REVIEW – TORTURED by Nicole Williams

SYNOPSIS

When he left for a twelve-month deployment, she knew it would feel like forever before they saw each other again. She didn’t realize how right she was.

When Lance Corporal Brecken Connolly gets taken as a POW, Camryn hopes for the best but steels herself for the worst. In the end, steel was what she needed to survive when he didn’t. She moves on the only way she knows how—gilding herself in more steel.

Years go by.
She builds a new life.
She leaves the old one behind.

Until one day, she sees the face of a ghost on the news. Brecken seems to have risen from the dead, but she knows she can’t perform the same miracle for herself. While Brecken was held in a torture camp for the past five years, she’s been trapped in her own kind of prison. One she can’t be saved from.

The man she mourned comes back to join the living, but the girl he wanted to spend his life with isn’t the same woman he comes back for. Brecken isn’t the same person either. The past five years have changed them both. While he’s determined to put the pieces back together, she’s resolved to let hers rot where they shattered.

Broken or not, Brecken wants her back. He’ll do anything to achieve that. Even if it means going against the warden of Camryn’s personal prison—her husband.

*****Patty’s Review*****
*****4.5 STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

”When I look at you, I see beauty and strength, and the one person in the world who gives me a reason to live and a reason to die.”

TORTURED is not an easy story to read, I mean the title speaks for itself. This story is utterly heartbreaking and painful at times, but even with the dark subject matter, I was hopeful that the main characters would get their well-deserved HEA. There is an element of cheating but given how horrible the husband is, I doubt anyone who has issues with cheating will really be bothered by it in this book. This is also a tale of second chance love and that’s just about one of my favorite tropes.

Camryn Gardner and Brecken Connolly grew up in the same neighborhood and have been the best of friends since their early childhood. In High School, they became romantically involved and were each other’s first love. They both come from broken homes, but Camryn had an especially rough family life. Her father was extremely strict and was both mentally and physically abusive. At the end of his senior year of high school, Brecken enlists in the Marine Corp., and he’s being shipped off to Iraq. He has reservations about leaving Camryn behind because of her abusive father but he’s planning for their future together and believes he is doing what’s best for them. He promises that he’ll only be gone for a year and then they’ll be together again. Unfortunately, Camryn’s worst nightmare becomes reality and Brecken is captured and later pronounced dead.

The story fast forwards six years and we find out that Camryn has married another man, who also grew up in the same neighborhood, and was considered a good friend. But Crew is anything but a good man. Camryn ended up moving from one nightmare with her father into an even worse one when she married Crew. He is an alcoholic who physically abuses her, but to protect the five-year-old son they have together, she stays in this abusive relationship.

Camryn’s world is turned upside down when news gets out that Brecken is alive and he is coming home. He had been held captive in Iraq for the past six years and the torture that he endured is pretty terrible and hard to stomach. What Brecken went through would break any normal human being, but what kept him going was his dream of seeing Camryn again. The moment he finally sees Camryn again and realizes that she is married nearly broke my heart into pieces.

The two are able to spend time together when Camryn’s husband checks himself into rehab after nearly beating her to death. The six years that separated them seemed to just melt away once they’re able to be together and it’s clear that the love they shared is even stronger than it was when they were teenagers. But Camryn makes it clear that their time together has an expiration date. Once her husband comes home, she will be going back to him for the sake of her son.

This story grabbed a hold of me from the beginning and I found it hard to put down, but there was one piece of the plot that I predicted early on and it ended up becoming a pain point for me in the end. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the choices the heroine made. This would have been a five star read if it weren’t for that tiny flaw in the plot. Otherwise, I still would highly recommend this book!

TORTURED is currently available!

Amazon – hyperurl.co/81w8eh
iBooks – http://hyperurl.co/buhp0z

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