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Free on 3rd Dec 23
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When Hanna discovers a clue suggesting that her husband Jack is having an affair, she doesn’t know whether she should end the marriage or try to save it. Little does she know that her discovery is going to drastically change everything.

Will her future be as violent as the encounters between the man who wants to possess her and the man who wants to love her? What level of mental anguish and physical damage must be endured before she can reach the life and love she desperately seeks?

This is a riveting short story of suspense and romance by Madison Barlow, author of the novels Sparring Partner and Deception Hotel.

Free on 3rd Dec 23
View on Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

"A romantic thriller blurring the lines between love and hate."

Reviewer: .


Recovering from the trauma of a miscarriage, Hanna does her best to maintain her marriage to Jack. However, a chance accident shows her that her husband is cheating on her. When she confronts him, he lashes out violently and then storms out. She waits for him to return and when he does, they talk but nothing is resolved. At this point, Hanna tries to escape in the middle of the night, and only succeeds when her brother Liam is there to rescue her from Jack's assault. To get away, she returns to her old boyfriend Logan, who is understanding of the situation and gives her a place to stay. But as Hanna and Logan begin to re-kindle their relationship and understand why they drifted apart, Jack has found them and he is not prepared to let Hanna go. Having spent the night waiting, Jack makes his move, beating Logan into unconsciousness and kidnapping Hanna. When he awakes, Logan realises he has to rescue Hanna from Jack's brutal grip.

This is definitely not a romance in the usual sense, far more a suspenseful thriller as the story unfolds following Hanna as she tries to escape from her husband who has suddenly turned violent. The story is well written, and although short, sits a lot into the few days that it is set over and the changing circumstances in which the characters find themselves. Despite being rescued several times, Hanna is still trying to make her own way, even though she is up against someone far more vicious and brutal than she is. I was a bit disappointed by Jack, who has white-outs when he becomes violent towards Hanna which means he does not fully remember his actions. This feels like a missed opportunity for a truly vile antagonist, especially as he appears to have no compunctions in his violence towards other male characters, so I don't understand why he has a get-out in his violence towards women. The writing works well in keeping the tension rising and falling from scene to scene and with each lull comes the next twist to follow. The scenes given enough detail to move the plot on or set things up without over-dramatising the story and it does becomes into a page-turner the longer it goes on. Although the story is fairly obvious in what may happen, the journey it goes on is well worth it.

Other than that, the formatting of the story could be improved. There are several changes of views between the characters and it sometimes marked clearly and sometimes not. It could, perhaps, have been broken down into short chapters to split the sections out, but it does still work as a single piece. Also one the links of the table of contents is incorrect, so when selecting the story, it take you to before the contents you are selecting from. I didn't notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I was going through the book and the cover image is suitably appropriate.

Overall, it's well worth a coffee time read, more a thriller than romance, but with a strong, unforgiving, story.



Rating: 3



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