Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?
Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered.
The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner. He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens.
At what point do secrets become lies?
Candace didn't expect that her idea of a fun night out would include getting attacked, an attack that changed her and left her scarred beyond repair... or so she thinks. It isn't until Ryan comes along that she finds out that there's more to her than the hollow shell of a girl she had become after the accident. But it seems like there's more to Ryan than Candace initially thought as well.
My heart breaks for Candace and for everything that she went through. You can feel her terror, her vulnerability, her fear jumping out of the page. It seized my heart every time she remembers her horrific experience and I understood why she felt like she can no longer be the same as she was before. It takes an insanely talented author to make the words transcend beyond the pages of the book and punch the readers right to the gut. In my opinion, E.K. Blair was able to do just that. As a reader, you can't help but just feel how the narratives shaped the characters and be immersed in that experience as well.
As for the stupid decisions that Candace made, and well, how she handled some situations throughout the story... I guess it can be expected from her after what she went through but sometimes, I can't help but feel a twinge of annoyance. It's like, "What were you thinking, Candace?!"
I love dancing and so, naturally, I loved how it became one of the central features of Candace's character. It isn't just some off-hand character trait, like in some other books. Instead, the dance parts of the books were beautifully described. I can almost imagine Candace on that studio dancing her ass off.
Right from the start, I already had my suspicions on who Ryan really is. I mean, the prologue was somewhat of a dead giveaway. But as the story progressed and nothing has been said about Ryan's connection to the incident, I kinda started second-guessing my earlier suspicions. I mean, he's vulnerable all on his own. He's got his own demons to fend and I thought that's the reason why he seems so tortured. But when I read his reaction to the tattoo, THAT'S WHEN I KNEW. I loved the fact that there's more to Ryan than what I originally thought. He isn't just a plot device to complicate Candace's story line. He is a story all his own.
I really like the way this book was written. The story flows naturally although there are some instances where I thought Candace's dramatics got a teeny tiny bit annoying. All-in-all, I loved this book!
Oh, and have you seen that cover? BEAUTIFUL!