Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.
A man in need of help . . .
Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there's an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.
Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .
Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.
GENRE: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
RATING: ★★★☆☆/ 3.5 Stars!
REVIEW: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
People, I was hooked on this book from the beginning. I had a couple late nights where I just read and read because I didn’t want to break the perfect rhythm of the story. It should probably be noted that I have a fondness for heroines who are or started out as strippers. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the “Pretty Woman” effect (not that this story is anything like Pretty Woman, but I think you get the comparison I’m making), or perhaps it’s that most other romances have a hapless, naïve, ridiculously innocent heroine, so strippers make for a nice change. Whatever it is, I was completely on board with the Crystal/Ellie, and the plotline to follow.
This was my first Mia Sheridan and it’s everything I look for in a romance book. Damaged characters and secretive and shady pasts. Drama and ridiculous situations by which our leads are forced together. Instant attraction but resisting the inevitable. Sure it’s semi-predictable in the same way that all chick-lit romances are but it’s still damned addicting and well written! It’s exactly the type of romance that you want to read over and over again just for fun.
The story’s claim on me started to wane towards the end, though that’s mostly due to my own preferences. I love the drama of a good romance but this one started to turn sappy at the end and that just isn’t for me. I can’t stand if it gets too sappy and sweet… like I said, just my own preferences, but that caused the .5 star mark-down. If you don’t mind an influx of sugary words then bump that back up to 4 stars.
Overall I’m excited to have discovered a new-to-me author. I’ll definitely be looking into more of Mia Sheridan’s books!