There is so much to unpack with this book that I don’t even know where to start. Well, I kinda do. This book was fucking incredible. Reading it, I was on a roller coaster of emotion and was ugly crying within the first 12% of this book. There was an audible crack as my heart broke and I literally thought to myself, “How am I going to recover from this?”.
Seriously, any book that can pull that much emotion from me is truly a work of art.
Phoenix is jailed for a crime she didn’t commit, despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary. Prior to her sentence, Phoenix has had a roller coast of a life – from foster care, to graduating high school early, she finally felt like she was on track until that fateful day that put her behind bars.
Zachary will stop at nothing to avenge the death of his wife – and despite being behind bars, he unleashes his fury through others on Phoenix while shes imprisoned.
But after evidence comes to the forefront that exonerates exonerates her from the crime, she is now a free woman. But her freedom is only physical – as she is in a prison of her own grief and anger.
When the man she’s hated for the entire time while being behind bars resurfaces and wants to “collaborate” she’s caught between wanting vengeance on him and vengeance on the actual killer who framed her.
Phoenix: Phoenix is a tough bitch. What she had to endure in her life, being completely abandoned when she needed people the most, and still coming out the other side with her head up is fucking incredible.
You constantly wonder how this woman can be so weak when it comes to Zachary despite how much she hates him but after everything that’s happened, she’s basically a walking ghost – no emotion other than hate, anger, and despair.
Love and hate share the same amplitude of emotional charge, so maybe that’s why it’s so easy to cross the invisible line.
Zachary: I’m so torn about Zachary. He was so vengeful and angry that he does the single most disgusting thing you can imagine with NO remorse – but he does redeem himself as you find out later in the story.
He’s a man of absolutes – hate or love. There’s no between with him because she can’t seem to compromise his own emotions – which is most evident when he engages with his “family”.
Too bad the land where sinners atone doesn’t exist. Maybe then I wold have gone there once my nightmare ends.
Let’s Talk About (the) Sex, Baby!
Just know, going into any of the sex scenes, you’ll be so apprehensive because you almost can’t come to terms with how Phoenix could want Zachary the way she does after everything. But when you consider her circumstances, and being abandoned by literally EVERYONE in her life, you can almost justify her need for human connection.
No one ever things they will be weak against the force of nature; people have the tendency to believe they would be stronger in certain circumstances, and I know for a fact it’s bullshit.
But luckily for the reader, you have more insight into the whole picture and can see the story from both sides.
Fucking brutal, brilliant, and beautiful. I have so many different lines of text highlighted because they’re so heart wrenchingly beautiful, they stand out.
We are shaped in this world by what we experience; each new encounter or situation teaches us something that brings us to the next level.
I feel like this sentence sets the tone for the entire book.
With deep sadness crushing my fucking soul comes the fury boiling m blood, demanding I wipe out everything in the way.
I will say I struggled with how to rate this book because I felt like it was 2 paragraphs away from being a 5 star rating. And for me to judge a 442 page book on two paragraphs didn’t seem fair. I just wanted a little bit more about the WHY – Why Angelica of all people? I get it about the male side, and why the person wanted to hurt them. But why Angelica of all people? Mason touches a little bit on the relationship there but it’s not enough to explain it completely.
Please note there is a trigger for miscarriage / pregnancy loss.