This is a really hard review for me to write. When I first discovered this book I was extremely excited. It had a hot cover and a great blurb. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of it….er…a copy of it on my kindle. Once it came out, I couldn’t wait to start it.
I wanted to love this book, and part of me did love it. But I also hated it. Not everything about it, just parts…like Izzy…Dee…Greg…Brandon…Axel’s “so called friends”. With friends like them, who needs enemies!? Everyone turned their back on him like he was a monster…like he was responsible for every bad thing that had happened to Izzy. And I hated that. (In case you haven’t figured it out, I loved Axel.) Plus, everyone kept referencing information that Axel wasn’t privy to. Then they would say it’s not their story to tell. But they still blamed him. How’s he supposed to react or even act, when he doesn’t have all the information?!
“you need to watch your mouth and what you say about Iz. Until you know what’s going on, you have no room to say anything. Not one damn thing.”
I know some people had issues with Axel, but I loved him. I had no problems with the way he acted. I completely understood his anger. He was justified in his feelings. As far as he knew, she walked away from him… ditched him after he joined the military. She moved on. He has a right to be angry.
I felt bad for Izzy. She went through some horrible things and I’m sorry for that, but the way she acted toward Axel completely pissed me off. At times Izzy was stupid, immature and played stupid high school games. And the friends were overbearing and bandwagon people She seemed to give everyone puppy dog eyes and they were instantly on her side. Even people that had never met her before and were longtime friends with Axel. I really hated Dee. I understood that she was trying to be a good friend, but my only thought as I was reading was, I wouldn’t want her as a friend. She kept sticking her nose into places it didn’t belong…causing more problems. She had all the information. I get that she wasn’t going to tell Izzy’s story but she shouldn’t have passed judgment on Axel when she knew he had no idea what happened to Izzy. She should have at least told Axel that Izzy had thought he was dead all these years. Then maybe he would have backed down with his attitude. Everyone acted like he was the reason her life fell apart. Like he’s the one that caused her miscarriage and beat her within an inch of her life. Sorry, as you can see, this was a big issue for me.
Aside from the friend issues, my biggest complaint for the book was the amount of time it took Izzy to finally talk to Axel. She thought he was dead but she acted like he walked away from her. And she even bounced between those thoughts in one paragraph. She started out by saying she had thought he was dead all these years…to he walked away…back to she thought he was dead. How is he to blame for not knowing what was going on when she thought he was dead? Anyway, there were many times that I was yelling at Izzy and Axel to finally talk. It was left a little too long for me.
Another issue I had was in regards to Izzy’s safety. For some that was scared of her ex-husband, she was an idiot when it came to her safety. After she ended up in the hospital, Axel wanted to protect her but she ran from him. And Maddox irritated me by taking her in. I could see that Axel was freaked out about her getting hurt when all of them were at her house and he wanted to protect her. But she ran from him and his friend helped. I was yelling at the friends to stop getting between Axel and Izzy. I was tired of the secrets and avoidance.
I was also worried about Greg. There were times when I got the feeling that he was going to be a love interest for Izzy. And that would have been fine…if Axel wasn’t around. And since it took so long into the book for Axel to reappear, (if I hadn’t known it was his book), I would have thought Greg was going to be the hero of the book. I was really happy to see that he wasn’t a third angle of a love triangle. That is probably one of my least favorite plot devices in books.
I'm giving it 4 because the story wasn't bad and I loved Axel. It was a good first attempt. And I give her a lot of credit for writing it & publishing it. The plot got swallowed up a bit and it felt like she was trying to juggle getting them together, them talking and the stalker ex. It worked in theory but the execution was a little off. But overall, this was a very good first novel and I will definitely read more from Harper Sloan. Check out my joint review with Nikki!