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Synopsis

*100,000+ words*

Pain punished her.

The bottle numbed her.

Guilt kept her trapped.

In the dark alley of a pub, the words “Please don’t” take hold of her heart and break the silence she seeks. Thinking herself beyond redemption, she tentatively grabs on to the slim thread of hope that unfolds inside of her. 

Holding her secrets close, she can’t resist the comforting draw coming from The Skipper. The unconditional friendships it offers, the protective roof it provides, and the spark that its owner ignites in her—melting the frost off her heart, and slowly stripping away her resistance.

His life flows from one crisis to the next. Under the pressure of competition crowding him out of his family’s pub and the need to protect his children from the ruins of a bad marriage, he barely breathes. That is until a mane of strawberry-blonde hair and a set of big, pale blue eyes, shake him up.

He never expected the shadow of a woman he finds on the floor of his washroom to bring him the air―the balance and the light he’s been missing.

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  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    Emotional and heartbreaking

    This was probably one of the most emotional books I've read recently. Probably ever. The book is so heartbreaking that I had tears in my eyes for the bigger part of it. It simply shook me to the core. It is also somewhat different than the typical romance novels. Don't get me wrong, it is still intriguing and enchanting but the main characters will definitely surprise you. And especially Syd. The truth is that it is quite difficult for me to write this review because this story touched me really deep. Syd is not your normal romantic heroine. She is broken on so many levels that in the beginning I thought she could never heal. Her wounds and demons are a result from a horrific but tragic accident and being betrayed by the people who are supposed to stand beside her and help her heal. The people who instead of helping her overcome her guilt just blamed her that much more and nearly completely obliterated her as a person. That's what brings Syd to the moment when she meets Viv in the dark back alley of the pub and her life changes once more. But before she can find the peace she needs, she has to survive another traumatic experience. But this time Gunnar waits for her on the other side ready to protect her with everything he has. In him, Syd finally finds a shelter from the demons chasing her, finds hope for a better future, and a healing hand that can finally soothe the wounds in her heart. Gunnar is pretty much your typical alpha dominant male character. With his disheveled sald and pepper hair and glittering and sincere green eyes he is definitely a hottie. When you add to thathis protective streak and tender and loving personality (shown only to the people close to his heart), he is pretty much as close to perfect as you can get. But what makes him really irresistible in my eyes is the devotion and love he has for his children. In my opinion it is simply impossible not to fall for him. But after a pretty bad experience with his ex, Gunnar is definitely not looking for a new leading lady in his life. He is quite content with dedicating his life to his kids and his bar. Well, all those well laid plans go to hell the moment he meets the scared little slip of a woman with gorgeous copper hair and the biggest blue eyes he's ever seen. She calls to his protective side and no matter how much each one of them tries to fight the connection between them, they simply don't have a chance. Unfortunately, Syd and Gunnar have to go through quite a few hurdles before they finally find their peace and happiness. Their road is peppered with heartbreak, sometimes danger and pain, but they always find their safe haven in each other and manage to obliterate all the ugliness with their passion and love. This was an incredibly emotional and heartbreaking book. In my opinion it is one of the best I've read in a really long time. I definitely loved every single aspect of it: the story, the characters, the tenderness, the heartbreak, the love, the romance and the occasional laughter. It is written in such an incredible way that I can guarantee it will touch your heart and probably even shook you to your core. Simply a must read, if you ask me. So get your #oneclick finger working and pick up a copy. If you haven't read Freya Barker up till now, this book is the perfect one to introduce you to her writing. And If you've read The Cedar Tree series, than you know you are in for a masterpiece. Me personally, I am just thanking my lucky stars that I got introduced to her writing few months ago. It would've been a huge loss otherwise. And just as a P.S. in the end :D I am hoping that Freya Barker decides to write Viv's story. I think it will be another page turner :) This review was originally posted at Living In Our Own Story Book Blog. I received an ARC of the book in exchange of an honest review.

  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    One hell of a read

    Wow, this book is one intense read and well worth it. This is the first book that I have read by Freya and I am so glad I took a chance after reading the blurb. Be warned as this book will draw you in from the first page and take a hold of you and not let go until you have finished every last page. We meet Syd, who is a the lowest time of her life, living on the streets, with a cold shack to call home. In a chance meeting she meets someone that takes and chance on her and gives her a job at the Skipper a local pub only yards from the shack. Here Syd meets Gunner, a pure alpha male and we see things develop between them throughout the story. What we have here is a book where it tells a story of survival against all odds, of loss so severe that you will fall in to the depths of an abyss. But also a story of a woman who finds a new family and claws her way to happiness, even though at times she feels unworthy. A story of acceptance no matter what your past is. This is a heart-warming read, where at times you will be reaching for the tissues. A book that is truly a work of art, with a gripping storyline. If I was able to, I would give this read more than five stars. This is one read that I recommend to read 100% **** Received via Obsessed by Books ****

  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    will definitely leave you with a book hangover!!

    ARC provided via Netgalley Any book that can evoke the emotions that this one did is worthy of more than 5 stars! Laughing, tears and even anger…I felt them all. This is so well written that you can feel the emotions of the characters, it sucks you right in. This is my first book by this author and I’ve definitely found another one to add to my favorites list. This isn’t your “typical” romance, or at least what seems to have become typical. It’s real, it’s raw and it will rip your heart out at some points and then put it back together again. There’s a lesson to be learned from this one. Don’t judge people without giving them a chance to show you who they really are and, it shows generosity without expectation of anything in return. Syd experiences a tragedy that is absolutely heartbreaking and instead of supporting her through it, her so-called family turns on her…there are no words to describe how horrible her family is!! When she had the opportunity, she ran and chose to live on the streets, secluding herself from everyone in order to dull the pain and the guilt caused by her loss, and to avoid the risk of losing others…you can’t feel pain when you don’t allow yourself to have feelings. She doesn’t feel as though she deserves any better. Syd meets Viv first. She’s the manager at “The Skipper”, which is a pub local to where Syd sleeps, and gives Syd an opportunity for a job. By doing so, she opens the door to a genuine friendship and gives a lost soul a chance at recovery. Once Syd is accepted into The Skipper’s family, she opens up gradually and everyone around her learns that she is a very loyal, independent, strong, compassionate woman. The relationship between Gunnar and Syd is one that grows from employer/employee, to friendship to a love so deep and genuine it gave me goosebumps. I absolutely loved Gunnar; hot alpha male that is a softie at heart who will do anything for his family. Gunnar and his kids help to piece her heart back together. It’s a difficult road getting there but she heals and finds happiness once again. She and Gunnar will have to navigate their own rocky road to get there.

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