Iris Jenkins is a young single mother who has very low self-esteem. Her mother and her ex-boyfriend told her she was ‘worthless’ and ‘stupid’, and a part of her believes them. Essentially alone in the world since her grandmother’s death, Iris fled an abusive relationship when she was pregnant. Now the mother to seven year old Finn, the light of her life, she lives in another state and has changed her name. Her ex was a criminal, and consorted with a lot of unsavory people. She fears his friends will come after her and her son. As a result, she is insecure, quite paranoid, and over protective of her son.
When she ran from her former life she was taken in by two men who turned her life around by offering her and her son the safe, supportive relationship she needed. They got her a place to live and she works for them as an administrative assistant to the editor in chief of the newspaper they own.
Now, in her mid-thirties, and eight years since she fled her former life, she is once again being taunted and terrorized…
The writing kept me rapidly turning pages, and I was invested in seeking a happy ending for Iris and her son.
Iris was a character that was easy to like, despite the fact that she was so fearful and constantly on the alert. I did find her low self-esteem trying at times – you just want to tell her to stop being such a wuss and stand up for herself. Her anxiety was palpable, yet it seemed over the top at times. Though, to be fair, if I had her upbringing I might act the same way.
The romance aspect of the book was well executed, and seemed authentic, though there were aspects of the plot that seemed slightly contrived, as in ‘too good to be true’. There seemed a perfect balance between the romance and the suspense to be a worthy contender in the romantic suspense genre.
This is an easy read even as it touches on some sensitive issues. Fans of the author, romantic suspense, and women’s stories will want to check this one out.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley at my request, for my own reading enjoyment and the writing of this review. Publication date: June 7, 2022
ISBN: 9781542037822 – ASIN: B09JF7YB5Z – 252 pages
Elissa Grossell Dickey is a former journalist who now works in higher education communications. Though she grew up in Northern Minnesota, Elissa now lives in South Dakota with her husband and children. She has shared her journey of living with multiple sclerosis through blog posts for the National MS Society. She is the author of The Speed of Light and Iris in the Dark. Born and raised in Northern Minnesota, Elissa now lives in South Dakota with her husband and children.