Three weeks ago, James Maxwell’s wife died in a car accident, but he hasn’t been able to tell his five-year old daughter the heartbreaking truth behind her mother’s death. Instead, he packs them up and leaves for a summer resort in upstate New York to spend a few peaceful weeks and to gradually break the news. But a spirited and outspoken maid at the resort has figured out his secret.
After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of her stepfather, Madison Smith has turned aimless and bitter toward the world—men, in particular. Her dead-end job at the local resort and her convenient girlfriend barely keep Madison from falling apart. When she meets James, however, she’s driven to protect his child from the darkness she sees inside him.
A forbidden kiss…
But Madison doesn’t expect to find that very darkness irresistible. Drowning in guilt and memories, neither does James expect to be drawn to the sharp-witted woman who has made his life miserable. When their tempers flare, a brutal kiss triggers a need that blurs the lines of hate and desire. As their lust spins out of control, they must decide if their attraction is worth fighting for or if love is the real enemy.
Author’s Note: This book is intended for mature audience. It has trigger elements: Abuse, self harm, death. 18+ ONLY. Despite having an HEA, this story doesn’t follow the usual or conventional rules. It’s rough, edgy and yes, difficult to read in places. The characters are broken and jagged and so is their descent in love. Please proceed with caution. Thank you!
A War Like Ours by Saffron A Kent had the potential to leave me with a broken heart, but sadly it didn’t deliver the heartbreak I hoped for.
Madison’s childhood left her traumatized and with scars that may never heal. She is in an unhealthy relationship working at a small resort in Hedge Lake, New York, hiding from herself and her memories when James Maxwell shows up for a two week vacation. She is the kind of character that you love to hate or hate to love. She is a product of her unhealthy environment.
Once these two meet they are drawn to each other and start a turbulent affair that will leave them both changed. I still haven’t decided if they helped each other or not. I guess in a twisted way they did.
“Love is so elusive, slippery, almost. It could be a myth.”
James lost his wife and instead of facing the tragedy head on, he runs away to Hedge Lake and pretends all is normal to his small child. As we learn more about him, his secrets are revealed, things he is hiding from the world carefully, things that bubble up to the surface after being under lock and key for most of his adult life are once again triggered by the loss of his wife. They are oozing and swirling deep within him and he struggles to keep them under control as he deals with the aftermath of the accident. His daughter, Katie was the brightest star of this story, her sweetness and innocence shined throughout the book.
These two characters are deeply flawed and complicated. Their childhoods infected them with wounds that may never heal and as they find comfort in each other, they unleash a perfect storm that escalates into a flawed and imperfect affair, a tumultuous coupling, that is unique and disturbing at the same time. At times I wanted to hug them and tell them it will be all ok, other times I wanted to shake them until they got a clue…
“He’d said this couldn’t happen again. Well, it could and it would. He’d said whatever we had was a game. It wasn’t.
It was a war, and I’d do anything to win.”
When I picked up this book I was hoping/looking for something dark and angsty based the blurb and early reviews of the book. While there is darkness to the book and the subject matter is heavy and not for everyone, the story never quite delivered the impact I hoped it would as it unfolded. With characters who are this broken and damaged, I never got the feeling of healing as their screwed up relationship progressed.
These two were fighting a war with each other that was lost in translation. I just needed more with the heaviness of the subject matter that the author presented.
About Saffron Kent
Romance Writer and Reader. Coffee Addict. White Russian Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer and poetess. Aspiring Lana Del Ray of the book world.
I’m a big believer in love (obviously). I believe in happily ever after, the butterflies and the tingling. But I also believe in edgy, rough and gutsy kind of love. I believe in pushing the boundaries, darker (sometimes morally ambiguous) emotions and imperfections.
The kind of love I write about is flawed just like my characters. And I hope by the end of it, you’ll come to root for them just as much as me. Because love, no matter where it comes from, is always pure and beautiful.