Leah Campbell is an unhappily married bookstore clerk held prisoner by her past. Trafficked as a child, Leah was rescued but now must confront her abusers in order to salvage her future. Abusers that now include her husband, John.
Her life changes forever when successful Author Adrian Scott steps into the picture with a tiny doppelganger. Adrian hooks up with her best friend, Natalie, and that’s when things start to go very wrong, and also very right. Will the boisterous bestie play cupid or keep Adrian all to herself?
Not for the faint of heart, this story is captivating, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and emotionally riveting. From the first chapter, I was both sympathetic with and rooting for Leah, and equally annoyed and frustrated with the other characters around her. Having been through abuse in my past, as well as being more than familiar with abuse for others whether that be through friends or other real-life stories, this book was not easy for me to read in some places. However, my deep and strong desire to see it end well for Leah kept me going, my heart lurching, hoping for her happy ending.
Through the story, I found Leah to be a very well developed character all the way from her having to learn to take a stand for herself and recognize her own position to standing up and fighting her demons both inside and outside. The time-frame for it to happen was semi-realistic and over that time her development was logical and necessary. Leah has a lot of trauma to overcome and goes through some downright terrible experiences. But ultimately, she proves to be a strong woman.
At the same time, I found Adrian to be both perfect and incredibly infuriating. Without giving away spoilers, I entirely disagreed in full on mental protest with some of his later decisions, though in his defense, I could understand his reasons and empathize with him as well.
As for Natalie, I absolutely loved her. She was fun, charismatic, believable, and ultimately the perfect support for Leah. She proved to be Leah’s one true best friend, always looking out for her best interests and loving her unconditionally through thick and thin time and again to the very end. Natalie is the kind of character you respect, laugh about, and secretly root for even if her happy ending isn’t necessarily what might be expected. Everyone needs a friend like Natalie, and for those who’ve experienced just such a friend, she was even more loveable.
Overall the story had an excellent plotline and was well-paced and developed. Albeit some of my discomfort, the characters were realistic and believable, and I enjoyed it. I give it 4.5* due to some minor writing errors.
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