Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
When the book begins, you immediately know that something horrible has happened, that a young couple met up with a psychotic killer when they went back-packing. Stacy Freeman lays in a hospital bed with a bassinet next to her holding her son, a son she refuses to look at or feed since it might be the child of the man who murdered her husband Cory. I am not giving away any spoiler because all of this is mentioned in the very beginning of the book but when the story goes back nine months when it all began I immediately knew I was going to be drawn into a nightmare.
Stacy and Cory loved back-packing and climbing and each other only due to the California fires their usual trails were wiped out so Cory found a new place, a new adventure and he convinced her that Kettle Rock was going to be perfect, after all he never steered her wrong before (famous last words). While climbing Stacy injured her foot and they went to the fire tower for help, help that never came and where Cory met his death at the hands of Brock Tillotson.
For five long days Stacy endured physical and mental torture while wanting to die one minute and wanting to live in case Cory was still alive. Memories of her time with Cory are all she has to hang on to while Brock does everything in his power to dehumanize her. Rape and beatings
were just the tip of the iceberg and I will not go into the details of what she suffered. I can honestly say that what she went through is not something easily overcome.
We watch as Stacy goes from being a victim wishing for death to a woman who realizes that she has to fight back because she knows that is exactly what Cory would have wanted her to do. As giving in to the abuse becomes easier the nurse in her realizes that there are ways to beat Brock, wear him down as he has worn her down.
This was a horrific story and told in Stacy’s words but it was also a story of survival and fighting back. The things done to her were beyond imagination and what makes it even scarier is the fact that things like that happen every time you open the newspaper. As I write this review we are in the middle of a Pandemic and the world seems to be going crazy but like Stacy I am looking ahead to better times.
A story of a woman who lost the love of her life, who wants more than anything to hold the little boy laying next to her bed but fears that he will carry the blood of the man who took the love of her life away and who would always be a constant reminder of what she suffered through.
This is definitely not a book for the weak of heart but it is a book for those who want to root for a survivor.