Savannah ‘Vann’ Kelly knows the pain that love can bring, whether from family or a love lost. Being ripped from her home and forced to leave behind her boyfriend, has caused an ache she’s unsure will ever heal.
Five years later, Vann is back. While her day job is kept secret from most, the threat it poses throws her entire world off balance, putting her and those closest to her in danger.
Deke Sullivan’s life has been in a tailspin ever since his brother’s death. Everyone in his life has either betrayed or left him, making him who he is today. But behind his tough persona is still the man that craves the woman who left him all those years ago. One look into those blue-gray eyes sends his heart into overdrive, anger pulsating through him.
Can Deke move past the hurt? Will what became of Vann’s life after she left cause greater tragedy? Can first love prevail?
**Please note. This book is for mature audiences only. It contains very sexually explicit material, including a non-consensual sexual scene.**
Reclaiming the life that was taken from you as a child is never easy, but this is what Vann decided she must do. After completing college and becoming a successful author, Vann packs up her car and go home. She is returning to her two best friends, her Grandmother whom she adores and to Deke, the love of her life that she was forced to leave as a teenager. She had no idea what she was going to face once she got there, but she knew what she was running from in California. The pieces of her life that she knew she needed to put aside, along with a stalker who developed an attraction to Vann and her erotic books that she wrote.
On the outside Deke was a playboy, bar owner, former cop who demanded control over his environment and his emotions. On the inside he was a broken child still carrying the guilt of his brother’s death and a broken heart over Vann’s disappearance years ago. How does a hot man hide those feelings? He has meaningless sex with every woman who looks his way and shows the anger he has fed for years. Deke knows how to control his behavior most of the time, but when it comes to busting the man who gave his mother drugs that eventually killed her, he loses his battle with his control. He thought that was the only thing that could break him, until he looked across the crowd as he was on stage singing and saw her. Vann had come home.
As with her last book, this author is the queen of OMG shocking moments. She brings you not only into the story, but she twists and turns your heart and gut to the point you are left gasping for air. Vann has a stalker and she knows this, but she thinks she has hidden herself enough to be safe. The author shows us that not only is Vann mistaken, she is in dire danger and the scene that shows us who the stalker turns out to be is INTENSE. Heart racing, sweat producing, breath stealing intense. Once you have recovered you are then left with a broken heart because never in a million years would you of assumed that was the person out to hurt her.
Deke brought me to my knees as he had to decide if punishing her for leaving him was more important than loving and protecting her from the monster that lurked in the shadows. That was pretty emotional watching him have that internal debate, but there is a scene that Grandma sees the truth and makes him admit it. The author takes a simple key and builds a future around it and I found it endearing and brilliant.
I highly recommend this book, go get it and take the journey of Vann and Deke. The author left us with a lot of questions that I hope she will answer in the next book. You will find Vann as a strong woman who struggles with the need for independence and protection. She wants to reclaim what was taken from her yet she yearns for the love and forgiveness from those she was forced to leave behind. We watch her struggle with accepting the blame for the sins of her mother and the truth behind the shame of her father. Deke has to put his baggage aside and accept that Vann didn’t leave by her own will. The hurt and revenge that he has carried his whole life will have to be dealt with. Can he forgive Vann for things she had no control over, will he be able to see the truth and accept that she was a victim as well. Can he stop focusing on HIS own pain so he can see the pain Vann is dealing with? Wonderful book, this author is a rising star in my world.
About the author
:Ryan Michele is a mom and wife, who also works full time. Her biggest obsession (besides reading) is collecting paperbacks. When she needed an outlet and escape from feeling like “just a mom & wife,” she turned to writing. And while she never set out to become an author, it just sort of happened, and she couldn’t be more grateful for those who’ve read her books.