I stared harder at the picture, uncomfortable with the odd sense of familiarity I felt. Looking at the woman's graceful yet agonized form, I felt as though I should recognize her.
Bothered by my increasing disquiet, I stood up and walked closer. This was not your typical campus painting of daffodils and laughing students. I had seen this particular kind of art several times before. I leaned in to try to see the details in the poor lighting. And there it was- the tiny patterns on the woman's dress composed of dozens of Xs.
I didn't notice any numbers or words in this picture, though, so I didn't understand what its intent was. It was my understanding that X's paintings held the clues to the location of the club, Compulsion. But this picture seemed to have nothing to do with that.
This was a painting created for some other purpose.
"So what do you think?"
I looked over my shoulder to find Maxx standing behind me. I turned back to the picture, not bothering to answer him. The truth was, my outburst in the group had left me feeling raw and vulnerable, and seeing him so soon after making a gigantic ass of myself was embarrassing.
As he came up beside me, the sleeves of our jackets brushed against each other. Maxx inclined his head toward the painting and asked me again, "Well, what do you think of it?"
I shrugged, not really in the mood for small talk. My pounding head couldn't handle a go-around with the group Romeo. I started to walk away from him when he grabbed hold of my arm.
"Wait, Aubrey. Please." It was that word that did it. Please. It was uttered softly and sincerely. And it held me as fast and surely as if he had put his arms around me.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Beautiful. Brilliant. Inspiring. Reclaiming The Sand simply left me speechless. The prologue itself left me reeling. I knew as soon as I started this book, I wouldn't be the same. And I wasn't. This story will destroy anything you think about love. About what love can do. What love is capable of. And you will question your definition of love.
"He sees the beauty of where other's don't. He hears love when others only hear pain. He gives me the strength to become the person I've been terrified to be"
Ellie McCallum was a lost and lonely girl growing up. She didn't connect to anyone or anything. She felt better about herself by tearing others down. Enter Flynn Hendrick. Freaky Flynn. Flynn was different simply because he had Aspergers. Ellie continuously bullied Flynn and encouraged her troubled friends to do the same. After an act committed by Ellie, she is thrown in juvenile jail. Years later she is released and lives her life, and runs in to Flynn. The one person she's despised for so many years. The only person that she found possible to love. Ever.
"My heart exploded in my chest in a million tiny fragments. All because of a glimpse of dark green eyes that I hadn't I realized I missed"
This is not your typical read. You're going to hurt. You're going to feel it ALL. Ellie is in so much pain. Pain that no one should ever experience. And her friends? They hurt too. And your heart goes out to every single one of them. How can you show kindness when you don't know it yourself? How do you love, when you've never experienced it? All those years ago, Ellie had a connection to Flynn. And she loved him. She didn't know it at the time. So she resorted to the emotion she knows so well-anger. And lots of it. When she runs into him again, years later the feelings she has suppressed for so long surfaces in the most intense way possible.
"I'll be careful Flynn. I promise"
"I know you will, Ellie. I trust you."
I LIVED this book. It consumed me. Although the writing is at a slower pace than what I am used to, it was flawless. It was breathtaking. I held on to every word. Flynn doesn't verbally discuss his love for Ellie, but you FEEL it. It is raw, passionate, and all consuming. He loves her like no one else can. unconditionally. His love goes where love doesn't go. It's deep. His love finds her in the dark and does not want to let go. And Ellie? You will hate her. You will be mad at her. But you will understand her. And her love for Flynn? It's so beautiful it hurts.
"So I followed the man who had stolen my heart and stitched up my soul..."
Phenomenal doesn't even begin to describe Reclaiming The Sand. This inspirational story will stay with me a long time to come. It is life changing. It is throughout provoking. It challenges everything you know about love. Flynn changed Ellie's world. He will change yours.
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.
A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.
When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.
A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.
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