4 out of 4 stars
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Between Octobers is a book of fiction written by A.R. Rivera. This is the first book in her Savor The Days series. It is a novel revolving around themes of grief, loss, family, and love. Cleverly weaved throughout is a story of suspense that keeps the reader wanting to unravel more.
Grace awakens in total darkness, with her pregnant belly protruding between her bound wrists. With each passing bump, she slowly gathers that she is trapped in a box in the back of a car. She is hurt and has no memory of what happened. Without even knowing the extent of her injuries, she resolves to fight for her life and her unborn baby's. As she tries to come to grips with what happened, she thinks about the last year leading up to her captivity.
Grace Zuniga hasn't led an easy life. It's nearly the one year anniversary of her husband's death. A car accident left her and their two boys behind to mourn his loss. Grace's whole identity is ripped away along with the only man she has ever been with. It has taken close to a year, but she's finally putting herself back together. She isn't looking for companionship and actually thinks that part of her life is over until she meets a handsome stranger in an elevator. Evan, also known as famous actor Rhys Matthews, is good-looking, charismatic, funny, and brings out a side of Grace she thought long dormant.
Evan and Grace develop a friendship that slowly starts taking a turn for the romantic. Grace shies away from Evan, struggling with the thought of being with someone other than her late husband. Is it too soon? Also holding her back is her own fear. A fear that she will be hurt again by the man she loves. Grace gradually releases her guilt and fear and begins finding comfort in Evan. They soon find themselves alone in Vegas and married.
After a brief honeymoon phase, their relationship finds itself being constantly put to the test. Evan must go out of town for months at a time for a movie shoot and Grace is left alone to deal with her newfound infamy for having snagged one of the hottest stars of the moment. Evan loves his new family, but has always maintained that he wants no kids of his own. Grace fears the worst when she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. Is her fear of him leaving coming to reality already? Meanwhile Evan is grappling with his own vices that threaten to end their marriage. With so many obstacles in their way, is the relationship meant to be?
I went into this book thinking it was going to be a run-of-the-mill thriller. I was pleasantly surprised when the book began seamlessly alternating between suspense and love story. I honestly don't know that I've ever read another book like it. Just when I was getting the warm fuzzies from the developing relationship, Rivera switches back to Grace's current danger and I found myself instantly on edge again. This book also comes fully equipped with an ending that I did not see coming, which is my favorite kind of ending.
The characters in this book are imperfect, flawed people. At times this makes the story difficult to read because I was too busy screaming at them through the book, which only served to show me how engrossed I actually was. The first chapter is designed to grab readers by the heart and not let go. I dare anyone to read it and simply put the book down and walk away. Lovers of both thriller and romance will enjoy Between Octobers. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars and will happily be reading the next book in the series.
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