Everything in Duke Grayson’s life was all he could ever ask for: A loving family, loyal friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and a scholarship to his top choice college. It’s his senior year of high school, and all he needs is to focus on his grades, lacrosse, and keeping his girlfriend happy. That is until Raya walks into his life.
From the moment they meet, Duke is drawn to her, not only for her natural beauty and her stunning crystal blue eyes, but because he’s aware there’s more to this girl than just his alluring pull to her. He senses secrecy and fear.
Throughout the year, their bond grows stronger, and his feelings for her become undeniable. Just when he is about to express his love, tragedy strikes and Raya disappears.
For six years, Duke is tortured by his struggles, as he’s unable to find her and blames himself for failing to protect her. Until the day, she’s found, and he’s given a second chance. Will Duke become her beacon of hope and make her see that it’s the little things that make life worthwhile? Can Raya overcome her fears and fight against the terrors that haunt her? Or will her dark and torturous past be too much for her to battle against?
This is a debut novel from Madison Street and my god it bloody brilliant!
The way the story shifted was completely unexpected and knocked me on my ass.
The book started out as a romantic tale between two characters whose attraction to each other was there and very strong, but the hero already has a wonderful girlfriend of which the heroine becomes a good friend, so the attraction between Duke and Raya is kind of put in a box its always there but never acted upon. So for the most part of the books start was spent watching Raya and Duke struggle against their chemistry, and deny their growing feelings towards each other, and to make being just friends work for the friendships developed in there group.
Then BAM im on my ass thinking what the fuck just happened?!?!?! with this massive plot twist that shakes the whole story up and has your heart aching, with the pain and hurt flowing through the characters you have bonded so well with during the first half of the story. Man Madison Street can write!
I loved Raya and Duke as characters. Duke is your typical good, looking cheeky, all around descent guy that is everyone’s friend. Raya has a shit home life with a asshole for a step dad, but her mom is her world they are both in this crappy situation, but Raya isnt a down trodden character she has this spark, she has hopes and dreams of the day that she can save herself and her mom from the home life they have and move onto something better.
This book is packed with suspense, action, romance, darkness, tragedy, pain, heartache, hope and true love. Every word was crafted in such a way it has you hooked from the first page, at times i had such a tight grip on my kindle with the tension from the story my fingers hurt. This is a must read, i cannot wait to read more from this author.