What can I say? I love Shari’s work and couldn’t resist cracking open this book. Okay, okay. More like firing up the reading app and reading it than cracking it open. I still have a couple of her books left to read and they’ll be coming up soon in my list of books to read. You’ll always find that by TBR list is extremely long but if I REALLY like an author, their works get bumped to the top of the list.
Daphne is twenty three years old. She lives with her boyfriend whom she wishes she could get away from but she’s scared of him. He is abusive mentally, physically and verbally. Daphne is gone as much as she can be between her ice skating and working at the bar. She often goes to the bar early even when they don’t open for hours. Trent is a grade A asshole who I disliked the entire book. Daphne keeps a journal and writes in it often. (With permission from the author I am adding in a couple journal entries!)
- Dear Journal, I’m going to become stronger. I just hope it’s soon. I’m losing my grip and I’m fearful of what might happen when I let go completely. -Daphne
- Dear Journal, It’s been three years of this. I’ve stayed with Trent because I wanted to fix him. I’ve stayed with him because he said he wants me and no one else will. I stay with him because every time I’ve tried to leave, he’s hurt me. I’m scared. I’ve been scared for too long. -Daphne
Those are just a couple of the journal entries in Daphne’s journal. They give us a glimpse of what’s going on in her head and where she’s at. It lets us see into her and gauge where she wants to go and what she wants to happen, even if it scares her to death to even think about.
Kemper is a Marine that is back from Afghanistan. The bar that Daphne works at is always busy for an entire week after the men get back from a deployment. Only something seems off about this Marine. He’s just sitting at the bar by himself and not joining the others. Daphne quickly piques his interest and wonders what’s wrong. That’s when he tells her that his brother, Rex, just died over in Afghanistan. He was having a hard time dealing with it since they had shared an apartment together. The bar is BUSY and Daphne is the only one working and is starting to drown under all the order. Kemper used to be a bartender so he goes behind the counter and starts helping, with Daphne being uncomfortable for a few minutes and then accepting the help.
Kemper and Daphne become friends, although neither wants to be just friends. They struggle with their friendship through part of the book before Kemper decides to be “selfless” and tell Daphne that he really can’t be with her because he’ll only hurt her. Only, he’s not the one who has physically hurt her. A couple Marines knock the hell out of Trent when he comes into the bar and realizes that she lied to him about who was there. He ends up hitting her and causing a hell of a bruise and mark on her face. Kemper gets pissed beyond measure and wants to go kill the man who did it to her but he doesn’t know who it was until later when she says the name. (We find out later, towards the end of the book, how Kemper knows Trent and how they used to be connected to each other.)
This book is awesome. It had me all up in my feelings: laughing, giggling, crying, hating, loving. I just couldn’t get enough of this book. I read it in one sitting, refusing to give in to sleep last night until I had finished it! Daphne, Kemper, Trent and some others are just like everyday people. Shari brings to light some of the realities that people go through but don’t want others to get involved in or help with: drinking, being abused and being the abuser, loss of friends family and loved ones, the wars that have been going on.
I think that this book should be read by EVERY woman out there and even the men as well. This book will give people hope that there are good people out there that only want the best for someone, even if they’ve only been friends a few days. It shows you that no matter how old or new of a friend you have, there is always someone there to help you in your time of need. Always remember there are people out there that will help you get out of an abusive relationship and somewhere safe.
Just like it’s stated in the book if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please either talk to someone or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They are available 24/7 and will always talk to you and listen.
$3.99 on Kindle
Free on Kindle Unlimited
$15.95 in Paperback (Trust me. If I had $16, I would be buying this book in paperback in a heartbeat. I loved this book that much!)
**I received an advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest opinion**