Contains graphic language, scenes of rape & bodily violence.
Storyline: Brook, a Denver socialite, seems to have a good life until she becomes the victim of a botched carjacking. In a matter of minutes, her life is forever altered. She is abducted, transported, and held for days by three brutal men in a remote mountain location. She escapes only to end up barefoot, nearly naked, and hopelessly lost in the Colorado wilderness at the beginning of a harsh winter.
Lance, a man who has shunned society, lives like a recluse in a rustic cabin far removed from the modern world. He likes his solitary life. But his world is about to be turned upside down.
“It began to feel as if she were sleepwalking. Shadows darted here and there in the trees at the periphery of her vision, but when she turned her head to look, she saw nothing. Faint music reached her ears, like a radio playing far off. A chorus sang in perfect harmony. Angels, Brook decided with a weary smile. She strained toward the sweet voices, but each time she concentrated on the sound, it faded. I’m dreaming, but I’m awake. With dull surprise, she became aware that she no longer felt the cold. Groggy as she was, she still knew it wasn’t a good sign. I won’t sleep. I won’t sleep. Head hanging, Brook pushed herself forward, one difficult step after another.”
The story is compelling, powerful and yes, a bit cheesy and candy sweet towards the end. It reminded me a bit of Zola by Danielle Steel where after each cruel ordeal the main heroine rises stronger and ready to tackle a new day. Bruised and scarred perhaps, but never broken. It perfectly shows the resilience of human mind and body and how much time and effort it takes to mend it.
The narrative has a nice flow, but in places it could have loose some of its cheesiness. I found that exclamations like “Oh, Brook!”/”Oh, Lance!” to be slightly outdated and, when used in abundance, distracting and irritating as well. Lance is not a strong character and a lot of those exclamations come from him. It is clear that Brook is the more dominant of the two, much more the ‘survivor’ type though not by choice. I have to admit that I was not particularly fond of her to begin with but her defiance and will to survive slowly grew on me. I also enjoyed the fact that for once the man is not the strongest person in the book. He is capable and knows his DYI but inside he is a bit of a softie.
The first part of the book contain horrific scenes of Brook’s captivity. Please believe me when I say – it is NOT for the faint-hearted. The scenes are gruesome, Brook captors are vile, brutal and unforgiving. I have barely managed to read it through.The villains are stereotypical, but I would not say that in any way it diminishes the gruesomeness of that part. The Reader cannot help but to feel Brook’s torment and her suffering. Until the very last minute I thought that like in those fairy tales of knights on white horses she will be spared. You could argue that the fact that she finds Lance’s secluded hut is a stroke of luck, but at this stage of the story I was so overwhelmed with the misery of Brook’s predicament that I wished for all the luck, fate and magic in the world to give both of us a bit of peace and quiet. I believe that it was a good idea that the Authors diversified the narrative between Brook’s captivity, her commiseration of her earlier, happier life and Lance’s quiet existence in the middle of the woods. It provided a repast and allowed me to go on.
As much as the scenes of Brook’s captivity are vivid and detailed, her romantic encounters with Lance are very mundane, fuzzy and definitely lacking in erotic atmosphere that any Erotica reader would expect. But in all fairness, I believe that having explicit sexual scenes after all of Brook’s horrific experiences would feel artificial and wrong. I welcomed that second half of the book. It was filled with hope that there is some goodness in this world. Two scarred people finding love again. Beautiful.