In Trust’s (Love on the Edge of Tomorrow, 2011, etc.) romantic thriller, a young newlywed’s marriage becomes a nightmare when she discovers her husband has a dark side and a wealth of secrets.
In 1971, intelligent, athletic, and devoutly religious Jessie Daniels wants nothing more than to go to college. After completing a rigorous college preparatory program at her high school, she plans to attend the state university; however, her parents insist that she continue her education at the local community college. When she attracts the attention of her softball coach, Kevin McKenna—an aspiring politician and the son of a local farmer—she believes that she’s met the man of her dreams. Their passion burns brightly, but reality intrudes when Jessie discovers that she’s pregnant. Jessie and Kevin marry and rent a small house near the McKenna farm, but her hopes for a happy home life fade during their honeymoon, when Kevin berates her and changes their plans at the last minute. His suspicious behavior, which includes an association with local drug dealers, continues even after Jessie gives birth to their children. She wants their marriage to work, but as threats mount, she faces desperate choices. This second novel from Trust is an engrossing romantic suspense tale, replete with dynamic, complex characters. The story offers a vivid portrait of life in a small-town farming community in the early 1970s, highlighting the importance of church life and the camaraderie of local sports. The strong, well-developed cast is led by Jessie as she struggles to maintain her family and sanity amid escalating abuse. The author also shows how Kevin’s persuasive charm enables him to gaslight his wife and those closest to her. However, there are a few minor copy editing issues; for example, one character is referred to as “Lynette” and “Lynnette” at different points.
A gripping, compulsively readable tale of love and deception.