Miles away from her ugly past, Annie Clarke is thriving in pharmacy school. Uncomfortable with her own success, she begins to fall back to her self-sabotaging ways.
Then along comes Trip Beaumont, a hot, edgy artist. Every instinct in her says run, which only makes him that much more tempting. The day she finally agrees to go out with him, his younger brother, Sam, shows up. Sam’s first words about Trip chill her: “Don’t be fooled by the act. Prince Charming is a toxic monster.”
Annie soon sees that Sam’s callous exterior is a direct result of coping with a family as dysfunctional as her own. Could love shield them both from spiraling into madness, or will their crazy worlds collide like renegade storm fronts leaving devastation and destruction in their wake?
Annie goes from an abusive past. Her father left when she was a small child and she had never heard from him since. Annie’s mother allowed her to be physically and sexually abused by her boyfriend. Her mother also left a fifteen year old Annie to care for her siblings for weeks. When Annie and her siblings finally went to live with her grandparents, Annie was at a breaking point. But she had survived and finished her undergrad years and now was enrolled in a prestigious pharmacy school in Savannah, Georgia. Annie knew that she was a long way from leaving her past behind, but she had made it to this point and would succeed.
Sam was a member of the entitled Savannah elite. He had finished his business degree and one year of law school at Harvard when he dropped out. Law School was not for him. He really didn’t know what he wanted to do, but he did know that it wasn’t law. Sam had returned home to wait for his twenty-fifth birthday when he would receive his inheritance and he could start his life away from his family. His brother Trip had messed his life up with alcohol addiction and Mama was so wound up in who she was that nothing else mattered. Ever since his father had killed himself, his family had been on slippery slope. The only thing that had kept him sane was his friend Randall and the training he did at his gym.
Sam is enthralled the first time he spots Annie at the open air sheds at the River Street Market Place. He was hoping that she would be there when he spots her talking to his brother. Her booth sold gravestone rubbings, cemetery art. This could not be happening, the girl of his dreams talking with his messed up brother. His brother introduces Annie to Sam and a sense of this has happened before just in reverse overwhelms Sam. It feels like the time he had introduced his brother to Violet and had lost her to him. Sam feels like he must warn Annie about Trip’s problems with alcohol but she lets him know real fast that she doesn’t believe him.
Trip tries to convince Sam that he is on the wagon and has been for six months. Sam wants to believe him but the past is haunting him, reminding him of all the times he had rescued Trip from his drunken indiscretions. Sam finds out that Trip has been hiding a secret from him that destroyed his father. He also finds out that Annie is not interested in Trip but him. Will all the pieces to the puzzle come together and heal the past for Sam and Annie?
Hero –Sam Beaumont: 4.5 stars
Heroine –Annabelle Clark: 4.5 stars
Steam: 4.5 stars
Plot: 4.5 stars
Would I recommend this book: Yes! If you want to enjoy the flavor of southern living while immersed in a convoluted story of lust, love, and family betrayal spiced with a touch of mystery this is a must read! Totally loved the way the author brought her characters to life so that you were right there with them.
Would I read other books by this author: Yes! I really enjoyed this book so much that I went on line to find more books by this author.
***Received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review***