Series: Stand Alone
Author: Nicole Williams
Release Date: 22 March 2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Military
Source: Amazon AU
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
First of all a content warning about this book – Content Warning: Domestic Abuse – this novel is quite graphic in some scenes.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I originally wasn’t sure how much I would like this but as the book progressed I loved the characters even more.
Brecken and Camryn both went through so much truly horrible shit in the book and they clearly struggled with it but eventually thrived. Williams was quite graphic in some scenes depicting the abuse Camryn suffered and while I’m glad it wasn’t just glossed over I know it will put some people off.
After Brecken’s return he suffered PTSD and I felt that Williams also depicted that quite well. There was a very real life depiction of PTSD and domestic abuse, which I feel can be pretty rare as many authors tend to gloss over it and not properly depict the struggle some people feel to leave abusive partners.
Overall, I truly enjoyed this book, Brecken and Camryn both clearly grow as characters throughout the book and get stronger and there is a very real, if a bit graphic for some people, depiction of PTSD and domestic abuse.