58-year-old Henry, a remorseful man who lives mainly in his head, has just been reunited with Tessa, the daughter of his estranged best friend. Tessa has just been abandoned in a strange city by the last man she was able to trust. Each essentially alone in the world, they forge an instant and seemingly unbreakable bond. But Henry must come to terms with an unforgivable mistake he made 15 years earlier; a secret shame that tore Tessa’s family apart. As the past begins to unfold, he struggles to confess before she discovers the truth for herself.
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Author Rachel Beam has cleverly crafted a mesmerizing tale filled with suspense as two lost souls navigate the years of devastation left from one man's selfish sexual hungers. Told from the view point of the two main characters, Tessa and Henry, this writer gives very realistic and believable insight into the long term affects of sexual abuse. One could question if a predator is born a predator or becomes one? Can the predator really be as much a victim of circumstance as the abused party undoubtedly was? Is the abuser really a predator when their obsession is truly singular to the one and only victim of their abuse or is it true love and only dirty because of age differences? It is said that a good book makes the reader feel. This book definitely accomplishes that but if you are looking for a warm fuzzy feeling, then this is not the book for you. If you enjoy a story that is filled with depth and layers of storyline, rich and elegantly written prose that flawlessly creates imagery in your mind and clearly defines the inner workings of the main character's minds, then be prepared to read this one cover to cover without being able to put it down.
This story could have been told many different ways but would have lacked suspense and mystery if it had been. As you get to know Henry and Tessa and then root for the chance encounter of two lost souls to fall into place, you feel that they needed to find each other, needed to rely upon the strengths of the other to help them each put heartbreak and misfortune behind them. As their encounter builds into a friendship and then develops into a sexy romance, you also begin to learn that chance may have actually brought them together once before. It's difficult to share with you how profound this book can be for you without spoiling the adventure of the read itself. You must learn who Henry is and what has happened to his marriage and why he finds himself drinking too much and living only in his head with too much pain, too much wanting and too much isolation. You have to meet Tessa and learn how she was abandoned far from home by a long time boyfriend and forced to survive on her own with nothing more than a few items of clothing and her beauty. Henry, historically introverted and easily controlled and manipulated by his spouse and friends because he is lackadaisical about life in general has a secret, something that haunts him, something that feeds and grows his obsession over 15 years time and pushes him further and deeper inside his own mind. Tessa, raised by an alcoholic mother that dies when she is a teenager, outcast by her father for a reason she never knew, confused and naïve about her sexuality, is haunted by nightmares she can't understand and has never felt like she belongs anywhere in particular, always lost and searching.
As the story lines merge you won't be able to really guess what is coming next and yet as each twist unfolds, it makes perfect sense and then more about one or the other is shared and more suspense keeps you turning the pages. I particularly enjoyed that the writing style was so elegant that I did not want to skim ahead to get answers more quickly but instead was thrilled by the beauty in the way the author crafted each and every line of the story. As a break out novel, this is an excellent indication of what to expect from this brilliant new author and I can't wait to read more from her.
~~~~~~~~~~~> Debra L Hartmann, professional editor, published author, book reviewer for the fun of it…. http://www.theprobookeditor.com and come have an AHA moment with us at http://authorshelpingauthors.wordpress.com