A Solitary Man by Shira Anthony & Aisling MancyHot
Gripped from page one, I was both astounded and appalled at the depravity of people. I am a mother, coincidentally of four blond, blue-eyed boys, and for the majority of this book I alternated between wanting to get my hands on the sick bastards, and needing to curl up and cry. Although the abuse is not written about 'as it happens', (for which I am profoundly grateful),police and medical reports detailing the events are more than effective.
There is a small part of me that feels it is somehow wrong to say that I liked this story. Frankly, the bulk of it is awful truths,......it is harrowing, it is a stark reminder of the truly foul people that we have on this planet, but it is also about the incredibly determined and dedicated people that we rely on to bring these kinds of criminals to justice, and the difficulties that they often face, particularly when there are people who are not what the seem/not what they should be.
The romance between Xav and Chance has a fairly low key presence for a lot of this book, it was there and brewing, but aside from their very first meeting, it was a slow building relationship. This was by no means to its detriment. It allowed the characters to learn so much more about each other as time went on, creating a stronger foundation for the relationship. As a result, scenes between this couple were more emotionally charged, more intense than they may have otherwise been. The bedroom scenes Chance and Xav are seriously hot, again due in no small part to the strength and intensity of their relationship and the emotional connection that they have with each other.
I did in fact love this book, despite the harrowing storyline, despite the fact that, whether we know about it or not, there are children suffering at the hands of evil people like this. The good guys win through, although not without loss, a reality, no matter how hard, we have to accept. From this awful story comes a strong relationship, built of real love for one another, a child who has been through hell finds a home and family. This book is superbly written, it flows beautifully and keeps you engaged from start to finish. Nothing written is gratuitous, there is no unnecessary violence or sex, everything you learn is needed for the progression of the story. Yes it is unpleasant at times, it made my chest hurt in places, but sadly, it seems that this is the reality of the world we are living in.
This book sucked me in, chewed me up and spat me out, I read it from cover to cover in one sitting (sorry kids) and it is one that will stay with me for a long time.