To say that River has hit a rough patch is putting it lightly. River has run away from her hometown, her family, and most of all, her memories. She gets by through working at a bar in a small town that she ran into during her escape. But she gets stuck in a vicious cycle of self-abuse. Until Ian walked in and changed everything.
Ian is only in this small town for a security job for a buddy. He’s called “Ghost” because you don’t see him but he sees you and everything you do. If you’ve got something to hide, he’ll find it. If you’ve got a security issue, he’ll fix it. What he doesn’t know is how to fix someone and their insecurity.
This book is full of emotion! It is a seesaw with the extreme sorrow, anger, and grief on the one end and joy, progress, and hope on the other. It does seem very apparent that the author did a lot of research on mental illness, cyber safety, and grief. I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy emotional highs and lows in a plot. I would also recommend this book for readers who enjoy swooning over a very protective and strong (yet sensitive) hero as we certainly get that with Ian.
The story alternates between River and Ian’s respective perspectives. I wish I could say differently but I honestly didn’t care for River. I didn’t like how she physically attacked Ian when she was angry, how she was quick to either have a violent outburst or run away. I also didn’t like how every situation got turned around to how she felt that no one thought about her. However, I will say that I do appreciate the author’s intention on focusing on mental health struggles people can have through developing a character like River.
Another negative that I had about the book was that there were some pieces that didn’t seem to fit right. The first piece that did not fit is River’s Harry Potter obsession. In the summary of the book it claims that she is a “self-professed Harry Potter addict” but it does not really come up until River, more than halfway into the book, is letting her guard down instead of combating her feelings for Ian. **Spoiler Alert** Then she and Ian have one conversation about the relationship of Snape and Lily at the end of one chapter and immediately afterwards the next chapter begins with River stating that she’s falling in love with Ian. Because of one conversation? It just kind of felt rushed and out of place, in my opinion**Spoiler Alert**.
The second piece that didn’t fit was that I found a lot of the character’s names to be confusing as they went from their last names to nicknames. I was not aware until after wards that this book references characters in Kelly Walker’s Chadwell Hearts series. This book is a standalone book that seems to be more of a bonus book to the series. However, maybe reading the other books in the series would have better prepared me to follow along with the sudden name changes. The most confusing was Ian’s. Towards the end it comes out that his name is not actually Ian, so she’s supposed to call him “Ghost” unless she’s mad at him. But she alternates from Ian to Ghost at random, regardless of her level of emotion, and so it got kind of confusing.
I would not recommend this book for those who may be triggered or sensitive to these topics: grief, mental illness, violence, sexually explicit scenarios, foul language, miscarriage, murder, child sex slavery, alcohol abuse, and suicidal thoughts.
Please note: An electronic copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.