Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dark, Law Enforcement, Romance, Small Town Romance, Suspense
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Once, Christabelle Jayne defied death. Learning to live and love again is going to be so much harder.
After being abducted and vanishing without a trace, she was presumed dead. But Christie isn’t the kind of girl that goes down without a fight. When she crawls out of the forest almost two years later, bruised and bleeding, she is confronted by a world that seems to have moved on and left her behind.
Dean Hawking returned to Warfields after a terrible tragedy on the job shook his faith in humanity. The cop’s transfer home wasn't the cure-all he hoped for until the best thing about it, the girl he loved since high school, Christie Jayne, turns up alive.
Their worlds are thrust together again for the first time in years. Though still reeling from her ordeal, in Dean she finds a fathomless love that reminds her there are still beautiful things in the world. In Christie, he sees his chance at redemption…
Then Dean uncovers some startling information about Christie’s case, revealing that she might be in imminent danger, and their second chance at love will be put to the test when the full story of her escape is revealed. Can there be any coming back from what she’s had to do?
This book was seriously heartbreaking from beginning to end. I kind of knew it was going to be that way going in, especially because the book blurb tells you up front that Christie was kidnapped and years later she shows up crawling out of the woods. Let’s just say I was fully prepared for her to be all kinds of a mess. But honestly, it wasn’t just Christie who made the book heartbreaking, it was all the people in her life, how different things were for all of them. I mean they are all obviously so happy that she is alive and back, but there is a lot of mixed emotions going on in this book, and my heart broke for all the characters.
So at the beginning of the book Christie shows up after being kidnaped, and following her in the initial days and weeks after being back at home was just hard. Anyone would be damaged by what happened to her, so it was completely understandable that she has a lot of things to kind of get past when it comes to dealing with the events of what happened. But another thing that made it hard for her was seeing how much everyone had moved on, I mean life doesn’t stop, I get that, but the life Christie remembers is just gone, the man she loves is different, her friends are different, her family is different. They all had to deal with her kidnapping and that changed who they are as people, and then life went on, and I think that is hard for Christie. You can tell that she really wants to be better, to just live life, but for her one of the things that is hardest for her is how everyone kind of treats her a little differently.
Enter Dean, I think the reason why Dean is able to reach her so much is because he treats Christie completely normal, and he is so patient with her. I loved that he kind of uses his dog as an opening with her, just allowing her to open up at her own pace, never really pressuring her, but always being available. I could totally understand how Christie came to rely on Dean, he really gave her an outlet to just kind of be herself, and he totally helped her with her healing. That being said, I thought the romance aspect of their relationship came on a little fast. I get that they had a bond from a very highly stressful life event, but still the romance was too fast and the love aspect was way to fast for me.
There was kind of a mystery element to this book at well, trying to figure out what had happened to Christie. Was she still in danger? Who was the person who took her? I liked that who did it aspect of the book. I also thought the writing in the book was pretty good too, I liked how the author was able to shift from POV and from the past without it ever becoming confusing for the reader. I would definitely be willing to try out some of Emma South’s other works too.