Author: Marley Valentine
Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone
Release Date: 25th May, 2017
Cover Designer: PopKitty
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Donna on behalf of #KFF
This is a debut from Marley valentine and right from the prologue I’m dragged into the story. Totally sucked in with my emotions running deep from the words alone.
This is about Evie who has endured tragic events in her life. She shares her apartment with Elliot and I wasn’t sure what the relationship was there at first. Evie seems closed off, just existing and I wanted to find out why. What is evident is that Elliot is there for her in a comfortable silence, and most of the time with her best interests at heart. He has a good friend and work colleague in Lior and when he meets Evie for the first time, there is a deep connection from the way they first look at each other. Lior can see there is more to the girl that has caught his attention and he wants to peel the layers to discover more about her, but he could get more than he bargained for.
Evie has a work colleague called Courtney who goes by the name of Court. She is quite the forward pushy girl. She sees how Evie and Lior are looking at each other and she knows there are hidden depths to Evie. So, with a gentle shove and encouragement she starts picking at Evie and gets her to start to live again instead of just coasting along with her everyday life. Court and Lior are persistent in their crusade.
“You never need to hide your smile from me.”
Court and Evie begin to form a firm friendship, but it makes me laugh they couldn’t be more opposite to one another. Their interaction is entertaining. Lior. Elliot, Court, and Evie share a few nights out to dinner and slowly but surely Evie slightly breaks down some walls as she starts to feel a little comfortable around her new friends and Elliot.
This is told in dual point of view of Evie and Lior. I enjoyed getting into both their minds. Poor Evie surrounded by such darkness and feeling the connection to Lior wanting to open up more but afraid of revealing some of her secrets in case it scared him away. Lior is so drawn to Evie he knows there is so much more he doesn’t know, apart from one thing that has already been revealed. He just wants to be her light in all her darkness.
Devastate evoked lots of feelings. I cried, smiled, and damn well felt my heart shatter. This story is full of hope and love. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and just when I wiped my tears for a humorous part along would come something else to shatter me all over again. It has a sweet mix in the story. Marley Valentine will become a household name in the Indie book world. Her penmanship is outstanding with her ability to make you feel every word you read, and I will follow with great interest what’s offered next. There’s an awesome playlist to accompany the story and there is one track that gave me Goosebumps while listening to it and reading.
Months and months have passed, and I have tried to crawl my way out of the depths of hell. I’ve tried to return to the land of the living, and be the man you need me to be; the pillar of strength you deserve. But, broken hearted and beaten down, I’m a pathetic excuse of a man. There is no glass half full, or the possibility of sunshine after the rain. There’s only darkness. Strangling me from the inside out; there will only ever be darkness.
With your tiny breaths filling the room, I watch your body rise and fall while you sleep. I allow myself to notice how much you’ve changed and let the blame seep into my pores. My eyes rake over your body. Small and petite, you curl yourself around a pillow; the pillow that has become the stand in body, to hold, hug and provide comfort. The dark circles under your eyes, the way your collarbones protrude, I’ve pushed you to look the exact same way that I feel. Lifeless.
I’ve sunk into the depths of hell, plagued by an eternity of nothingness, I am painfully aware that if we continue this way, I will drag you down. The emptiness that consumes me, will consume us, and the love we shared will be a distant memory. With time, it will fade and you and I will be hollow, dull versions of the people we once were. Passing like two ships, we won’t touch, we won’t talk and we will forget how to live. This hole in my heart is big, slicing me in two. Each rip, more painful than the last. The pain is crippling and my God is it constant. Like dead weight, I carry it around with me every fucking day and I can’t do it anymore. I thought I could survive the destruction, that together we would heal, but here and now, it’s just like a knife digging deeper into my wounds every damn day and I don’t know if I can handle it any longer.
Watching you last night for the millionth time, I realized this was the end. The end of us, and the end of me. I can no longer stand to see you sneak off into our daughter’s room when you think I’m asleep. I know you hide your pain from me, and it does nothing but make it worse that I can’t make it better for you. There’s nothing left of me, and my heart doesn’t know how to deal with watching your body shake as you try to stifle the sobs. With her clothes and toys scattered all over her handmade quilt, I watch you; my wife, break down, and I watch your heart shatter into a million more pieces than the night before. And the piece of shit that I am can’t do anything. Won’t do anything? I’m not even sure of which one it is.
What I do know is that my beautiful, courageous and loving Evie is falling apart, and I can’t save you. I can’t hold you, I can’t wipe your tears and I can’t tell you it’s going to be better. Empty. Void. Exhausted. I’m a shell of the man I used to be, I’m no longer me. I’m no longer a father, and I’m no longer a husband. I am a failure. And for that, I am so, so sorry.
You are more than my first love. You are more than my last love…
You are my GREAT love.
Evie, My Love. My Heart. My Soul. My Everything.
Forgive Me. Remember Me.