Cruel Water Synopsis:
Innocence marked her…
Violation crippled her…
Love left her raw…
The life she carefully rebuilt is challenged when she is confronted with the sins from her past. The carefully applied protection is at once ripped away, leaving her exposed and vulnerable.
Her single night of indulgence with the silver-eyed stranger is only the beginning. He sees right to the heart of her and she is unable to ward off emotions that have been deeply buried. With the sting of betrayal still fresh in her soul, she’s surprised to find herself opening up to the honest integrity of the sharp-eyed, rough-looking biker.
When he lost everyone who mattered, he was left without roots and learned to be content simply living in the moment. Completely unprepared for the feisty blonde bartender with old pain marring her clear-blue eyes, he questions his own rules of detachment, as she unwittingly finds a way under his skin.
Appearances deceive and when the masks fall away, revealing deep, dark secrets, there is nothing left but to hang onto each other and survive the storm.
Freya Barker inspires with her stories about ‘real’ people, perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy.
A recipient of the RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for best first book, “Slim To None,” Freya has since published eight books. She continues to spin story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Cruel Water (Portland, ME, #2)
After a bit of a slow start, I found that the romance and suspense picked up nicely. Viv (Vivian) meets Ike at The Skipper, and for the first time in many years, allows a man into her life in a sexual way. She is determined to be independent at 35 years old and avoids intimate relationships with men. The men in her life now are like brothers to her, safe and protective. Ike is about to change her mind.
Her domestic violence situation that she thought she had left in the past and on another coast has come back to haunt her. I appreciated that she was one of those women who stayed in the relationship and causes us to rail against her. So easy to judge unfairly. As the she reveals why she stayed, it makes some sense.
Then Ike has his own past secret. And there is a hint of another issue hidden/ denied by Viv. What happened prior to the domestic violence relationship? This is revealed in a way that makes the most sense.
Her father is experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s and can no longer be taken care of by his wife of 50 years. This brings all of her brothers back for a bit and allow her a second chance with them. This story is about re-connecting with family, allowing your friends into your life a bit more, and falling for a very sexy guy (42 y/o).
There are quite a few sexy, erotic scenes as well as action scenes where Viv proves just how capable she is of handling anything that threatens her… with some help by Ike, Gunnar, Syd, Pam, and others. She went from being isolated, ashamed, and hurt to having amazing people there for her. The importance of remembering the past, going pasting coping into healing, and making room for love made this book a bit stronger and memorable for me.
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I have read another book by this author and have purchased her Cedar Tree box set as well.
Previous PORTLAND, ME Novels:
From Dust (#1)
Amazon (universal): myBook.to/FromDust
More from Freya Barker:
CEDAR TREE SERIES:
Slim To None (#1)
Hundred To One (#2)
Against Me (#3)
Clean Lines (#4)
Upper Hand (#5)
Like Arrows (#6)