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I became completely involved in the main character, Claire's life from the get go. Claire is a great character, well written and relatable, she starts off lost and unsure of herself and her life after suffering the loss of her child. As the story progresses and secrets are uncovered, Claire's strength emerges as she fights to gain understanding of what her husband has been hiding and develop her newfound confidence. Her life begins to unravel at the same time she wakes up from the half-life she has been living, but instead of collapsing, she uses her circumstances to grow, I was backing her completely, cheering her on every time she confronted her husband and hoping she would survive the fallout.
Claire's husband Derek is unlikable from the first chapters and just becomes more despicable as the story unfolds. From beginning to end he unveils himself as a detestable character.who I continued to hope would get exactly what he deserved.
Zach is another great character, with many layers and a few surprising secrets. I loved the relationship that grew between Claire and Zach, I think I fell in love with him myself. One of my favourite secondary characters was Claire's assistant Kira, I loved her loyalty and her no bullshit approach, what a great friend Claire had in her.
This novel kept me hooked from start to finish with heart stopping moments, a few laugh-out-loud moments, plenty of twists and turns, betrayal and murder, in a romantic psychological thriller that will definitely be in my top 10 reads of the year. I didn't see half of what happened coming and was still shaking my head in disbelief at the end.
Wow, what a great read! The whole time I was kept guessing which way the story was going and Athena kept throwing things in i didn't see coming and kept me on the edge of my seat. I love the way Athena Daniels tells a story and the characters she creates, she is most definitely my favourite thriller writer. I'm going to read this story again, just to make sure I didn't miss something the first time. The early hours of the morning reading can make that happen. lol
I think this is her best work yet. It not only touches on themes like domestic violence and psychological abuse, but it gives us a true picture of what so many women go through when they have no control over their own financial and physical lives. There’s a continuing lethargy when it comes to homelessness. Our minds and hearts have a tendency to want to turn away, but that only reinforces the problem. This story brings so much into the light, and it forces eyes open to a growing problem. And there’s a strength that builds as Claire discovers who she really is and what she’s capable of. It’s uplifting and gives us a glimpse of not only vulnerable exposure but growth and revelation. I think it shows us that we don’t have to be ruled by our circumstances but can learn from them and move forward with positivity.
In the midst of all of this, there's a love story for the ages, something that wraps right around your heart and melts it. It's beautiful and sweet and super sexy, and he's exactly the type of bad boy gone good that every woman would love to find. And he supports and defends Claire in ways that she needs. And all of the secondary characters are perfect in their roles. Some of them you want to know more about, while others you just can't help but hate.
I don't know how the author is going to top this, but I can't wait to see what she does next.
WOW! Just when I was beyond tired of cookie cutter romances with the same old tropes, this captivating story took hold and pulled me out of the book doldrums from the very first page. Believe me, I could NOT put this book down! I've seldom read a romantic thriller that surpasses this gripping tale of grief, deceit and steadily encroaching danger, wrapped in a passionate romance between two broken people.
(Here's a bit of the plot, but no big spoilers--I promise.)
Claire is barely existing, still grieving over the death of her little girl three years earlier. Struggling to break free from depression and medication, her tenuous recovery is threatened by her manipulative husband (Derek) and the sudden arrival of a beautiful and mysterious house guest--an "old school friend" of Derek's. Claire is immediately suspicious of Jasmine and rightly so, for secrets lie just beneath the surface of the woman's quick smiles.
When Claire realizes that Derek's feelings for Jasmine are much more than friendly, she decides to leave him and seek a divorce. But Derek vows to stop her--no matter what it takes--because he and Jasmine are enmeshed in a nefarious scheme that depends on Claire for its success and their survival. If she leaves, someone will die.
As she fights for her freedom, Claire is befriended by Zach Argos, a successful artist with deep secrets of his own, who mitigates the sins of his past by rescuing homeless children and housing them in the Village, a cluster of cabins in the woods. Zach is a hero to die for--a dark and brooding man with a kind and generous heart. (He's also gorgeous, in case you wondered.) The undeniable attraction between Claire and Zach culminates in steamy sex almost hot enough to melt my Kindle!
But their newfound happiness is soon threatened by criminals as the plot twists and turns through a labyrinth of lies, greed and breathtaking suspense, leading to . . .
I'm going no further. Don't miss this compelling story of love's power to heal . . . to survive . . . to flourish despite overwhelming odds. With memorable settings in Perth, Australia, where the Swan River meets the southwest coast, this beautifully written novel richly deserves five breathtaking stars! Kudos to the author and her entire team.
Goodness I really don't know where to start about my feelings for this book. They are all over the place, I feel sorrow, rage, happiness, love ...so many emotions!!! Claire bless her heart, there were times I wanted to reach into the book and slap her but then I would remember her life before now. Then I wanted to reach in and strangle her stupid a!! husband. THENNNNNN I wanted to reach in and grab Zach and hug the hell out of him!! Everyone needs a Zach in their life one way or another. There were so many times that I spoke out loud at home and my husband thought I was crazy lol!!! This was my first read by Athena and it was freaking great!! Great job!!!!!
Athena Daniels is a new to me author and I can honestly say my new favorite! I came across this book recommendation in a FB group and immediately went to Amazon to purchase. This author weaves a story like no other. I became pulled in just from the blurb alone. I loved the world she created. I loved Zach and Claire. Their journey was one filled with pain, sorrow and happiness. I'm so glad I've found Ms. Daniels and look forward to reading more of her books! I highly recommend this book. Zach and Claire story is one you will remember long after the read!
I was hooked from the first page. This book is truly "unputdownable"! Of all of the books I've read, and there's been hundreds, this is in my top 5 favorites! Amazing author! I absolutely recommend this one!
I literally could not put this book down, every time I did I had to go back...It grabs your attention and won't let go. The characters are well done and boy is there a plot! I'm not giving any details as I think the reader deserves to discover the story on their own. Its worth the price and your time.