****Spoiler Alert****

5 stars

I loved this book!  It really surprised me from the start. Both Conrad and Stella are complex and intriguing characters. At the beginning, at the mention of meetings, I was assuming something like AA or NA or some kind of grief group meeting. I did not, at any moment, think Witness meetings. That was a huge curveball. It was also a refreshing change. It is a plotline I have not seen in a romance novel before and I have to say it was very compelling. Getting some insight into the religion and what is and is not accepted was fascinating and, at times, a little shocking. I thought Parker was dead the way he was referred to, but the reality is somehow worse. Any belief system that demands you exclude anyone that isn’t exactly like you cannot be a positive thing. Nor, in, my mind, can it be in line with the bible – isn’t there something in there about loving all god’s creatures and love thy neighbour, and forgiveness and acceptance etc…  I love that Conrad wasn’t immediately scared off by it all, and that he posed some questions that really made her think and re-evaluate everything she had been made to believe. I can’t imagine a childhood with no birthdays, Christmas, Easter etc. And the whole Alexander situation was just heartbreaking.

I was intrigued by Conrad’s scorpion tattoo all the way through, and desperate to know more about the dark secrets of Mr Adams. It always seems that it is the girl giving up all her secrets and dishing out all the info when the men clam up and refuse to do the same – share boys! I must admit, as much as I loved the whole story and the sexy times, there is one chapter that really stayed with me. Chapter 21. I believe in Ketchup!  Yep, I believe in Ketchup. I have a very similar belief structure and I just adore the Ketchup aspect – it’s all one great Source (sauce) ha love it!

The way it ended though.. Nooooo! I need the sequel immediately. I thought something like that might happen but I didn’t expect she would be the one to cave. I still have some unanswered questions so the sequel can’t come soon enough for me. What happened with Conrad in the university years that led to the tattoo? (I have my suspicions but I want to know for sure). I am guessing that the locked door on the lower level of his apartment is a playroom/dungeon with the later reference to everything with her being very vanilla for him? Where is Parker? Is he okay? Can he help her get away from the talons of the witnesses? Is Conrad going to go postal? What about her business? Argh I need the sequel!

A great romance read. It was heartfelt and tender, questioning and thought-provoking. I can’t wait to discover more from this author. This book had me feeling all sorts of emotions – I wanted to hug some characters, slap a bunch of them, shake a couple, and locate one. Thank goodness the sequel release date is soon. The wait will be agonising.