Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on June 24, 2017
Source: Kindle Unlimited
A love against all odds that endures from the first horrible meeting to the end of a lifetime. A love story between two broken people intertwined by life and fate. Saving each other wasn’t the plan, but sometimes we don’t get to choose how we are saved.
The story opens up with a dramatic rescue of Holly, a 16-year-old trapped underground with her mute puppy. Kidnapped at age five, Holly has endured Hell, but three things saved her. The books in her backpack of fairytales, a mute dog that was her only friend, and Tyler, the man who rescued her and became her prince.
“Everyone knows there can only be one Prince, and I’ve already found mine.”
Holly is sent away to a facility to help her deal with the trauma of her captivity while also helping her move back into society. Her mother and father seem embarrassed by her and angry. Her brother is the one shining light. He visits along with his girlfriend and includes her in everything he can. Through it all, Holly still wonders where her prince is. The one who saved her. Over time, Holly finds her new normal but still feeling like she lives on the outside of society.
“In many ways, Holly walked herself right into the arms of another, much less dangerous, predator.”
Tyler has given up on society. Once he was a star headed to college and a way out of this town. Then a tragic accident finds him burns up his body, face disfigured. Spiraling into drugs and alcohol, he has a wreck on the night he argues with his father who dies suddenly from a heart attack. With glass almost severing his jugular, Tyler has no voice. He retreats to a run-down cabin in the woods to retreat from the living.
When he finds Holly trapped in the ground, he can barely croak out words to her, but killing the man who had kidnapped her didn’t seem wrong. Even if he had to go through being arrested, finding her dog and her parents throwing money in his face and telling him to get lost, and basically retreating more into himself. He is not a prince.
“In Tyler’s eyes, I see the man behind the scars and the mask. The man he was before life tore him apart and drove him to hide in the woods. Before some tragedy made him a man who could strangle someone to death. Just like me, there’s a person hiding in there who had their very soul stolen from them, and I see him, trying to let me in. I see him trying to get out.
The story is heartbreaking as you watch Holly go from a little girl rescued to one who is trying to go back to a life she should have had. Her mother is so cold that it left me wondering why she had children. To survive, her mother basically had to believe Holly was dead and now that that isn’t real, the mother seems embarrassed and unable to love Holly. Her father is angry and distant. I believe he loves her, but he is a man who can’t express it, and not being able to protect his child brings on self-guilt he just throws money at.
Holly eventually finds Tyler. I don’t want to say how because in a way is it magical and a work of fate. It isn’t an instant love match. He’s grumpy and anti-social. She’s sort of childlike with an old-world soul. Holly finds joy in small things we overlook and little by little chips away the ice surrounding Tyler’s heart.
“She’s everything. My past. My present. My future. My twin flame – the one who shares the path of my soul.”
Tyler is grumpy with good reason. People fear him for his appearance and his actions in saving Holly. Only going out at night and wearing a skull mask, Tyler only keeps his own company. Tyler has a group of siblings he has formed different relationships with. Toren, from Torn, sets up traps to capture stray animals that Tyler checks out. Another helped him fix up his cabin. His sister reveals a secret that I wasn’t expecting.
Slowly along with Holly, they meet and just sit in silence, or she talks while he grunts. They take walks. What drew her on the path to find him becomes a shared experience that delights a heart. The relationship grows naturally through their empathy and acceptance that they are broken but not unfixable.
“I have no idea what love is supposed to be like,but I can’t imagine it can be any better than what we have right here.”
This is a deep story that deals with a lot of traumatic horrors. While there are no detailed accounts of what happened to Holly, they are alluded to with details surrounding what happened. Her books are what saved her. What made her believe there were princes in the world that saved princesses. Without those books, I am not sure she could have survived. The horror of how her family treated her evoked deep emotions of hatred for them. Tyler just being quiet and letting her be her seems simple, but in the end, it was the best treatment. A soft blanket to nap, taking her to sit in the woods, or letting her help him with his projects. Accepting that she is damaged, but he is damaged as well. Just being. It was a beautiful love story of acceptance and tolerance with a side of sweet love.
Reading Challenge #169
Review Writing Challenge #68
Bad Boys of Romance #34
About the book
Tyler Grace was many things.
A killer. A myth. An outcast. A hero.
My childhood and innocence were stolen when I was kidnapped at five years old. For eleven years I clung to my childhood fairytale books, waiting for the prince I hoped would someday save me and carry me off to a happily ever after.
I had no idea my savior would come in the form of a scarred recluse, covered in tattoo’s, who can’t–or won’t–speak a word.
But the moment our eyes met I knew he was the one. My prince.
Tyler Grace is haunted by his tragic past and he’s sentenced himself to a lifetime of solitude in the woods. He’s as lost in society as I am; scarred just as much on the inside as the outside. Just like me.
He saved my life that day he found me and killed my captor with his bare hands. I was warned to stay away from him. But I can’t stop thinking about him. I ache to hear his voice and see him smile. And I want nothing more than to be the one to break through his walls.
I think he’s the only one who can break through mine, too.
Together we can have love, happiness, and a closeness that once felt impossible to have. But can we overcome the horrible twisted past that ties us together?
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