FicCentral received a free copy of this book from *the author*.
Publisher: Self-Published on May 4, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
"He took my world by storm with four simple words 'I'm your new neighbor.' I was only five at the time, but I couldn't look away from the older boy staring at me through the hole in our back yard fence. In my mind, he was mine from that moment, but I knew that could never happen.
When I was fifteen, I learned that things that should never happen can sweep in and rip your entire life to shreds.
I lost everything.
I lost him...."
Six years after tragedy changed Cassie's life forever, she continues to yearn for that one thing that will make her feel whole--the boy she was taken away from. The boy who had stood by her side and defended her at every turn. The boy whose shoulder she cried on when her parents died, after her sister committed suicide, during her testimony against her brother-in-law.
With her past a heavy burden that sits on her chest, threatening to suffocate her every night, she somehow finds the strength to go back and face it. To finally go back and find the man who might make her heart beat again and ease the dead pain she feels inside.
But six years can change people, and their relationship can never be the same.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Cassie’s been gone and alone for years. After the deaths of her parents and sister, she was taken in by her grandparents, but there was no love to be had in her new home. But memories of her best friend, the only person who never judged or let her down, are drawing her back. Back to the place where everything fell apart, where one boy had the power to hold her together.
I really don’t think the cover fits with the story at all. It makes it look like erotica, or at least something a lot heavier on passion than healing. And this book is more about reconnecting and getting over the past than steaming things up. That’s not to say there aren’t some hot moments, but if I were to pick this book bases solely on what I see on the cover, I’d probably be pretty disappointed to find out it’s a completely different kind of story. The woman whose shirt is falling off her shoulders and boobs are popping out the top is absolutely not Cassie, and… Well, it’s just a really bad stock photo choice for this one.
If I’d known what I was getting into, I probably would have passed this one right by. But by the time I figured out that not only was Cassie dealing with the absence of her family but also with the repercussions of sexual abuse as a teenager, I was already to invested to bail. So there’s your warning, I guess. Cassie was repeatedly abused by a trusted adult, and while the depictions aren’t graphic, it’s still very disturbing.
It seems that Cassie has lost pretty much everything, so it’s a wonder she turned out like she did. When her parents were killed in an auto accident, she went to live with her sister and brother-in-law. When her sister died, and the monster who’d abused her was put away, she was sent to live with her grandparents, and while that may have been the best thing on paper, it certainly wasn’t the best thing in real life. They were cold and judgemental, essentially blaming her for the abuse she’d suffered, and it felt like her going back to find Ben was a last ditch attempt at finding good in the world.
Ben was her best friend, despite being several years older than her, and his family had always treated Cassie like she was their own. Cassie, of course, had a big crush on him once upon a time, but she was way too young for him and way too young to act on it, and they were pulled apart before anything could come of their feelings. Cassie’s stutter has always left her feeling like she was on the outside, but Ben never let her get away with silence and sign language, and it seems he’s the only person who ever truly “got” her.
Their reconnection is bittersweet and painful, despite his welcoming her back with open arms. Cassie’s a survivor, though she seems to feel she’s weak, and Ben is patient, sweet, and gentle with her. Now that she’s older, their age difference isn’t such an obstacle, and it’s clear his feelings for her aren’t exactly platonic either. What follows is deepening friendship, revisiting a tragic past, and ultimately healing with each other. There was no magic cure for her speech problems or big dramatic moment when the past came back to haunt them, but in that way, their story felt more real. Instead of focusing on the past, it was all about their finding each other again and moving forward, and while Cassie’s issues certainly slowed that process down in several places, it was a triumphant moment when it all finally came together for them.
Easier to Run would not have been my normal choice of reads if the synopsis had disclosed the abuse and mental issues that were to be addressed in the story, but it was still a solid read, and it seemed to handle those subjects responsibly. If you’re into the kind of book where the heroine has been all but destroyed and the hero loves her through it, try this one. It’s not my usual fare, but I think it’s probably perfect for those of you who love the savior & redemption bit.