Monday, February 29, 2016

Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy

Perfect for readers of Colleen Hoover, Jay Crownover, and K.A. Tucker, the first novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy kicks off an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.

Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I'm a fifteen-year-old again--the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She's grown-up now--beautiful, quiet, composed--and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for.

I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she's safe.

Somehow we reconnect. We become friends...but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone.

So, yeah, I'm stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she'll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer.

My father.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Blurb was strangely compelling but the actual story didn't really grab me to be honest. Author even states that she is writing out of category for herself, but all I saw was there was no way this relationship could survive without major problems. Katie survived a horrific kidnapping and rape only to have feelings for the son of the man who kept her. Sounds plausible...but a few minor secrets, which turn into huge problems after they come out. As always, some reporter is always looking for a story and we must always make movies based on someone's pain and suffering. This was a train wreck book. Even going in you knew this was going to go to hell fast, but I still plugged away at it hoping for a different ending minus a cliffhanger. My entertainment was three and a half stars, and I would still read book two. This author is pretty much hit or miss with me but I find myself on the fence with this one.

Not having reread the blurb before starting this book kind of left me reeling as I really wasn’t expecting the story I delved into. I read one of Murphy’s books a few years ago, so I suppose I was relying on that experience and the new adult genre as a vague guide of what to expect. While the author’s writing has only gotten stronger since then, Never Tear Us Apart wasn’t what I was expecting when I began reading, but I’m actually glad I didn’t reread the blurb because it gave me the opportunity to experience Katie and Ethan’s story without any expectations – except knowing that it is the first book in a two-book series (at least I think it’s only two).

By opening the book with Katherine preparing for her first ever interview to discuss what happened to her eight years ago, Murphy hooked me completely because she does such a good job of making Katherine real. The way the book jumps from the past to the present is seamless. I would have expected the way the past jumps around – with it not being told in the sequential order of events – would have made it difficult to keep up with, but it wasn’t. Because parts of the story are told from Katherine/Katie’s point of view, and parts are told from Ethan/Will’s point of view, trips to the past are recollections of events that are typically triggered by something in the present. So even though the past is presented out of order, it’s done within the context of present events and this helped me prepare for some of the revelations better. Getting both characters’ points of view helps immensely because even though you know Ethan’s secret will eventually come out and it won’t end well, it’s hard to fault him for it. While his intentions might not be pure, they don’t come from a bad place and the more time he spends with Katherine, falling for her, caring for her, and wanting to protect her, it’s abundantly clear that his fear of losing her makes it that much harder for him to tell Katherine who he is. Now with this kind of storyline and knowing it’s book one, it wasn’t difficult to see that Katherine would eventually discover who Ethan was, but I really wasn’t expecting it to play out the way it did.

While Never Tear Us Apart certainly deals with some dark subject matter, Murphy doesn’t force the reader to relive it in detail through Katie’s memories. We know what happened because of the bruises, because of the details Katie can admit to (i.e., being slapped), by what her memory shies away from, and because of the conviction. This doesn’t mean that if you are sensitive to the subject matter that you won’t be affected because you don’t have to read the details. In fact, I suspect it will be quite the opposite because not knowing the details of Katie’s abduction leaves the reader’s imagination to fill them in and that coupled with how effectively Katherine’s emotions come across the page means that it may be even more of a trigger for some readers. Never Tear Us Apart was a thoroughly engrossing read for me and even knowing that it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, I still wasn’t prepared for it. I cannot wait to start Never Let You Go and am beyond relieved that I don’t have to wait for its release – just until I can find a “free” day in my review schedule (and that’s actually laughable).

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author MONICA MURPHY is a native Californian who lives in the foothills of Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes new adult contemporary romance and is the author of the One Week Girlfriend series and the tie-in novella, Drew + Fable Forever, the Fowler Sisters series, and the Katie + Will duet (series name TK?).

Connect with Monica

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Never Tear Us Apart (Never Tear Us Apart #1) by Monica Murphy to read and review.

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