Sofia Tres Santos is young (20-years old) but has already faced a lot of suffering. Her highly-abusive father regularly beat her and her siblings and she was raped as a teen. She was so traumatized that she then engaged in risky, demoralizing behavior. Now she’s taken control of her life and is going to school and working for Killian O’Brien, an MMA fighter who she grew up with and has secretly admired. He’s highly protective of her, harboring some guilt regarding the violence of her past.
This was the story I waited for as Sofia has healed so much since the first story. She’s still suffering from crippling fear whenever she feels threatened and her own painful sins of her past resurface at embarrassing moments. I loved how she faced these circumstances head on and took steps to try and overcome them. Her relationship with Killian developed rather sweetly and I liked his patience with Sofia, putting her needs ahead of his own even when it was difficult.
The new adult genre can be challenging for me as it’s often fraught with lots of miscommunication and flight is typically the first response to conflict. There’s some of that here but not protracted and it’s eclipsed by the tenderness of the story and well developed characters. The horrific nature of Sofia’s past was handled deftly, nothing gratuitous in the describing as the focus was on her feelings rather than the acts. I felt the degradation, not the physical aspects, which is really great writing.
I liked the narrator who captured the heart of Sofia. She told the story without dramatic embellishment, important giving the topics. I enjoyed so much about this story, primarily Sofia’s triumph and experiencing the little and major milestones. This was a fitting conclusion to the series, especially as the characters from the previous books were also featured substantively. And, you’re in for a real treat with the epilogue. Now that’s how you write an ending!
(I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)