Genre: New-Adult, Romance
Alex fell for her brother's friend, Dalton, as soon as she saw him move in across the street. She was only 10. As they grew up, he promised her they would get married and Alex clung onto this, keeping their feelings secret from her brother, Jonah. But Jonah was breaking laws, dabbling with drugs, and with a sheriff father, Jonah often got out of trouble as Dalton would take the fall. Years later, Alex has to return to town for her father's funeral, having not spoken to Dalton or Jonah since the night Jonah found about them. Dalton hates Alex for ruining his life, but Alex has to find out why.
This was a much quicker read than I had expected, I'd say under the 2 hours to complete and possibly that's why I don't feel that positive about it. The story flips between the POV of Alex and Dalton, and then within that changes between the present and past. I liked the changing of time frame, as we got an insight into their young, blossoming love along with Jonah's protective streak, alongside their current hateful relationship.
Alex: I wish she'd been a little bit stronger against Dalton. Their first time together in the present, I hated and wished didn't happen. Dalton was being an ass to her, and she just let him. I understand it was meant to signify how much she loved him, but all it showed was that she loved him more than she respected herself.
Dalton: I didn't love him (Six, though...swoooon). I don't think I will ever understand a character who is madly, blindly in love, and straightaway assumes the worst about that person - without even clarifying. Now, if you've been given hints and reasons to be jealous, usually jumping to conclusions is natural. But he had years of proof that Alex loved him. And he had oodles of proof that Jonah was getting involved with dodgy dealings. But yet he automatically thinks Alex is part of what got him arrested, and doesn't even ask her about it. Not only that, but then in the present, he stands back and watches her be physically assaulted - by a male! - because she's back in town. No. That is not cool. Granted, he changes his tune pretty quickly when he learns the truth, but perhaps he should have used his noggin and tried to discover the truth a little earlier...
Alex then, weak as ever, totally forgave him at the drop of a hat. I know the whole premise of this was how true love never ends, and you can't love another person once someone else has your heart. But where's the whole part about loving yourself as well? Protecting yourself? Sometimes, loving someone with all your heart, means walking away.
There were a LOT of secrets revealed, allowing for twists. But I couldn't feel all the drama was just kids in a playground. Alex barely survived attack after attack, and the assaults were pretty brutal. But I couldn't feel the fear. I didn't feel like I was reading about drug lords. They all seemed too dumb and brute to have got away with what they had.
This was a decent quick read. There was a lot of angst, and miscommunication acting as a major plot device. There are a good few twists and the underlying story is an addictive one.