|Never Tear Us Apart|
by Monica Murphy
Never Let You Go (#2) (affil.)
Genre: Suspense Romance, New Adult
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
|Description from Publisher: Perfect for readers of Colleen Hoover, Jay Crownover, and K. A. Tucker, the first novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy kicks off an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.
A long time ago, when I was fifteen and a completely different person, I saved a girl’s life. I spent only a handful of hours with her, but somehow, we connected—and I’ve never been the same. No one understands what we went through. No one knows what it’s like to be us. We survived, yet I don’t feel like I’m really living—until now. Eight years later, I find her. I want to make her mine. I need to make her mine. But she’ll hate me forever when she finds out who I really am.
I will admit that this book took awhile for me to start seeing the romance, since so much of the book is about such a serious subject (There's a trigger warning on this for sexual abuse). It didn't stop me from enjoying it in the least - It was just intense.
That said, this really drew me in. The details of what happened to Katie are visceral (though not overly graphic), and you can feel how empty her life has been as a result. I think it's also that emptiness for both her and Ethan that makes the love and romance between the two feel questionable, at first. Then, Ethan sort of creeped me out with his lust, seemingly too interested in sex. It took a long time to get past feeling like he was obsessed in a bad way, but it definitely comes out.
The characters felt like they were in their own heads A LOT, consumed by insecurities and their past. It makes sense, but gets a little tedious. I also didn't necessarily care for the flashbacks in the middle, feeling like it slowed things down.
But then the last 3rd felt like everything hit its stride. Ethan was patient and Katie was brave... And my realizing that their shared trauma bonded them, and also that maybe a bit of - albeit twisted as f*ck - Fate brought them together made me root for them. The letters they sent also helped convince me.
I do wish that Katie had friends or social experiences with other people. I think that her sexual awakening is huge for a sexual assault survivor, but so would becoming friends with others. Maybe internet friends? More of a bond with her neighbor? A granddaughter of the neighbor? Ethan being her only person besides family seems a lot less healthy.
This is a 2-parter and has a huge cliffhanger. But it's lengthy and feels like it ended on the right note. I am eager for the rest of the story!