Published September 20, 2016
Thomas & Mercer
My rating: 3.5 stars
This was my first S.G. Redling book. From the description I thought it sounded like a book I would really enjoy.
Colleen McElroy comes from a wealthy and privileged family. But despite that, life hasn’t always been easy. She barely survived her first marriage to a brutal man who not only beat her so badly that she required surgery, but stripped her of all of her confidence and self-worth. But meeting Patrick McElroy changed all of that. Patrick is kind, calm and gentle with Colleen. A solid and respectful man. He played a big part in helping her build up her self-esteem, and helped her heal.
Patrick McElroy and John Mulroney met in a foster home when they were in their teens. Both suffered from abuse and neglect but what Patrick lived through was beyond horrific. Because of how tight-knit they were they eventually became known as the Macaroni Brothers and now run a freight company. However, they are most proud of the work they do with at risk youth. When they were young they promised themselves that if they ever had the money that they would build a home for children that was clean and safe but would also provide education and training for successful futures. They built Green Fields Youth Home, and it’s been a great success. John’s wife, Bix also grew up in foster care and is an integral part of the Macaroni Brothers business. Green Fields means everything to the three of them.
Colleen has always believed that she’s completely safe with Patrick. But lately things are starting to shake that belief. She often hears Patrick and John fighting, but when she asks her husband what’s going on he doesn’t give her a satisfactory answer. On top of that some of the people Patrick and John are in business with are definitely cause for concern. It’s not long before she starts to feel like the safe new life she’s made for herself with Patrick is being threatened. Is she looking for problems where there are none or does she have reason to be worried? Can Colleen truly rely on anyone but herself?
I had conflicted feelings about Colleen. At first I found her way too passive. I definitely felt bad about what she had been through but some of her decisions seemed odd. Especially when it came to her friendship with Bix. Loud and hot-headed, Bix could be a good friend to Colleen one minute but then the next minute she would be making passive aggressive comments to her, even downplaying what Colleen went through in her first marriage. Many times I wanted Colleen to stand-up for herself.
I have to say I could never have predicted how things would turn out. I liked not knowing what was going to happen but it almost seemed to come out of left field. After a rather slow beginning it built up to a frenzied pace in the last few chapters….my head was spinning. It almost felt like someone flipped a switch and everything (and everyone) went berserk. It did get quite graphic and although we aren’t left hanging at the end, it did feel like it was a bit rushed.
All in all I thought this was a good read. I was intrigued from the start and read it rather quickly. Despite some mixed feelings with how it all played out, I did think that it had quite an original and interesting plot and I think I will enjoy reading more from S.G. Redling.
Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and S.G. Redling for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.