Published by Head of Zeus on August 14th 2014
Emma Marshall can't wait to marry her childhood sweetheart, Richard. But then a tragic accident changes everything, and introduces a stranger, Jack, into her life. Gorgeous and mysterious, Jack is like no-one Emma has met before. But Richard is the man she loves...
Two different men.
Two different destinies.
How will Emma end her story?
With her fabulous début FRACTURED, Dani Atkins was already well on her way to being my go-to author for hauntingly beautiful and stirring books and with her latest release THE STORY OF US she’s now firmly in first place!
THE STORY OF US is about Emma, recently moved home to help care for her ailing mother, but luckily not a lamentable position to be in due to a reunion with her two best girlfriends and about to marry her childhood sweetheart, Richard. On the night of her hen party, a tragic car accident rips her happy night to shreds but it is Emma’s rescuer Jack that truly turns her life upside down. Is the path Emma should follow the one that is familiar or does her destiny lay down the road she never imagined?
One of my favourite things about Dani Atkins is her ability to create realistic, likeable but always a little flawed, characters you can’t help but root for and Emma is just that. She’s not perfect and she knows it, her thoughts aren’t always the most appropriate in a situation but they are always searingly honest. When Jack pulls her from the car wreck, she wonders if the intense connection she feels is simply due to the inevitable emotional bond formed between people in a tragedy or is it something more? Either way, Emma is braver than most of us and feels compelled to find out especially when a devastating betrayal comes to light and Emma is left reeling and unsure whether fiancé Richard is all that she had hoped. Her connection with Jack is definitely intriguing and their sexual chemistry is scorching and I was captivated by how their friendship developed. As always with Atkins’ stories, there is always an element of suspense and foreboding as she skilfully weaves mystery with romance to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, aching to see how the story unfolds with each beautifully written page. It was so hard to resist the temptation to flick ahead and I can’t tell you how many times I had to slap my hand away from the back of the book as my head and heart did battle. Despite his faults I did feel for Richard and I loved how layered Atkins’ characters are that they draw sympathy from even the most unwilling.
The sub-plots of Emma’s parents and also Emma’s relationship with her friends following the accident are equally compelling and I loved how there are little clues dropped throughout the story that connect each thread perfectly and keep you interested.
THE STORY OF US is an emotional and mesmerising read about love, courage, taking that leap of faith and trusting your instincts. Bittersweet, beautiful and utterly gripping and one not to be missed.