About the Book:
Renata is a determined woman: she’s left her abusive fiancé, Damien, moved back to her hometown, and is determined to be the writer she once was and that she’d promised her father she would be before he died. To accomplish this, she’s signed up for a writing conference out of town and gotten a new job at a local café with the friendly Fern, upbeat Caroline, and observant Chad, who welcome her into their friendship group.
Things become complicated, however, when Renata discovers that Chad returns her affection and they begin dating, even as she weaves in lies about her past. As their relationship develops, and she gets closer to finding the words that used to come so freely to her, Renata realizes she can’t continue to let Chad believe things that aren’t true, even if that means the end of their relationship. Despite her concerns, however, coming clean only creates a stronger bond between them.
But that bond will be tested when Damien returns unexpectedly, determined that Renata will leave Chad for him. Will Chad and Renata be able to weather the ways in which Damien’s appearance shakes the foundations of their life together? Or will echoes of Renata’s past irreparably damage their future?
I am grateful to NetGalley, Josha Publishing and author Katherine Turner for approving my request to read the eARC of this book.
Trigger warnings: physical and sexual violence in a domestic setting.
This is a story of survival, learning to love yourself and standing up for yourself. Renata has finally moved out of an abusive relationship and is determined to start over in the town where she grew up and has fond memories with her father. On her own, she is focused on trying to get back into the career she loved while finding a job to support herself. The people she meets along the way add to her journey of healing and provide an understanding and loving circle.
I fell in love with the characters, one by one, as they were introduced. This story is very character centric and the connections between the characters and their bonds drive this story forward. The story will take the reader on an emotional journey as we unravel everything Renata has dealt with, how the past is affecting her present, how she sees herself and how she works towards healing herself. Everything Renata has been through will resonate with the reader, but I believe that her journey after shows her strength and determination, proving that she is not a victim but a survivor.
This was indeed an emotional read for me, but I enjoyed every page and every moment spent with the characters. Caroline was a delight and I loved how she drew Renata out of her shell, supporting her but being quite candid in her opinions and advice. The best part of this story is the bond among the characters and the found family that Renata gains as a result. This is the best support she has and it helps to build her back up. Her second chance at love also adds to the story and is pivotal to helping her find herself. Chad is a wonderful character and indeed someone we would love to read about.
The style of writing ensures that the reader is hooked and invested in Renata’s journey. There is also a lot to learn from this journey and some messages for the reader that are delivered in a simple manner through the character interactions and journey. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and the way in which it was written and strongly recommend it to all who enjoy a good romance read!