Published by Bantam on January 5th 2016
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Perfect for readers of Colleen Hoover, Jay Crownover, and K. A. Tucker, the first novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy kicks off an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love. Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I’m a fifteen-year-old again—the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She’s grown-up now—beautiful, quiet, composed—and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for. I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she’s safe. Somehow we reconnect. We become friends . . . but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone. So, yeah, I’m stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she’ll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer. My father.
Advance praise for Never Tear Us Apart “All the best parts of romance and betrayal . . . I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”—New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover
“A powerful story that left me raw yet hopeful.”—USA Today bestselling author K. A. Tucker
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Wow! What an emotional, beautiful, devastating and fascinating book. I truly loved this book, once I started I was so fascinated by it, I couldn’t put it down. This book is truly remarkable. Before I start talking about it I have to say 2 things: 1) this is book 1 of 2, the book ends in a cliffhanger so it’s not a finished story and 2) this book is not for everyone, the book deals with a very heavy subject matter and it actually starts with a huge disclaimer from the author, if abuse stories are a huge trigger for you, then please avoid this book, even though Monica Murphy has done an amazing job at tackling this subject.
This is Katie and Will’s story and Katherine and Ethan’s story. They are the same people at different stages of their lives. Katherine (Katie) Watts was kidnapped at 12 (almost 13) and was held captive for a few days by a horrible man that did horrible things to her (think Elizabeth Smart/Jaycee Dugard/Michelle Knight type of story). Katherine’s death was imminent until she was rescued by Will. Will risked everything to save Katie. The thing is, the captor is Will’s father, still, Will did not hesitate in doing the right thing. Will was equally damaged by all the abuse he had endured from his father, so as children/teenagers, Katie and Will felt a really strong connection since they could identify with each other’s situation and the abuse they both endured at the hands of the same monster. Katie calls Will her hero and Will believes it is her duty to protect her.
Now 8 years have passed and Katie, who now goes by Katherine has decided to come out of the shadows and tell her story, this prompts Will, who now goes by Ethan to seek her out because he still feels a really strong connection with her. Except that when they find each other again, they are both holding back and full of secrets. Will befriends her as Ethan and Katie is holding back her true identity for fear of driving Ethan away. One fascinating aspect of the story is the reality that once innocence is lost, someone’s life is changed forever. In a way Katie’s life stopped when she was 12 and now she’s desperately trying to just…live. Ethan has the same struggles as his innocence was also robbed from him.
“Once innocence is lost, you can never get it back. That’s my problem. I lost my innocence at the age of twelve, far too early. And the man who stole it from me will haunt me forever.”
The relationship between them as adults develops slow, but at an appropriate pace given what they’ve been through. It’s like everything is so new to them and they’re learning to love life and be happy for once. I definitely loved that.
“We’re going to share a drink, which means my lips are going to rest on the spot where his lips just were. Which is the stupidest thought ever, because right now I sound like a thirteen-year-old girl with a massive crush. It’s just that I’ve never done this sort of thing before and it makes me feel giddy and stupid, and I … I love it.” ~Katherine
“This entire night has been like a teenage date straight out of a cheesy movie, nothing I ever experienced the entire time I was in high school.” ~Ethan
Both of these main characters are amazing, they will both make you feel, you will equally love both. Reading the book you have no doubt that these two people are just meant to be together even if they don’t realize it.
“That’s the theme in regards to Katie, though. I flat-out don’t think. I feel. I want. I hurt. I need.” ~Ethan
“I feel free. Like I’ve finally come over the other side of the mountain and survived. This is what life can be like with Ethan. The two of us together. Happy. Complete.” ~Katherine
The way the story is told goes back and forth between both main characters in the present and also flashbacks of what happened in the past. This includes detailed descriptions of the kidnapping and the aftermath and how this whole event changed so many people’s lives. I think this format worked perfectly for this book. Not going to lie, some parts are difficult to read because of the abuse this poor girl had to endure and especially those chapters dealing with the kidnapping. However, the author is not gratuitous about it, everything has a purpose, and everything is done in a very classy way. I loved that.
So, to say I loved this book is an understatement. This is my first Monica Murphy story and it definitely won’t be my last, she got me with this one. I hate that there’s a cliffhanger but can’t wait to read the conclusion. I truly recommend this story if you’re looking to read something different and out of the box.
**An ARC was provided by WordSmith Publicity and the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**