Invisible. A ghost. No one sees her. No one knows her. Until him.
For the last seven years, Jo Carpenter has been a ghost in her own life. No friends. No permanent address. No long-term job. And that is exactly the way she wants it… Until a typing error lands her on Nate Harding’s doorstep in the city of Edinburgh, answering his ad for a roommate.
Nate and his luxury house are a different world for Jo. Tall, rugged and with a voice that seems hardwired to Jo’s sex drive, Nate is a distraction Jo can’t afford, but neither seems able to fight the growing tension between them. Nate’s touch brings Jo back to life and every encounter leaves her craving more. As they grow closer and intimacy creeps its way around them, Nate knows there are things Jo isn’t telling him. What he doesn’t realize is the less he knows about Jo and her past, the safer he is.
For years Jo has been careful—hasn’t let her guard down, got too comfortable or let anyone get close enough to see the person beneath her protective armor. Soon it isn’t just Nate that Jo has fallen for—it’s his whole family, from his adorable niece to his eccentric sister, Suze, who quickly becomes the best friend Jo has ever had. Against her better judgment, Jo let’s herself believe she can have a normal life. In Nate’s arms she forgets the things that haunt her, and the reasons she should leave that innocent family become all the reasons she can’t.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of physical abuse and a reference to enforced undressing.
Worldbuilding: We’re talking one fun Edinburgh setting for the story, and I loved that. It wasn’t too focused upon, but I loved the feeling of the place nonetheless.
Characters: Jo was interesting MC, transparent yet very secretive. I can’t say I liked or disliked her, most likely because for most of the novel she’d holding herself back in a way. You’ll get what I mean when you read the novel.
Nate was of course crush material, all yummy, alpha male, somewhat player vibe, but tender and caring. I loved his nutty family, especially his sister. Nate and Jo had awesome chemistry, and their one on one was very passionate and awesomely hot 😀
If there’s one character I would have liked more developed, somehow, it’s Scott. But you know me, I always care more about the villain of the story.
Plot: The romance arc was really sweet, usually not my thing, and while I wasn’t head over heels with it, it worked out in the end. The suspense arc wasn’t terribly thrilling (for me…it’s tough to thrill me though, keep in mind), but it had a good tempo and though the action didn’t give me a rush, I liked how tension and conflict were resolved.
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Jo’s POV. Interesting voice. I really loved Pamela L. Todd’s descriptions, not lengthy or too emphasized upon, but definitely suggestive.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, interesting blurb. Good impulsive buy candidate for my suspense-y reading moods.
All in all, I had a good time reading a story that I will say was very much vanilla and sweet for me. While we’re talking tortured characters and traumatic MC past, I’d say Pamela L. Todd’s writing has a way of making even shocking scenes flow smoothly, leaving your feathers quite unruffled somehow. As an adrenaline junkie and a totally sadistic & evil reader, I would have enjoyed a darker, more haunting kind of approach because that’s what I’m generally into, but even so the story worked for me.
I recommend the novel if you’re into suspense but not into gory details and much violence, plus I’m sure you’ll love this if you’re into sweet romance, because boy was it sweet! Not overly fluffy or anything, but on my scale of things, definitely sweet, even though we’re talking heroine with a traumatic past (and present).
Guest Post: Home and Back Again
by Pamela L. Todd
Inspiration can be found anywhere if you know where to look. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have my happy place where I do most of my writing. I’m surrounded by things that inspire me to achieve and reach for more, and to help me focus on what I’m trying to do. I love writing in my happy place. But I might not always be there. Physically yes. Mentally? No.
Being a writer, you get pretty good at people-watching. I’ve always been somewhat of a daydreamer (I have years of school reports to support this fact) and if I’m near a window zero work will be getting done. I love sitting in cafes and absorbing the people around me, their conversations, their mannerisms and their clothes. Trains also are prime people-watching spots.
At home, my husband shows me a million times a day all the ways he loves me. I don’t even think he realises he’s doing it. It’s in the way he always remembers to kiss me goodbye before leaving for work, how he sends me messages throughout the day and lets me know he’s thinking of me. It’s in the way he loves our son that just makes me love him even more. I don’t ever transfer any of him to my books. It belongs to us and I want to keep it that way. But I do use him for inspiration. He isn’t in my books, and yet he is. He’s in all the tiny details when the leading man shows his love for my protagonist.
I am not a seasoned traveller. I haven’t been out of the country for ten years. But the places I’ve been have widened my perspective. In the early days of our relationship, my husband and I used to drive around for hours discovering new places. Little seaside towns, vast countryside and quirky tourist stops. He’s Welsh, and so visiting his family I got to discover a new place of life and people. The Welsh, I’ve found, are some of the most caring and helpful people I’ve ever met. Not to mention honest and genuine, and you can’t really ask for more than that.
Even in my own part of the world in Scotland, I haven’t been a huge number of places. I first visited Edinburgh for a school trip in Primary Five. What I remember most is being so thirsty on the bus I thought I was going to die, and how old it was. It interested me and I always begged to go back. And I did, a few times over the years, as a student or by visiting with my parents. But it was visiting it with my husband that I feel I really discovered the city.
Edinburgh is like no other place on earth. One moment you’re on a bustling high street, huge stores rising up from the pavement and take one or two turns and it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. A mixture of new, old and ancient, it holds a wealth of secrets that I haven’t discovered all of yet.
It is in all these things, from staying at home, to driving around and visiting a favourite city or taking a family holiday that gives me inspiration. Sometimes you need somewhere new to give you a fresh take on things, or even just to give you another location possibility. And sometimes you need seasoned and familiar, to give that comfort level needed to add true warmth to your books.
About the Author & Links:
Pamela has adored books since she can remember. There was no greater pleasure than discovering a new world to venture into, a new character to fall in love with…until she created her own and realised there was something even more magical.
When she isn’t locked away at her computer, or scribbling in a notebook, Pamela can be found as her alter ego—namely wife to Matthew and mother to Todd. They also share their home with a schizophrenic cat and two greedy goldfish.