Elise Grayson lives a life that no one should have to.
To those on the outside she appears to have it all; a lovely home, a successful career, a gorgeous best friend – but all of that is just a facade; a disguise which hides the true ugliness of her life. There is only one person who knows the truth – her best friend Cole Andrews – and, with his support she gets through her day to day existence – just.
Twelve Days before Christmas she meets Vaughn Granger and, almost immediately, she becomes engulfed in a passionate love affair which challenges everything that she has ever known.
By Christmas Day, the events of those preceding twelve days have changed both of their lives irrevocably and whilst Elise begins to find the courage to leave the ugliness behind, there are forces at work outside of her control which are fighting against her future and preventing her from moving forwards.
In that brief twelve day period she finds her world turned upside down and ultimately her life in danger, as friends become enemies and fear, betrayal and addiction form part of everyday life.
The repercussions of those twelve days begin to have a shattering impact on the lives of everyone around them and now Vaughn and Elise must fight their own powerful struggles if there is to be any hope of a future.
They both know that those twelve days must represent the beginning of a new era, but before the past can be finally left behind, a decision has to be made which in the end has consequences that are more far reaching and emotionally devastating than either one of them could ever have foreseen.
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Since writing this review the Author has updated the Novel to include the abuse mentioned 《see below》 which has seen my rating advance to 4 stars.
The first chapter had me intrigued straight away with mentions of things to expect in the story. Gorgeous, funny, caring best friend, jealous co-worker, and an abusive husband.
The character descriptions were short and to the point, along with character back-stories, which was good as I tend to skip through lengthy descriptions.
Elise was a likeable character and I liked how she didn’t stand for crap (other than from her Husband). Vaughn was sexy and dominating and straight to the point when it came to what he wanted (which usually involved Elise and something naughty). Olivia was a great bitch and Dale played the bad guy well. There was always something happening to keep you interested. Though I think more detail on the abuse while it was happening would have helped to give the story an emotional edge. 《see above》 In one part I think the abuse was vital to the scene but it was blanked out while Elise was in her ‘happy place’, which left me confused afterwards as to why she ends up in such a bad state.
The end of the story is an “oh no” moment and leaves you desperate to know what is happening BUT Jade has kindly added the first chapter of book 2 which gives hope, and although it made me want to know more, it leaves me pacified enough to be able to wait for its release in the Fall.
I look forward to being able to read more about Cole, Vaughn and Stephen as I think they have great stories to tell. Well done Jade for a great first Novel.