Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy: ARC Review


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.

A long time ago, when I was fifteen and a completely different person, I saved a girl’s life. I spent only a handful of hours with her, but somehow, we connected—and I’ve never been the same. No one understands what we went through. No one knows what it’s like to be us. We survived, yet I don’t feel like I’m really living—until now. Eight years later, I find her. I want to make her mine. I need to make her mine. But she’ll hate me forever when she finds out who I really am.

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About Monica Murphy:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series. She writes new adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson. A native Californian, she lives in the foothills below Yosemite.

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Review by Michelle:

Dark romance lovers have all read about the woman who gets abducted and then, more often than not, ends up either falling for her misunderstood captor, or better yet, her rescuer. Having read hundreds of dark romances, you could definitely say that I am a big fan of this genre, in theory. The tale of a man who kidnaps and rapes a twelve year old girl? That's a whole different story. Before you run away screaming with a bad case of the heebie jeebies, please know that Monica Murphy dealt with this sensitive subject in Never Tear Us Apart both tactfully and respectfully all while skillfully maintaining the intensely potent impact of the situation. And not to worry, that horrific perpetrator, he is in no way misunderstood or sympathized with, in fact he is depicted as the disgusting scumbag he is without fail or pity. As for the savior, that's where things get interesting.

Never Tear Us Apart is the tragic and emotional story of a woman who believes she is both broken and ruined by her trauma. A woman who considers herself worthless and undeserving of true love and true happiness. A woman who unwittingly finds her equally broken and discouraged counterpart in none other than the son of the man who captures and brutalizes her. It is also the hopeful and heartwarming story of a woman who discovers that if she lets her hero in, there is a very real possibility that they can each eventually triumph over their unspeakable pasts together and feel all of the love, comfort and fulfillment they never before thought possible.

One of my favorite things about this story is that Katie absolutely refuses to see herself as a victim and prefers to call herself a survivor. Yes, she did fall victim to a twisted and vicious man in her early years, but she survived. She made it through and ever since she carried on, she has moved forward, and she has kept surviving and there is so much to be said for the strength, determination, and healing that takes. An inspiration to us all, reminding us that if she can persevere, we can make it through anything we set our minds to as well.

An unconventional romance to say the least, this unique story is sweet and touching with an underlying layer of deceit and betrayal that will make you cheer and smile, groan in frustration, and fight the urge to slap someone. This story will keep you riveted as you put the pieces of Katie's past together and hang in nail-biting suspense waiting for that fateful moment of recognition or revelation. The interconnectedness of Katie and Will's lives after the ordeal and the marks that each make on the other over such a short, traumatic period of time is touching and surprisingly romantic. Unfortunately, after what seems to be an insurmountable betrayal, the odds are stacked against the two, despite their shared past, and one can only hope they are capable of honesty, forgiveness, and healing in the end.

From the moment I read the synopsis I knew Never Tear Us Apart was a must read for me. Once I started reading, I was hooked by the mystery, the way in which the story unfolds as we switch between the present and glimpses of the past from the perspective of both main characters, as well as the growth and evolution of each. A total rollercoaster, the beginning is absolutely heartbreaking and utterly disturbing, the middle is intense and sweet and beautiful to watch unfold, and the ending, well that was downright frustrating, with a cliffhanger that will knock the wind right out of you and leave you anxious for more. I wait with bated breath to find out whether Katie and Ethan can truly overcome in the conclusion.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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