Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago — James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely.
Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.
Sam Donavon has been James’ best friend — and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on — for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realizes James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact…
I pretty much knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book but I was in the mood for an angsty, dramatic story of forbidden love with dark vibes and I sure as hell got what I was looking for!
I gobbled this one up like it was my favorite chocolate – couldn’t savor it slowly, just had to cram it in, one delicious page after another.
I started out really liking James – he was Sarah’s savior in the house of hell but, by the end, I despised him even though he was a product of his environment and just as much a victim as she was.
Sarah was a very well written character. She has her scars, both internal and external and she had lived in her brother’s protective shadow her entire life. There were times when I desperately wanted her to stand up for herself yet I understood why she couldn’t.
The family situation was messed-up to the max. Seriously dysfunctional.
Sam is a babe – a total sweetheart and I completely shipped them. He was a little controlling/bossy at times too, but it was coming from a good place.
That ended killed me and I hated it but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this was an INCREDIBLE read. If you are looking for a traditional HEA you won’t get that here although it still ends on a positive note. While the scenes at the end had me on tenterhooks, and it was a credible scenario, it totally broke my heart. The epilogue was a bit rushed and hard to swallow – struggled to believe his mother would be that forgiving that quickly.
This is a powerful read, not for the faint of heart or for those who like a trad HEA, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to readers who enjoy dark, dramatic romance.