Blurb from Goodreads:
Emma Cooper is determined to fulfill her mother’s dying wish to scatter her ashes with Aiden Sheffield in Linx, Texas. Just one problem. Why Texas and who the hell is Aiden Sheffield? The only clue is a faded piece of her mother’s stationary. Emma imagines Aiden is a former love of her mother’s, but when she meets the beautiful, damaged stranger, she realizes her assumptions couldn’t be more wrong. He’s hot and young. And Emma is as confused as ever.
Aiden Sheffield would rather go to hell than Linx. Who does Emma think she is disrupting his carefully built life? The last thing the Marine needs is to slice open the sealed wounds of his painful past. Yet, as he gets to know the lovely Emma, a woman who manages to smile even though she’s lost everything, he changes his mind. He will not let her go to hell alone.
But neither is prepared for the devastating evil waiting for them at the end of the road. It might just destroy them.
I have mixed feelings about this book. The beginning completely drew me in and kept me reading. From reading the blurb I figured it would be a slightly darker, over the top, angsty contemporary romance. And I was right. When the book opens Emma sets out on a mission to find one Aiden Sheffield, who she’s never heard of before, but wants to find so she can fulfill her mother’s dying wish. The Aiden she finds is an enigma. He’s big and strong and gorgeous, but he’s also scarred and seems to be carrying demons around with him every second of the day. He’s an animal lover who helps run a sanctuary for abused dogs, yet is also a fighter who gets into the ring and beats his opponents down for money. He’s a former marine who has travelled the world. She learns that her mother was once his step mother, but he won’t tell her much more than that. But she forms a connection to him pretty quickly anyway.
Emma came across as a sad, lost woman who after the deaths of her parents, had no idea where she belonged. As she and Aiden head out across the country, taking the long way to Linx, Texas in order to spread Emma’s mother’s ashes, they get to know each other and honestly, I liked them together. I mean Aiden kept so many secrets that it began to drive me a bit nuts, but I still liked that this author let him and Emma get to know each other before they fell into bed. There were all kinds of lustful thoughts between them, but it took a good while before they acted upon them.
Then the fall into bed and all the secrets of Aiden’s relationship with Emma’s mother come out and I wasn’t so sure what the heck to think.
First of all, I was slightly nauseated by how Emma’s mother, Angela aka Amy, just left a young boy in such an abusive, terrible situation. Of course Emma and Aiden talk it out and excuse her actions because she herself was abused, but in my head I was like HELL NO. No excuses for you, lady. The flashback scenes Aiden has in the form of nightmares tell a terrifying, sadistic story of a man in power who mentally and physically tormented his wife and child, and no amount of excuses could make me feel better about why Aiden was left by someone he trusted to suffer alone. After all this comes to light I will admit I braced myself for more awful when this couple finally arrived in Linx. And I was right to do so. The ending is a turbulent, wtf is going on, whirlwind of confrontation and evil deals and violence and murder. Also, the whole town was in on it? Like nobody had the balls to come forward and protect this boy? Not one person? I mean.. what?
In the end, and despite the over the top dramatic conclusion, I liked this couple and was thankful for the way this author chose to revisit them in the future. Final Grade- C
She is the girl who lost everything.
I am the boy who never had anything.