I received this book for free from Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Drowning by Hope Jones
on July 2, 2020
Cover Design: TRC Designs
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Adult, psychological, Second Chance Romance
Format: ARC, digital e-book
Source: Give Me Books Promotions
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Amazon AU, Buy on Amazon CA, Buy on Amazon UK
Imagine orchestrating your divorce under false pretenses.
That's precisely what Cecilia Topps did. After receiving a disturbing diagnosis, Cecilia felt like she was drowning, unable to take a breath. She didn't want to bring her husband down with her, so she created a damaging lie.
Cameron Topps had been going through the motions for seven years. The betrayal he felt from his wife left him numb and unable to love again. His indifference led to hatred when he walked into his bar, seeing his wife again after unknowingly hiring her.
Secrets are exposed, lines are crossed, and Cameron finally learns the truth about his divorce. Is he willing to drown with Cecilia all over again, or will he move on for good?
Adult, Contemporary Romance, Psychological, Second Chance Romance
First Person, Dual-POV
This book is a standalone with HEA.
Contains issues and situations some may find triggering.
You claim to have loved me so much, but how could you love me that much and not see that I was drowning?
A huge duality! This book is loving and very romantic, at the same time is tense and potent.
This was full of ups and downs. They hated each other one chapter, then they loved each other the next. Then, something would happened and they would be done with each other. I really loved the way it was written. It matched the heroine.
I wouldn’t call this book dark, but it deals with dark problems. It is definitely for everything.
I loved it! It felt very real and I enjoyed how the author brought up such an important topic to life.
Second chance romance!!!
31/35 STARS – 4 STARS (between 28 stars and 31 stars)
Addictiveness: 4.5 Character: 5 Cover: 4.5 Freshness: 4.5 Plot: 4 Romance: 4 Writing Style: 4.5
Action 0/5 Angst 5/5 Darkness 2/5 Humor 0/5 Romance 5/5 Suspense/Mystery 1/5
Would I recommend? Yes, for readers that enjoy a plot with a psychological bend.
Would I re-read this book/series? Yes!
Would I read more from the author? Definitely!!!
Addictiveness: 4.5/5 The prologue was really good and totally hooked me. I knew it was going to be painful and I wanted to know more. As addictive as ice cream!!!
Character: hero 5/5, heroine 5/5, secondary characters 5/5, growth 5/5, real 5/5 Very multifaceted characters that had layers and good background stories.
Cecilia was a good heroine. She had problems that were beyond her control, but she learned how to deal with them. She was strong and resourceful, but at the same time she was a bit irrational at times and too stubborn. I don’t agree with her choices, but fear is a powerful feeling, that in a lot of times overcome rationality. Her actions and reactions to her issues is very common and normal. Her struggles felt real.
Cameron was a great hero. He was impulsive, prideful and used anger as a weapon. But at the same time, he was caring, loving and sexy. His first reaction wasn’t usually the best option, but most of his actions were normal and expected. I liked how his character evolved and dealt with the unknown.
Secondary characters Great friends, caring mother, no shallow character here. I would love to read Mav’s book.
Villain/antagonists There were no villains or antagonists here. Their problems were all of their own making.
Even though they were all complex, they were all easy to love, connect and understand!
Cover: art 4.5/5, title 5/5, color-font 5/5, subtitle 0/5, background 5/5 buy 5/5 I’m obsessed with book covers. I love to find snippets of the stories within the art. I always try to be true to myself, I buy so many books because of the cover and I have skipped many because of not very appealing art. Covers are part of the experience for me and I do like to understand them. I really loved this book’s art. I love the darker color with sprinkles of color. It felt like a dark book with dots of hope. I loved the title and the wet feel that was given to the cover. I only miss a subtitle or a catching tag! I would easily buy this book by its cover without reading the blurb!
Freshness: 4.5/5 It felt unique. This was a contemporary romance, but the misunderstandings, the second chance romance and the important topic felt original and one-of-a-kind. As fresh as mint tea when you are dealing with a bad cold!
Plot: believable 5/5, conflict 5/5, dialogue 5/5, ending 4/5, enjoyment 5/5, opening 5/5, pace 3.5/5, setting 4/5, subplots 5/5, twists 5/5 Amazing opening with a good ending. Realistic plot, with great dialogues and ok pace. Nice setting, interesting subplots with unexpected twists. Good level of enjoyment!
