I had a difficult time deciding how I should rate this book. At first, I was leaning towards three stars. However, when I sat and thought about it and went back through my notes I realise that it deserved four stars. My decision to read this book was solely based on the synopsis. I have been in a reading slump lately and I figured that this would be the book to take me out of it.
Free Me tells the story of Amy and Rich. Amy was in an abusive relationship since she was fifteen years old. She was held against her will and forced to live through unspeakable horrors. The only good thing to come of this ordeal was her daughter Christa. She managed to gain her freedom six years later when her jailer was killed in a motor vehicle accident.
Rich blames himself for the death of his best friend Ryan, who died in a motor vehicle accident. Rich was driving at the time. To him Ryan was everything. He was like a brother, confidant and friend. At least, that was what he believed until Ryan’s brothers took that illusion away from him.
Fast forward six months later, Amy is celebrating her twenty-first birthday. Her friends in a bid to help take back control of her life took her to a bar to carry out the celebration. While there she met Rich. In spite of the pain, they both experienced in the past it was difficult for them to deny their attraction to each other. Initially, Amy was wary of getting too close to Rich. However, the more time she spent with him she realized that he was nothing like her ex-boyfriend. Rich knew he probably was not good enough for Amy after the life he led but he could not stay away. The one thing they didn’t know was that their past were linked through the one person they both wished they had never met.
There are several things that I enjoyed about Free Me. First of all, I liked that the story was told from dual POVs. This allows readers to have a view of what is taking place in each of the character’s minds. This provides for a better understanding of what they are feeling making it easier to connect with them. The next thing I enjoyed was the character development. They demonstrated growth and strength in times of adversity. Rich realised the mistakes that he had made in the past and he was trying his best to make up for it. It’s my belief that he turned his experience with Ryan into something positive. It helped to shape him into the person he had become. Although he experienced some amount of guilt as a result of Ryan’s death, Rich did not allow it to control his life.
I lift my hat to Amy. She has been through hell and back. I can’t begin to imagine being at the mercy of a psychopath for six long years, with no hope of escape. She reminded me of a quote by
- Joybell C.
“The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life had on her, but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.”
A few persons may find it unrealistic that after going through such an ordeal that she would want to get involved with someone so soon. At first, I had a problem with it; but as the story progressed, I realised that this was her way of proving that not all men were like her ex.
Free Me had a strong and unique storyline. The story was gripping and it flowed smoothly. However, there were points where it moved a bit too slow. I was hoping for more information on the matter relating to Amy’s abductors. I know they finally got what was coming to them, but it would have been great to see how the events played out.
There is more to Free Me than just romance. It’s a story about courage, secrets, survival, second chances, love, forgiveness and healing. If you are looking for a story that will pull you in and keep you engaged I recommend that you get a copy of Free Me.