Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.
I had this book on my Kindle for a while, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to read it,,, until now (it might have been the cover, not the usual hottie or sexy pose :). And oh boy, what a surprise!! I was hooked from the moment I started it. Read it in a day, finished it late at night and couldn’t sleep for hours. A million thoughts and questions were running through my head. This is one of those few books that leaves you raw inside and once finished you can’t pick another one for a while.
Caleb and Olivia’s story is unique; not the ending you would expect and no HEA (or it depends how you look at it). BTW, what’s with these names? Just in the last few months, I read a few books where the main characters were named the same..hmmm. Anyway, they met in college, fell in love, but Olivia’s deceitful and manipulative personality drove them apart. In the three years they’ve been together, she never confessed her love for him, and didn’t let herself consummate their relationship.
“I will love again, Olivia, you will hurt forever. What you’ve done is… you are worthless because you make yourself that way. You will remember me every day for the rest of your life because I was the one, and you threw me away.”
I have to mention that because of the complexity of the characters, nothing in this story is what it seems. The author opted to alternate between past and present, which makes it easier for the reader to follow the storyline.
They met again by chance (or so we think) three years later, only to find out Caleb has amnesia and doesn’t remember her, which fueled Olivia’s desire to renew their relationship. Also, Caleb has a long time relationship with Leah. (which we get to know better, in the sequel). When he gets closer to finding out the truth about who Olivia is, her self-destructiveness has her running away the second time. OK, at this point I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall. I admit, I had the most “WTF are you doing?” moments I’ve ever had while reading a book. I couldn’t decide whether to love or hate her. How could she let the only good thing in her life, slip away… twice??
Caleb on the other hand, is a loving and sweet, treats her with respect, adores her but his patience in not unlimited. When they meet the third time (in present tense), he has moved on. This almost destroys Olivia’s desire to rekindle their relationship. But that doesn’t stop her from going after him. Only, in the process, she meets Noah, a very handsome and wise man, who makes her see what she’s about to do. Caleb and Olivia’s last encounter leaves them heartbroken. “It is the last real kiss of my life. I forever cling to that kiss. It was goodbye and I’m sorry and I love you so much…I am broken.” They now have to learn to live with their decisions. Don’t we all? How we would love to go back in time to change things, right?
I’m certain many of us could relate to this story or its characters. The author has created a perfectly imperfect story. Brilliant, amazing can’t wait to read the Dirty Red (Love Me With Lies #2). Thank you Tarryn for creating such an intense and emotional story. 🙂
5 sparkling stars from me
“So, you still love me?” he teases, reaching out and tucking my hair behind my ear. “More than anything,” I say. “I was waiting for you— for years. I didn’t live. I just waited for you to come back.” He squeezes his eyes shut and I know that he is thinking what I am thinking. What if? He pulls me to his chest and holds me there.
“I love you too, Olivia. More than I could ever love another soul. There hasn’t been a single hour in seven years that I haven’t thought of you.”