My emotions were all over the place with this book, especially at the end and it takes a lot for that to happen to me. Tarryn Fisher has such talent at creating flawed characters that you slowly fall in love with. They’re so realistic that you can understand their every choice, be it good or bad
The story begins when the protagonist, Olivia, has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend has lost his memory, meaning that he can’t remember the events surrounding their break-up. Olivia, a character who is racked with guilt and self-doubt, decides to run with Caleb’s amnesia and doesn’t inform him of their previous relationship. This was just the first of many questionable decisions that Olivia makes in her desire to be reunited with Caleb. We find out that Caleb has a girlfriend in the present, which is the source of much of the difficulty they have in being together once again.
As this book works in deep POV, we as the reader don’t know the events that lead to Caleb and Olivia’s split. We gradually get this information as the chapters alternate between past and present. This proved a little jarring at first because the chapters from the present are written in present tense and the ones set in the past are written in past tense. It did take a little time for me to adjust to this, but as the chapters were long and the narrative flowed well, I quickly got used to it.
When Olivia first meets Caleb at University I thought it was going to be instalove, but it turned into something much more complex within a brief period. This complexity was largely at the hands of Olivia, a woman who suffered previous abandonment and fought with her growing dependency for Caleb. This internal battle that Olivia fought framed much of the novel.
We are told Olivia had done some terrible things to be with Caleb (when she admitted how much she needed him) and as terrible as some were, they were all driven by desperation. She was an inherently complex character who was crippled by self-sabotage and drove herself further downwards in order to rectify what she’d done.
It wasn’t until the halfway point that I realized it was part of a series. I’ve already read the final instalment, but skipped the second as it was told from Leah’s perspective. I started to read the second book, but stopped after only a few pages because Leah said something that was very triggering for me. I doubt others would have this problem, but she was a horrible character anyway, so I wasn’t bothered at missing her part.
Calab wasn’t delved into hugely in this book, but is in the third, which is great because while hecomplimented Olivia brilliantly, he wasn’t hugely multi-dimensional here. I think all the authors time went into creating Olivia, which I’m so glad she did as she was a fascinating character.
This was essentially a romance/suspense and it triumphed in both. The chemistry between Caleb and Olivia was palpable, as was the suspense, especially in the last third. There was only one sex scene, by the way, which was well written and not at all smutty.
The ending was fantastic and ripped my heart in two, so be warned!