“What you read will taste so bad at times, you’ll want to spit it out, but you’ll swallow these words and they will become part of you, part of your gut, and you will hurt because of them.”
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
*Trigger warnings are very spoiler-y so if you have concerns let me know and we can talk about them privately!
It is a scientific fact that if CoHo writes it, Alana reads it. There’s no arguing, no debate, it’s just pure facts. She’s one of my “drop everything and run” authors, meaning I will put my entire life on hold when she releases a new book. So, I’m not really sure how I missed that she was working on a ROMANTIC THRILLER?! While it is out of the realm of a normal CoHo book, I didn’t for one second doubt this would let me down. In fact, I began to see reviews talking about how disturbing this book was and I was even more on board, because I love disturbing things. I mean, you’re talking about a girl who reads about serial killers in her spare time. Which only means I was going into this wondering how disturbing it was going to get and y’all… IT’S FUCKED UP.
This is absolutely one of those cases where less is more. Do not go chasing down reviews for this book. Do not prepare yourself for this book…because honestly, no amount of preparation will help you. This book will consume your life until you are finished and will then most likely keep you up at night trying to figure out what you just read. I’ve read a lot of books in my life, but I have never been so thoroughly mind-fucked by a book before. I always have a lot to say about the books I read, but I am just speechless about this book. I’m hurt, numb, happy, sad, angry, disgusted- so fucking disgusted, and relieved. Like, how does one cope with experiencing all those emotions in just about 250 pages?! Let a girl know.
The only thing I will say is that Lowen’s POV flowed so well with the chapters that were Verity’s manuscript. I was not reading quickly to find out what new horrible thing Verity did or what creepy thing would happen next to Lowen, I was SCRAMBLING. I couldn’t read this fast enough. I needed answers and I needed them fast, and boy did we get them.
A writer should never have the audacity to write about themselves unless they’re willing to separate every layer of protection between the author’s soul and their book. The words should come directly from the center of the gut, tearing through flesh and bone as they break free. Ugly and honest and bloody and a little bit terrifying, but completely exposed.
It’s what you do when you’ve experienced the worst of the worst. You seek out people like you… people worse off than you… and you use them to make yourself feel better about the terrible things that have happened to you.
And that’s what love at first sight is. It isn’t really love at first sight until you’ve been with the person long enough for it to become love at first sight.
A woman knows if she wants to keep a man forever, she has to act like she could get over him in a day.
This is the point where other authors would paint themselves in a better light, rather than throw themselves into an X-ray machine. but there is no light where we’re going. This is your final warning.
I’m beginning to think Verity writes from a villainous point of view because she’s a villain. Being evil is all she knows.
All in all, the only thing I can say is brace yourself. This was not an easy read, but it’s easily one of my favorite CoHo books. I would do anything for another romantic thriller from her, but also if you have any other romantic thriller recommendations please send them my way!
Until next time,