Cruel Water, Portland ME novels Book 2, Freya Barker

Cruel Water, Portland ME novels Book 2,  Freya Barker

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My first Freya Barker read and what a journey. There’s a book out before this one, featuring characters from this novel and its one that’s gone on my wish list! Its a read that’s deep, dark at times, very intense and covers some uncomfortable subjects but is also a solid and beautiful love story.

Right from the first page I was pulled in, pulled to Viv and The Skipper, pulled to Ike and his “silver eyes” – doesn’t that sound beautiful and mysterious too? Not grey, grey blue or anything but silver. That’s a special term that sums up someone special.

I enjoyed too that this was about older characters, Ike is 42 and I think Viv is 35 – about that anyway. It’s clear she’s got a troubled past, clear from her actions, from the little things she says and does and from the way her friends at The Skipper treat her. It’s a place where people are valued, where they’re accepted and encouraged but never pushed to give more than they can.

For many years Viv thought she was coping OK and then something happens that brings it all back, and that’s on top of the very real problems she has from another area of her past that’s become her present. She’s been existing – Ike’s been there, done that and he wants to help her to Live not to just Exist. The way things play out rapidly it’s good he’s there because she needs him, desperately, even though she doesn’t want to need anyone. It’s going to take the support of many good people to help her through her demons.

Poor Viv, I’d got an idea from a couple of things she says what was in her past, but not quite how bad or prolonged it was.Then the more recent issues become a real danger for her and I was so glad she had Ike and her friends, she needed them so badly. The connection between her and Ike was so sensual, so visceral and couldn’t be ignored even though she tried to do just that, to pigeon hole Ike as a one off. He was persistent though, he knew what they had could be special and was determined to get her to see that.

Its not a book with quick, swift solutions but one where things take time, where its two steps forward and one back. I so felt for Viv, and was so glad she had friends, and that Ike came into her life just at the right time. He wasn’t looking for love either, was a live for the moment guy but when he knew what they had could be long term he went all out for it. a great and very understanding guy. The story shows how one persona actions can’t be ignored and how they affect not just the other person but many more, and tests families and friendships to the limits.

At times I was on the edge of tears and had to out the book aside for a while thinking things over and reading something lighter but the ending is so perfect, and after all the dark it was wonderful to see the light coming.

Stars: Five, a really emotional, realistic story with a perfect ending.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.



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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

2 responses to “Cruel Water, Portland ME novels Book 2, Freya Barker”

  1. Freya Barker says :

    Thank you so much for a wonderful review!! xox Freya

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