Holy cow! What a spectacular book this was! Gripping and unexpected, this story literally took my breath away, and I not only found myself reading until dawn, but also incapable of moving on and picking up another book for days to come. Within an exhilarating scenario that is as unique as it is astounding, I never expected to find so many surprises, so many twists and turns at every corner, and I felt like I was on a joyride of a lifetime. But fear not because I will not spoil any of it for you, as each small discovery, each staggering revelation, each ‘sucker punch’ in the story has made this one of the most riveting, compelling, and truly unforgettable reads of my life. Not to mention, one of the most divinely written ones too.
“This was a murder-turned-into-abduction. This was a screwed-up moment of weakness. This was a personal, targeted attack against my father.”
There is no slow introduction into the storyline, no gradual easing into it for the reader—the story takes off ‘mid race’, as we find the heroine with a gun pointed at her head, abducted and facing death at the hands of a man she doesn’t know. Skye Sedgewick has lived a privileged life since birth, her only living parent showering her with love and attention, and never making her want for anything. And yet, at the mercy of her captor, powerless and facing imminent death, her mind draws comfort from recalling a time when she was just a child, when the sound of her nanny’s lullaby could erase all hurts, when her childhood best friend’s intrepid heart made her feel safe and protected, and when all it took to put a smile on her face was a pink-frosted cake and a paper giraffe. But even those happy memories do little to dissolve the utter gloom of her reality—held hostage on a boat by a man who shows her no compassion or empathy, whose mind games and bouts of cruelty slowly strip her of all hope and dignity, while they sail towards an unknown destination and an uncertain fate for Skye.
“I felt like all the bits that held me together were slowly coming unglued, falling off, piece by piece. I was disappearing, disintegrating like the rocks that get eaten by the sea.”
But as their journey continues, an unexpected attachment forms between captor and captive, and the more Skye’s childhood memories keep returning and offsetting her harsh reality, the more of the truth behind her abduction is revealed. Until the past and the present suddenly collide and our heroine and her captor, Damian, find themselves torn between what has been and all that their hearts tell them should be.
“There are no good guys or bad guys. Everyone has a reason.”
And that is when this story takes off on an unforeseen adventure of soul-searching, friendship, redemption and survival, an adventure where love is the ultimate prize and the past is the bitterest foe. As Skye and Damian succumb to their feelings, recognising a love that was written in the stars for them, they soon realise that that very love is the only thing holding vengeance back by a thread, a thread that can snap at any moment, and take it all away from them in one sweep.
“… there is no space too dark or too vast or too irredeemable that can’t be filled with love.”
There is so much more I could tell you about this story as I find myself here bursting to talk about it, but I have to remain vague so that you can discover and truly appreciate every facet of this beautiful tale the same way as I did—slowly and without warning. I will tell you, though, that no amount of imagination could have prepared me for any jaw-dropping moment of this passionate, thrilling, at times even gritty story of two people who have come full circle in life, only to find themselves torn between all they have gained and all they have lost.
“You can either choose love or you can choose hate, because where one lives, the other will die.”
I feel no amount of praise will ever do a book of this calibre justice. With its exquisite prose, almost poetic at times, the phenomenally framed characters, vulnerable and strong at the same time, the passionate, turbulent love story that pulls on every one of our heartstrings like a fine concerto, the richness of a storyline that is never predictable and consistently enthralling, this is a book I wish I could make everyone read. Because books like these are few and far between, and are nothing less than life-changing.
“It’s not over, you know, it never has been … you will always be my forever.”