I loved the important message of this plot. I adored how realistic the struggles felt. I really liked how I felt all the emotions of the characters.
Romance: 4/5 I never questioned how much they loved each other. From the first moment, their chemistry was over the charts and their remembrances of the past were loving. But they were moody characters and their relationship was with lots of ups and downs. Intense romance!!!
Writing Style: 4.5/5 Ms. Jones was a new-to-me author that I will definitely be on the look out for more. Extremely realistic plot, multidimensional characters, hot romance and important topic, all this in a cohesive, clean writing. Great writing!!!!
Because I try to be very analytical and I don’t really believe in perfection…
Plot: I really liked the epilogue, but couple of chapters before the ending, was too fast, too soon. I think it jumped too fast from the conflict to the resolution.
Cameron was my first inhale. I wasn’t drowning. We were swimming, together.
“I’m sorry.” My words were muffled by the hiccup of tears and snot running down my face. I tilted my eyes down. I couldn’t look at him. My poor, sweet Cam. He would never forgive me. I knew this. It was what I wanted.
I wanted—no, needed him to walk out our front door and not look back. I needed him to hate me.
“You’re sorry? That’s what you have to say?” He was calm, so damn calm it physically made me sick. I knew it was because he was hurting. I knew that hurt was eating him alive.
I couldn’t say anything past the lump in my throat, so I nodded instead.
Cam looked at me, looked through me and for a moment, I was worried he would see that I was lying and try to demand the truth from me. I would deny it. I didn’t want him to know the truth. I wanted him to think I had done the unthinkable, done something he’d never be able to get over.
My beautiful, broken husband stared into my eyes for two solid minutes without flinching. He said absolutely nothing. His gaze flitted between both of my eyes, then down to my nose, my lips, lingering there, then finally back to my eyes. I bit my lip nervously, waiting for him to say “Ah-ha” and catch me in my lie.
Cam never did, though. I wasn’t going to deny it made me a little upset that he didn’t know me well enough to know I was lying. I wanted to take back the words that had left my mouth five minutes ago. I wanted to take back the entire day, but it wasn’t possible, and I needed to accept what my new life was going to look like.
“I can’t even look at you,” Cam muttered, turning away from me. I caught the curled lip and glare on his face before his back was facing me. Hurt so strong filled my chest and made it feel like it would explode and not in a good way.
God, the pain was so bad.
I had to rub my chest, right above my heart, but it didn’t ease the ache I had put there.
Cameron, the man I had married two years ago, grabbed his coat off the hook in the foyer and opened the front door. He turned around, glancing at me one last time. That last time was enough to make a sob escape my throat. He had a single tear running down his face then splashing on his broad shoulders.
I had never seen him cry before. Not when his mother died, not when we had to put down our first dog, and not when we had gotten married. Never. That lonely tear trekking down his cheek broke me and I knew, down in my bones, I would never be the same after putting that tear there.
I didn’t speak a word and Cam walked out, slamming the door behind him, making me jump. I finally crumpled, falling into the fetal position on the couch and crying until I couldn’t breathe. I had done this to myself. I knew it had to be done, but that didn’t make it easier.
Two hours later, he hadn’t come back and I knew he wasn’t going to. He wouldn’t come back until he knew I was gone. I had packed the majority of my stuff, placing the few boxes in my small car. I only took my clothes. I didn’t feel right taking anything we had gotten together when we moved into this house.
Glancing around the place I had shared with my husband for the last year, I felt a level of sadness that I didn’t know I would continue to feel for six months. It settled over my shoulder like a blanket, except it was cold—a cold blanket of nastiness.
At least that blanket wouldn’t be wrapped around Cameron. He didn’t deserve that.
I fired off a text to him, locked our front door and left the key on the porch, then backed my car out of our driveway for the last time.
Me: I’m so sorry, I never meant to hurt you. I love you and always will.
I didn’t speak to Cameron again until two months later after a stranger showed up on my doorstep serving me with divorce papers. I could have let those papers kill me, but I knew it was Cameron’s best chance at a decent life, so I went to the court dates. I didn’t fight him. He petitioned for everything except my car. I gave him everything. That’s what he deserved.