Tuesday 20 August 2019

Review: Under Currents - Nora Roberts

Every town has its ugly little secrets...

From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looks perfect and the Bigelows seem like the perfect family: the respected surgeon father, the glamorous, devoted mother and two beautiful children. A perfect family, in a perfect house living their perfect lives.

But perfect surfaces can hide dark undercurrents and behind closed doors lies a very different story. Teenager Zane and his younger sister, Britt, are terrorised by their violent father and dysfunctional mother. Too afraid to speak out, Zane does his best to protect his sister and counts the days until they can finally be free.

One dark, brutal night when their father's temper takes a horrifying turn for the worse, the perfect façade is exposed for the lie it is and Zane and Britt manage to escape. With the help of their beloved aunt, they rebuild their lives a day at a time, creating new families and putting their past behind them. But a childhood like that can cast a shadow the length of a lifetime. Can Zane and Britt ever be free of their past? Or will those dark undercurrents rise to the surface, forcing them to fight for their lives once again...

Visit Nora Roberts' website for more information.

I've become completely addicted to Nora Roberts' In Death series this year (written under the pen name J.D. Robb) but I've actually read hardly any of her romantic suspense books written as Nora so I jumped at the chance to read Under Currents and I'm so glad I did. This is the kind of book you want to start on a lazy Sunday morning when you know you have the entire day to read because once I started it I could not put it down again. It's been ages since I devoured a book quite so quickly!

Under Currents wasn't always an easy read, it covers very difficult topics of abuse in all it's varied forms, both physical and emotional, from parents to their children as well as from husband to wife. Its also touches on how dangerous abusers can be to the partners or children who manage to escape from their clutches, something that most women are well aware of already. Nora Roberts doesn't shy away from the nasty details so although the level of violence isn't gratuitous it could definitely be triggering for anyone with abuse in their history. I certainly found parts of the book absolutely heart wrenching to read and I spent a good quarter of the book feeling physically sick about what I was reading.

Don't let that put you off picking it up though because ultimately this is a story about survival, a story about finding love and acceptance when you least expect it. About people who are willing to risk their own safety to protect others. It's about accepting that the family you are born to may not be the family you deserve and it's about finding your own place in life and choosing the people you let in. It's also a romance between two wounded people, ones who by rights could be scared to let anyone close but who are brave enough to take a chance.

I absolutely loved both Zane and Darby, they have both come through so much as individuals but they've found a way to put the past behind them and find happiness. I really enjoyed the slow build of their relationship and watching them fall in love and I particularly enjoyed spending time with Zane's chosen family. The story surprised me multiple times with the direction things took so it definitely kept me on my toes while I was reading and I found it impossible to put down. I definitely need to pick up more of Nora's contemporary stories because this one was absolutely fanatic and I haven't been able to stop thinking about the characters.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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