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: Everything I Left Unsaid #1
Published by Bantam on October 13, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Source: the Publisher
I didn’t think answering someone else’s cellphone would change my life. But the stranger with the low, deep voice on the other end of the line tempted me, awakened my body, set me on fire. He was looking for someone else. Instead he found me.
And I found a hot, secret world where I felt alive for the first time.
His name was Dylan, and, strangely, he made me feel safe. Desired. Compelled. Every dark thing he asked me to do, I did. Without question. I longed to meet him, but we were both keeping secrets. And mine were dangerous. If I took the first step, if I got closer to Dylan—emotionally, physically—then I wouldn’t be hiding anymore. I would be exposed, with nothing left to surrender but the truth. And my truth could hurt us both.
Tired and worn from years of systematic abuse – first from her mother and later her husband – Annie McKay sneaks out at 3am with little more than the clothes on her back and $3000 cash in her pocket. She soon finds herself in a middle-of-nowhere trailer park and sets herself up as Layla. Her neighbors keep to themselves and that’s just how Annie likes it. Until she answers a cell phone stuffed in the cushions of the couch. That’s when she hears Dylan’s voice and suddenly she’s got herself a job keeping an eye on the owner of another trailer two spots over. But reconnaissance turns into flirting and flirting turns to lust. Dylan opens Annie up to all sorts of new experiences she just didn’t get to see on her isolated little farm back in Oklahoma. All from the other side of a cell phone. For now.
Annie is a complex character. Her father wasn’t around when she was a child and her bitter, mentally ill mother was emotionally abusive. Annie’s husband stepped in and began to physically assault Annie too. Somehow, Annie manages to retain her shredded innocent outlook on life and genuinely wants to help those around her, especially the fellow abuse-victim mother of four and the old man living close by her new trailer home. But Annie’s no slouch and has a work ethic that keeps her moving and motivated long after others would quit. It’s this part of her nature that has Annie re-creating herself into Layla, a brave, will-try-anything-once persona that leads her to flirt with Dylan, play voyeur in a strip club, and make pasta sauce for the murderer next door.
Dylan is harder to pin down. He’s still something of a mystery since readers don’t get much insight into his half of this story. He’s isolated himself on a mountaintop, but retains the dominant, boundary-pushing persona of his racing days. I look forward to learning more about Dylan (hopefully) in the next book.
This first novel in a two-part duet does end on a cliffhanger, so be prepared!