d say check it out.
*An ARC was received for an honest review.
New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She’s a workaholic who loves her job. When she’s not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.