Nothing to lose….but a few hours of your life trying to get to the good parts. Just kidding, kinda. There was a good story here, it just got buried under a lot of filer angst and some pretty disturbing codependency issues. It bummed me out.
Anna was a broken girl, she witnessed the boy she loved being murdered and then was kidnapped, raped and horrifically abused by his murderer…..for months. It was a heart wrenching story, and I could truly understand why Anna was as tortured as she was when she finally returned home. There were some things I really liked about her, she was a very strong person, thoughtful, and even funny at times. She just had so many troubling issues, and I really would have liked to see hear really healing from these rather than just substituting some of them for an unhealthy relationship.
Ashton. Yeah, I don’t even know what to say about him, I guess I’ll start with a few positives. He could be very sweet to Anna a lot of the time, he was very brave, was pretty much the most talented SWAT guy out there, and he was supposed to be ridiculously gorgeous. He really could be such a nice guy, but man oh man I had some really big things that bothered me about him. Really about both him and Anna both in general.
Anna and Ashton both had some major codependency issues and I’m sorry but that is not what a healthy love looks like. It worries me that this is what some people consider being in love, that you can’t even sleep, eat, or lead a normal existence whatsoever because you’re not around the other person. I did kind of understand where some of it was coming from after what Anna had gone through, but it seems a shame to put all of her healing and reason for getting better onto someone else rather than that being something she accomplished for herself. Ashton was no better. He was almost as dependent on Anna as she was on him. I also found it a extremely distasteful that after practically just meeting Anna and knowing all that she had been through and her extreme aversion to being touched by anyone, he literally trapped her on her bed holding her down and rested on top of her, telling her “I won’t hurt you, I promise. Trust me.”. What the hell kind of asshole does that?? I’m not even kidding, that boiled my blood reading that.
Now I just have to point out a couple other things that baffled me in this story. Ultimately no one but him could protect Anna, not even trained Secret Service agents. In fact said Secret Service agents were basically so poorly trained and incompetent that even Anna herself, that had a taken some self defense and karate classes for awhile, could take them down. At one point when she was sparing with one the agents, after she had bested him a few times he made the comment “Er, I don’t know that shit, I know how to street fight.” What the hell kind of Secret Service agent only knows how to street fight? That’s absurd and I’m sure very insulting to those actually HIGHLY TRAINED men and women in that department. Also, how was Anna’s past so well hidden from everyone, including the press?? Especially when they were in the public eye to the extreme once Anna’s dad’s career skyrocketed. Let’s be real, her story would have been known to all at the very beginning. The way our media operates, they can’t resist a good horror story. Another thing is for Anna to even believe for one minute that all they had between them was because of his job was absurd. Pretending in the public that he’s her boyfriend is a lot different between being intimate and getting hot and heavy behind closed doors. He wasn’t there as a glorified prostitute.
I know it’s sounding after all that like a lot of negative, but really like I said at the beginning, there was a good story at the core of this. I just wished it would have played out differently. I think probably the most important thing that could have made this book MUCH better for me, would have been if it wasn’t so damn drawn out between Anna and Ashton. 200 pages of this could have been cut out and I think it would have improved it in my eyes. To have the back and forth between them carry out for that long was just agonizing at a certain point, and not in a way that could be paid off at the end. It was too excessive. I kept waiting and waiting for the inevitable show down with Carter to happen, and every time Ashton went away for a weekend or even an hour I was praying that would FINALLY be the time.
Unfortunately the showdown didn’t make an appearance until the bitter end, and I’m talking damn near the 90% mark. And it was over way too soon. It was disappointing to me, I knew it was coming eventually and I looked forward to it. I might have been happy with what we had got, if there hadn’t bee 400 pages of Anna and Ashton’s flip floppy romance in between. I really feel if that would have been condensed that would have easily taken this book into a higher 3 star rating for me.
Too much blah blah blah…
It’s just such a bummer, because I really feel that this story line had incredible potential, but the execution was so sloppy that it ruined a lot of that for me. But I am clearly in the minority in my feelings on this, as this book has an average rating of over 4 stars on here. I’m glad that others found more enjoyment in this than I did, cause it just didn’t work for me as well as it could have.