on April 8, 2017
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From New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, Nicole Williams:
When he left for a twelve-month deployment, she knew it would feel like forever before they saw each other again. She didn’t realize how right she was.
When Lance Corporal Brecken Connolly gets taken as a POW, Camryn hopes for the best but steels herself for the worst. In the end, steel was what she needed to survive when he didn’t. She moves on the only way she knows how—gilding herself in more steel.
Years go by. She builds a new life. She leaves the old one behind.
Until one day, she sees the face of a ghost on the news. Brecken seems to have risen from the dead, but she knows she can’t perform the same miracle for herself. While Brecken was held in a torture camp for the past five years, she’s been trapped in her own kind of prison.
The man she mourned comes back to join the living, but the girl he wanted to spend his life with isn’t the same woman he comes back for. Brecken isn’t the same person either. The past five years have changed them both. While he’s determined to put the pieces back together, she’s resolved to let hers rot where they shattered.
Broken or not, Brecken wants her back. He’ll do anything to achieve that. Even if it means going against the warden of Camryn’s personal prison—her husband.
*May contain sensitive content for some readers*
“I’m coming home to you,” he said like a solemn vow. “It might be in more than one piece, but I’m coming home to you.”
“A thousand pieces, I don’t care. Just come home.”
What can I say that could do this story justice? This book blew me away. Nicole Williams possesses a rare talent. She’s able to write stories so emotionally gripping, they embed themselves within you, heart and soul. She is a gifted storyteller and one of my favorite authors. Tortured is a masterful piece of fiction bursting with honesty, heartbreak, and hope, that will stay with you long after the end.
“There was love, and there was what we had. It was the kind of feeling that couldn’t be substituted or faked. It was the kind that spanned time and distance.”
This book was just AMAZEBALLS. It “tortured” my emotions on every level. I cried SO hard because of what these two souls have to endure when they are torn away from each other. What starts out as young love, brimming with innocence and hope, turns into a worst nightmare for both Camryn and Brecken. Just imagining their day to day struggles, the sacrifices asked of them…it’s tough to swallow.
“Our scars prove we’re strong. They testify to what we can endure. It’s not weakness carved into them – it’s strength.”
When Brecken finally is able to come home, I was holding my breath. These two, who are clearly meant to be together, have so many obstacles standing in their way. Camryn is no longer free, and Brecken is no longer the same man that left. I loved the way Brecken handles the situation.; both of them quietly offering support and understanding to the other. The progression of finding their way back to who they once were to each other is just perfect.
This story had all the feels, and I can’t wait to add it to my shelves to be read and treasured over and over again. If you want a gripping story, with realistic characters whose love is transcendent, then grab this book!
“I missed out on six years. I’m not missing one more second. It’s torture without you.”
My head lifted. “There is an explanation.”
“You don’t owe me one.” His head barely shook. “And it doesn’t change the outcome.”
Brecken did half a turn, motioning at the house behind me before indicating at me. “You belong to someone else now.”
I couldn’t deny it.
Yet I couldn’t confirm it either.
“It’s okay,” he continued, his throat moving. “I’m happy to have you in my life. In whatever capacity I can. Even if it’s saving my ass every once in a while when I flambé my scrambled eggs.”
I stood from my seat and moved beside him. Regardless of everything else, he was alive. “I’m happy to have you in my life in whatever way too. Even if it’s saving my ass from something else.”
His shoulder touched mine. “I’ll save your ass from whatever you need saving from.”
“Hero complex?” My eyebrow lifted at him.
“Far less noble,” he replied, his eyes dropping behind me. His mouth stretched into a grin. “You’ve got a nice ass. Totally worth saving.”
Elbowing him, I feigned appall, but he saw through the act.
“I better get going. I don’t want to overstay my welcome.” He moved down the steps, holding the handrail as he took them backward. “Let me know what you decide to tell Crew. If you decide to tell him anything.”
My arms folded as I moved to the edge of the porch, watching him lower himself one step at a time. “Things between Crew and I are—”
“Complicated. Yeah. I was listening. I know that.” Brecken stopped when he stepped onto the pathway. “I don’t want to make things more complicated for you, so just let me know how I can do that. Unless you want me to complicate things for you, then by all means, let me know how I can do that as well.” He was joking, the glint in his eyes told that, but he wasn’t entirely. His face told me that.
When I went to reply, all that came out was a sigh.
“Listen, you’re with him. I know you’re his wife.” He was staring at me, still holding onto the handrail. Not able to let go. “If he wants to hear me say that to his face to make him feel better, I will.”
“You know what question Crew will follow up with.”
He nodded once. “If I’ll respect the fact that you’re his wife.”
My silence was a confirmation.
“Well, that’s simple,” he said, his voice sounding like the one I remembered. It didn’t waver. It didn’t rasp. Brecken’s eyes didn’t leave mine as he backed away. “I’d tell him that I have every intention of showing him the same amount of respect he showed me when he moved in on my girl weeks after my fake execution.”