The story is told from both Amber and Marcus' POV, giving us most of their life stories. There are some things left unexplained, to be explored in the next installment in the series - "Let Me Know", which continues and concludes Amber and Marcus' story (currently there are only these two in the series).
Amber had the "perfect life", a loving family (even though her father left years ago), a brother she adores, a boyfriend she has been friends with from a young age and his sister is her best friend. Everything is snatched from her when a stalker targets her. I don't want to write what happened not to spoiler but it's horrible beyond words. Maybe it's for the best this story doesn't explore EVERYTHING that happened to Amber where Paul (the stalker) is concerned. Now she is trying to get back to her "old life" in a different college studying to be a vet as was her dream from a young age.
Marcus had a horrible past as well, but for him, it's not a "singular event" it's all his upbringing, growing up with a mother who doesn't care for him and his brother and a step-father who abused them both. Though he has a close friend at the campus he keeps his secrets close to his heart, not letting anyone get close to him, except for one night stands - as many as he can get, NO strings attached.
Amber and Marcus meet for the first time at a tattoo shop, both came to engrave the memory of their loved ones, the ones they recently lost. From there on they keep stumbling into one another and though at the beginning it worries Amber in the end she finds herself asking for his help in her Math class. Marcus needs the money badly so he accepts and even though it seems unlikely for them to connect to one another, they soon become friends. Yeah there are A LOT of things they keep from one another but as time passes they start to confide in one another and little by little they fall for each other.
The road is VERY bumpy. Amber's past comes crushing around her and she is too afraid Marcus would be harmed because of her. Marcus isn't sure how to approach Amber when he knows how much she was hurt and so he doesn't want to pressure her. I LOVED him, he was so sweet and gentle with her, I could see how much he cared about her right from the beginning. Even if he is a "womanizer" he never feels like a jerk, I like that about him. Amber was truly a tragic character, she is so very strong and yet so very fragile from everything that happened to her. She misread a lot of signals from people around her mostly because she is unable to process the whirlwind of emotions she and everyone connected to her are dealing with. I had so much respect for her. Even though she was basically on her own, she fought to maintain as much normal as she can get, and when she got closer to Marcus she did her best to be able to see HIM and not her tormentor in every turn. Later on I had even more respect for the way she decided to deal with her horrific past, not to mention the two close friendships she is able to build, exposing her past to them even though it's so painful for her.
Amber and Marcus' romance is full of twists and turns mostly because it's not something they were ready for, they are both afraid to surrender their hearts to one another and they both feel they are not enough with the way their past seems right around the corner.
Though it's a painful story it's a beautiful beyond words. I find it hard to say "I loved it" because these words seems too "cheerful" to describe this heart breaking story. The story ends with a sort of Happy For Now, with both Marcus and Amber's past still unresolved, to be concluded in the next installment. Really excited to move on to the next one! I must say I was amazed to find out this is Stina's debut novel. WOW.
HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to those of you who enjoy angst and heart ache mixed with a sweet and endearing love story.
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 245 pages, 22-25 May 2016 / On GoodReads