I try to forget her.
Growing up together, Conor and I shared all our firsts.
First love, first kiss, first…
Not all our firsts.
We were sixteen the night she was violently assaulted while I helplessly watched.
I’ll never forget the sounds of her suffering.
Or my inconsolable agony when she left Oklahoma.
Years later, she returns to honor our teenage pact.
Except the boy she loved is gone, replaced by a ruthless cattle rancher knotted with secrets.
She doesn’t know my dark cravings or the trails of sin that lead to her.
I don’t deserve her, but one truth remains.
Conor Cassidy has been through hell and is still stuck there, every day since her sixteenth birthday. This book is dark and I usually love that but it was also very realistic, so much so that I quit around chapter six or seven. This poor girl’s life just kept getting worse and I couldn’t see how a HEA would be possible after all of this but I’m glad I stuck with it because my fear was unfounded.
The assault was awful in every way, but years later she’ll learn there was so much more to it. Conor stopped living at the age of sixteen after losing her innocence, her brother and the boy she loved. Since then, she’s just been going through the motions and there’s no joy in her life, no connections, no friends. She eventually meets a man but their relationship is completely one-dimensional. The night of her sixteenth birthday was the beginning of the end of two families and the events that took place shaped four young lives.
These characters are amazing. Conor is so strong and resilient and capable to have withstood everything that’s happened in her life. Her life would have broken a lot of people, but she never gives in to despair, even if it’s eating her alive from the inside every minute of every day. She’s confused and alone but she perseveres. I wasn’t a huge Jake fan immediately because I don’t like the idea that he knew what was best for her and had to hurt her, keeping her in the dark, for her own good. Once the details all come to light though, he probably did the right thing. They were teenagers with unimaginable burdens on their shoulders so Jake did the best he could with his limited power and resources. Conor doesn’t like it but she agrees it was the best way to handle things under the circumstances.
This story is about loss and suffering but it’s mainly about redemption and saving those you love. It’s a beautiful tale and Pam Godwin has a gift for words. I almost never highlight quotes but there are so many great lines here which are just lyrical, poetic and gorgeous. This is an emotional rollercoaster, dark and a little scary but also steamy and just lovely. I can’t this is the first book in the Trails Of Sin series and I can’t wait to read the others because it seems like the suspense subplot will continue to unravel and that’s a fascinating story on it’s own. However, this can be read as a standalone with a HEA and no cliffhangers. Despite a rough beginning, I enjoyed this story so much and will probably read it again.
Knotted on Amazon