Twelve years ago, Jolene’s adoptive mother died. Twelve years ago, a man showed up at Jolene’s door and promised to take care of her. Twelve years ago, Jolene was happy. Then it all changed…
Jolene Bergio has spent the last twelve years of her life asking one question… Why? Why was she left in the custody of a man who would sell her each and every night to the highest bidder? After a few years, she shut off, giving up hope that anyone would ever find her. Until her luck changed one night and she escaped.
Twelve years later, she finally feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time… Free.
Scared that her past will find her unexpectedly, she hides away in a rented beach house, trying to distance herself from everyone… Until Dr. Cameron Bowen enters her world and slowly tears down the walls that she has built up over the past twelve years of her captivity. Jolene begins to learn to love again.
And trust again.
But when a man from Jolene’s past emerges, will she be able to keep her identity hidden? When lies are told and hearts are broken, will the truth surface in time to bring Jolene back from the shadows that threaten to expose who she really is?
No star rating. DNF @ 22%. This was another author who was going to be at an author event I’m planning on attending, so I wanted to read her book before then. I have a bunch of these, so I was rereading some reviews on Goodreads to try to decide what to read next (especially since I haven’t been having great luck with new authors lately). I ended up finding some negative reviews that left me feeling somewhat dismayed and wary…and unfortunately I ended up agreeing with their initial observations, and even had my own set of things that went wrong for me in this book (and led to me DNFing it).
So right from the first few pages I found the switching of POVs to be haphazard and without a clear indication. Usually I read books from 1 or 2 POVs (since I read a lot of romance, it’s the hero and heroine in most cases — sometimes with one or two other characters jumping in). In the first 3 pages I think I read 4 different POVs, and there was no extra space when changing POVs, so all of a sudden it was just someone else. We had the heroine, then the housekeeper, then the security guy, then back to the housekeeper, then the boss guy, then the housekeeper’s husband…. It was very muddled and I was not a fan of this style of writing. It takes me out of the story.
Then there were the main characters themselves — the way they were portrayed felt very flat and shallow to me, and their emotions were beyond volatile. I guess I just like a bit more depth and nuance…. Jolene in particular wasn’t very likable, and I just never really got behind her actions.
And then we get to the complaints that other folks have — Jolene spends a LOT of time talking about how she can’t tell anyone her name (which is totally understandable), but instead of making up a new identity or something, she just refuses and refuses (making everyone suspicious) and then like later that day she’s told 2 people, and confessed her whole story to another woman. Um what? That didn’t sit right with me. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t repeated OVER AND OVER how she couldn’t tell anyone her name…to have her just trust people so quickly just felt unrealistic. She’s also really enthralled with Cam’s silver eyes already, it just feels like everything was moving at a really rapid pace.
I was mildly curious about what would happen plotwise, but the characters and writing style bugged me enough that I figured it wasn’t worth my time, especially with the ginormous number of other books I have on my TBR pile.