DNF´ed at 50 %
She wasn´t Cinderella, and he wasn´t offering her a happy-ever-after.
And that´s exactly how I feel about this book. I was intrigued reading the blurb. It sounded too good to be true. A stranger walks into a bar and meets the one woman he was looking for. In a small town flat out denied even cell phone reception. Admittedly I was also anxious seeing the "rough consensual sex" notice at the end of the blurb, but I thought I can handle this.
I was wrong.
Rachel working as a bartender in a watering hole in a miners town in the middle of nowhere (also known as West Virginia) and a stranger, Murphy, looking for her - and finding her. Rachel has her secrets noone knows about. Living under an assumed name she is trying to get over her past. Her bastard husband loved to see her bleed and tied her up with wire. Now a year after she escaped Houston she is a dead woman walking.
At first both, Rachel and Murphy are circling around eachother like an animal hunting its prey while thick snowfall captures both in the bar. Rachel offering Murphy a couch to sleep the night on, turns into something very sexually explicit.
Murphy, out of the blue, shows Rachel that he knows perfectly well who she is and calls her by her real name, and makes clear what his purpose of coming to town is. And it is not exactly pretty. Alas, he isn´t the complete cold blooded killer but shows some empathy and is conflicted between the story Rachel is trying to tell, and the one he was told by her husband. Like when he sees the bruises on her legs, but then he also watches her pee and gets a hard on delighting in her embarassment.
Not being able to make a fast escape, and thanks to the snowstorm, unable to drive away and get Rachel back to Houston, Murphy ties her up. She is sexually aroused, admitting to Murphy of liking her sex rough, while being afraid too. Afraid of Murphy while lusting for him and conflicted about those mixed emotions.
Forcing Rachel to give head while tied up, and she getting more and more aroused, I finally called in the towel. As much as I wanted to like the book I couldn´t. I know I was taking a risk with it since even the sex is consensual it was too dark, too rough for my taste, and I am simply not comfortable with the way it was described. If it wouldn´t be for the rough and forced sex I would totally fall for the story line, probably less so for the characters. I don´t judge Rachel for what she likes, but that´s simply not me. Which is probably not the point.
Now getting back to more fluffy stuff and some hot chocolate.