I received this book via the author, Hanna Peach. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: A Good Wife Book,
Published by Gypsy Publishing on 2015-09-19
Length: 243 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:
How far would you go to set yourself free?
Drake Blackwell is intelligent, successful, controlling, and hiding a violent family past. He just made his latest investment: Noriko.
Imported from Japan, and wed to a stranger, Noriko struggles to stick to the rules of a Good Wife. Drake can't seem to love her, not the way she wants to be loved. She dreams of freedom beyond the gates of Blackwell Manor.
She meets Keir, a passionate young gardener who shares her desire to break free. He gets under her skin and ignites a fire in her she can't ignore. In the midst of her quiet desperation she thinks she has found happiness. And a glimpse of hope.
But this affair can't last...can it?
There is a darkness lingering, but not how you'd expect. There are monsters, but not as you usually know them. The truth is, in this story, no one is completely innocent. And it's always darkest before the dawn.
Although part of a series, this is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger.
WARNING: For ages +18. There are scenes in this novel that infer or allude to physical violence.
Noriko is a young Japanese woman when she is sold in marriage to Drake Blackwell. She is naive, hoping for the best, and unprepared for the reality of her marriage. Honestly I’m not sure how I feel about Noriko. At times I really liked her. Her character was devoted to her family and she seemed to really want to make her marriage work. At other times I felt she was immature and didn’t give her husband a chance…at all! So yeah I’m torn between liking her and just meh ?
And Keir…the beautiful gardener who is the cause of all this trouble. He’s handsome, a bit arrogant, and well if I’m honest…there was too much insta-love going on between him and Noriko. I just didn’t feel the connection I should have between the two of them. Keir is selfish in his want for her…a married woman and has no regard for the consequences if they are caught.
Drake is portrayed as the antagonist to Noriko. While I felt this is true, at times I really rooted for him. I wanted this broken man to have happiness with the wife he bought. Drake is controlling, has anger issues, and obviously doesn’t trust easily. His relationship with Noriko is tenuous at best. And Drake’s character…he was a bit 2-dimensional. There was very little about him revealed in the book. I wanted more.
The plot revolves around Noriko and her feeling of being trapped at the Blackwell manor. She is a prisoner of her husband – not allowed to leave the property, at times she is even locked in her room. Drake is inattentive to her and it is in Keir she finds solace. Honestly the story is heartbreaking for many reasons, but the main reason is its predictability. As the reader you see the mistakes Noriko makes and intuitively know what fate she will meet. One reviewer on Goodreads related the book to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and the author even mentions it briefly in the text. I can see the correlation and it works well! This book is full of suspense and the thrill that comes with hiding an affair.
Overall despite the predictability I really enjoyed this book! I read it in less than 24 hours, not really wanting to break for sleep. I was anxious for the characters (a feat only achieved by good writing!) and desperate to know the outcome. However I do want to warn you this book is not for the faint of heart. There’s violence and sexual scenes that I would say is only for the 18+ crowd. If you enjoy new adult romantic suspense, then it’s the book for you!