I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #1
Published by Gallery Books on June 17, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Source: the Publisher
His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn't trust him. I shouldn't tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.
At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loved to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she's finally dared to believe she is forgotten--even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets her guard down, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.
On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing billionaire recluse, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take "no" as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give?
At eighteen, Amy lost her entire family in a horrific fire. Since that time, her life has been upended by her memory loss, painful blackouts accompanied by flashbacks of her previous life, and mysterious instructions stop whatever she is doing and leave town immediately. She doesn’t know who exactly is sending her these instructions – only that he has a tattoo on his wrist and is referred to as her “handler.” Because it turns out, the horrific fire was the result of an arson plot to kill her family thanks to some hush-hush dealings her famous archeologist father was involved in. Those people are still after Amy, so when she gets a note telling her to go to the airport immediately, Amy picks up and is on her way to Denver. En-route, she encounters Liam Stone, a recluse billionaire architect, who expresses immediate interest in Amy. Is it safe? Is he safe? Or will Liam be the next in a line of victims? Because everyone who has ever been close to Amy has died. Is Liam and whatever they have together worth the risk?
This is the first in the “Secret Life of Amy Bensen” novels, though as I read, there were so many questions that I felt as if I was reading the second or third book in the series. We don’t know anything about what happened to Amy’s family or why. Amy doesn’t either, for that matter. But it’s enough of an interesting premise that I wanted to keep reading. But there’s a warning: This book ends on a cliffhanger! We still don’t know why Amy is running, who this mysterious “handler” person is, or what happened to Amy’s family. But we do get some information that begins to paint a picture of Amy’s backstory and I hope these plot threads will continue to weave together as the series progresses.
Amy suffers from blackouts and amnesia. She doesn’t remember much of anything before her life became a long series of aliases and cities coordinated as strategic hiding places by her “handler.” But what we can glean from Amy is that she is a brave, headstrong woman with a definite sense of what she is and is not willing to do. Her survival skills are honed and she trusts her instincts.
Liam is a little…intense. Money is not object to him, so he spends it frequently and generously on Amy, making sure she has everything she could possibly need in a new city and then some. At first, this came across as sweet, then it started to become a little creepy and overbearing, before finally turning into freakishly controlling. I’m not sure what to think of Liam, to tell you the truth.
I wouldn’t classify this as erotica (yet), but rather contemporary romance. There are a few sex scenes in this novel, but they don’t overpower the main narrative nor are they terribly explicit.
This book will have you looking twice at every single character Amy encounters. Friend or foe? You tell me! Can Amy even have friends? Every character seems to be hiding something and when coupled with the general uncertainty of what happened to Amy and why she is always running, the paranoia ratchets up as the book progresses. This made for a very interesting read since I was constantly wondering what was happening and if I could trust these characters. I’m excited to continue reading the rest of this series!