When he left for a twelve-month deployment, she knew it would feel like forever before they saw each other again. She didn’t realize how right she was.
When Lance Corporal Brecken Connolly gets taken as a POW, Camryn hopes for the best but steels herself for the worst. In the end, steel was what she needed to survive when he didn’t. She moves on the only way she knows how—gilding herself in more steel.
Years go by.
She builds a new life.
She leaves the old one behind.
Until one day, she sees the face of a ghost on the news. Brecken seems to have risen from the dead, but she knows she can’t perform the same miracle for herself. While Brecken was held in a torture camp for the past five years, she’s been trapped in her own kind of prison. One she can’t be freed from.
The man she mourned comes back to join the living, but the girl he wanted to spend his life with isn’t the same woman he comes back for. Brecken isn’t the same person either. The past five years have changed them both. While he’s determined to put the pieces back together, she’s resolved to let hers rot where they shattered.
Broken or not, Brecken wants her back. He’ll do anything to achieve that. Even if it means going against the warden of Camryn’s personal prison—her husband.
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"This was trust at its pinnacle, not control at its most corrupt."
Second chance romances are my favourites, sometimes I pick them up without even realising what they are. Sometimes I hunt them down. For as long as I can remember I've been in love with love and there's something special about getting a second chance at it with that one person who belongs to you and whom you belong to. I've always believed in Soul Mates, true love and love at first sight.
Tortured was everything you expect in a second chance romance. Soul mates coming back together in the most unlikely of ways. Incredibly strong feelings of equal parts love and forgiveness.
"I'm not taking the last dollar in your wallet." "Why not?"he asked, making a face. "I'd give you the shirt off my back, the air in my lungs, the last drop of blood in my veins. The last dollar's a cakewalk compared to, you know, dying of suffocation or bleeding out." He winked as he folded my fingers around the wad of money in my hand.
It was a story of love and pain. Those feelings always go hand in hand but different levels of love and pain can make good love bad and visa versa. The love story of Brecken and Camryn was a special one, meeting while they were children and planning a life together when teenagers then falling apart through horrible circumstances. I've only read a few military romances and I don't think i could ever understand what families are put through when a Husband, Wife, partner is deployed. I thought that Nicole captured these feelings quite well in the first few chapters. I felt the pain of both of these characters and while I enjoyed reading tortured I also found it difficult to read events that had transpired for both. The secondary characters brought an additional level to tortured that I think made this story a good one. I struggled with Camryn, not having been in any of the situations she was thrust into I can't say weather her decisions were the right or wrong ones but she did frustrate me at times. She could appear so strong one minute and then the complete opposite the next.
"Strength was an odd thing. The way it filled us one moment, leaving us at the next. I'd been the strongest person in the world before. I'd been the weakest one too. Strength wasn't a guarantee. It was a fickle whim that came and went as it pleased."
Tortured is the type of story that's best if you go in blind. The blurb really doesn't give away what you're getting which is my favourite type of blurb! Nicole Williams has a writing style that I enjoy, she gives you hints at what you're going to get through little snippets of conversations but doesn't quite give everything away. The plot and character development moved at a really good pace and while the story line was original I did still find it to be slightly predictable. However I don't believe it took away from the plot, the secrets that were uncovered were what kept my attention till the last page.
Tortured was a 3.5 star read for me, while I did enjoy reading it I think I would've liked a little more angst and tortured emotions. The first few chapters really captured my attention and were what kept me going through to the end.
Meet The Author: Nicole Williams
Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.
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