My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - over 5 days (in and out)
Pages - 386
Publisher - Atria books
Source - Mine was gifted by a friend & I bought a copy for BDWBs for workies
Blurb from Goodreads
Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up — she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
Split across two timelines, past and present we follow Lily and relationships, as a child and witnessing her parents abusive relationship. Her first encounter with a boy and the friendship they share to present day where a chance meeting brings her to Ryle. Sexy, smart, a doctor who is very upfront he doesn't do relationships but is very attracted to her. We flip back and forth between the two and domestic violence reaches across the ages for Lily to being an observer of what her mother endured to finding herself in the very path she judged her mother walking.
This book has received mixed reactions, some could identify and loved it, others feel it almost glorifies domestic violence (especially after the announcement of a colouring book to come) and I think you need to read it and make your own mind up.
The book is in part drawn from the authors own past and things she witnessed (discussed at the end of the book, well the one I had) and the characters she created to highlight and show how someone can become entrapped. Absolutely covers some very emotive/shocking and horrific scenes, domestic violence, loss, gaslighting, manipulation to name a few. I think for many it is difficult to fathom how you can grow up in/surrounded with violent relationships and then be in that yourself. The author pulls in lots of factors surrounding domestic violence, as a child and then as an adult so different view points. There is also sex scenes which has featured in the books I have read by this author, there is a scene, stethoscope I was totally mortified but whatever floats your boat, 3.5/5 for me this time. Whilst some aspects were done/highlight some important issues and absolutely will get audiences discussing domestic violence/abuse there were also parts, for me, just no! This is book one of two, I will be reading the second to see what is next for our characters.