**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
Ember Walsh was always the quiet one, enjoying a book and a glass of wine over the noise and crowds of a club, but when her best friend asks her to come out and meet the boy she likes Ember’s world is turned upside down. He appears like a mythical avenging angel, inked, gorgeous and completely out of her league but one look and Ember no longer wants the quiet, she wants him.
Trace Montgomery has buried his damaged past with women and fighting until one day he meets an angel and suddenly he wants more, he wants her. for her, he’s determined to overcome his demons but will the dark secret that links their pasts bring them closer or will it tear them apart?
Oh wow, I don't even know where to start. I was such a GIRL with this book! I loved every second. I could not put this book down for anything! I connected with both hero and heroine. There were good side stories with the supporting characters as well. This book has it all. A love that shouldn't be, sociopath stalkers, crazy friends, evil best friends, and Trace. From page one I was hooked and I was on the edge of my seat until the very last sentence. So much angst and drama but so much love as well! READ THIS BOOK!
Ember has long brown hair and brown eyes. She's pretty but has never really felt that way. She has a best friend that is just plain evil and who has convinced her that she's nothing but plain and a wallflower her entire life. She's loyal and so strong regardless of how her friend sees her. She's a fighter in the physical and emotional sense. She has no problem standing up and fighting for what she believes in. She has no problem throwing a mean punch if the need arises. She lost her mom at the age of 3 and was raised by an amazing father who adores her.
Trace is 6'4, has black spiky hair, tattoos, a wide set of shoulders and muscles. He's an amateur fighter and he does it to release anger. He's got major anger issues but he has an excuse to be the way he is. He's a womanizer and believes his worthless and not worthy of love. He's a possessive alpha male and he is very intense about Ember.
She goes to a bar with her best friend to meet the guy her friend is seeing, after being ditched she ends up sitting alone at the bar. She meets Trace when he steps in to save her from a very pushy drunk guy hitting on her. She punches the guy in the face but Trace is there for back up. She sees him as her avenging angel.
Her best friend...all I can say is keep your friends close and your enemies closer. This girl needs her butt kicked in a big big way! This girl has treated Ember horribly her entire life. She's convinced her she's a wallflower. She has done this to make herself appear better when they are together. She's very jealous of Ember. Ember is loyal to her in the beginning but after her father and Trace talk to her she begins to see what she's really like.
She and Trace have a very strong connection from the very beginning. She knows when he walks into a room. They keep running into each other everywhere which is something since they live in NYC. They begin to get to know each other and eventually she moves in with him (just friends and roommates) when she's had enough of the best friend and moves out of her apartment. The more time they spend together which is all the time now she realizes she's falling in love with the one man she's convinced she can't have. Her friend convinces her to go on a date with her and her boyfriend. She doesn't realize it's a set up until it's too late. Dane, the guy she is set up with is a creep. Trace overhears him and her best friend's boyfriend talking about what he plans on doing to her.
Trace has issues and every time he feels himself start getting close to her he finds a way to push her away. At one point he asks her to move out but she doesn't let him get away with it. She refuses to go when she realizes that moving out is the last thing that he wants her to do. She tells him she loves him and some of his walls begin to come down. Once again they begin growing closer. They begin the relationship they were pretty much already having. He tells her he loves her and they start building their lives together.
"I'm all kinds of ****** up, Ember, and there are going to be times when I can't give you everything you deserve, like when I storm out or shutdown. My demons -- I've had them for so long that I've grown accustomed to them but when I'm with you, the demons are quiet and for the first time in my life there's peace. You're my balm, my lifeline, Ember, and everything that this ******-up man has to give you: this body, my heart and my damaged soul, is yours. You said that for you, it's me and that's how it is for me. You, it's you, Ember."
Trace has secrets and refuses to let her in. When his past comes back for him he shuts down completely and pushes her away. She can't do anything but watch him. He tells her he's over it and her and tells her to move out. When she goes after him she catches him cheating and does leave.
It's months later that they finally speak again. She's miserable and can't let him go. He's miserable to the point of letting other fighters beat on him just so he can punish himself for loosing her. He hides in the shadows always close by. He makes a gesture which she returns and they meet up. They fix what was broken and start again. He's ready to let her in on what happened when he was a child and why he's the way he is. He didn't actually cheat on her. It was a set up and she saw exactly what he wanted her to see. He did it because he knew she would leave. He was trying to protect her from his past and the only way to do that was to push her away.
I'm so sorry I hurt you but I pushed you away because I feared for you. I thought I could let you go, thought you were better off without me, but you own me body and soul. You were right, Ember, you did haunt me every single day. I can't go back to living the way I did because knowing you has changed me." "All I want is you."
Trace was molested by his father when he was a child. Once he was too old, his father then moved onto his little sister. One night when Trace comes home and realizes what has happened he takes his sister and drives her to the hospital (he's 15 dealing with this by the way). His mother does nothing to stop it. He hydroplanes on the highway causing his sister to go through the windshield. She's left with the mind of an 8 year old and he blames himself. While all of this is happening on the same night his parents are murdered.
Expecting her to run he's surprised when she stays telling him that she wants to carry his pain. After that they are inseparable. He goes from closed of to open and willing to work and fight for their future. He still has one other secret that needs to come out. Ember's mother was killed in a hit and run when she was 3. Trace knows he could loose her but he needs to tell her that his father was responsible for her mother's death. Once again she stands beside him, telling him it wasn't his fault. After her mother's death, Trace felt responsible for her. He's always been in her life she just doesn't know it. He was already in love with her before she meet him.
Dane, the guy from the set up has been around all this time. The guy is a sociopath. He's fixated on Ember. He shows up where she is promising to finish what he started. Trace is beside himself with anger and is doing everything he can to protect her.
She asks her uncle to look into the death of his parents when Trace's uncle shows up out of the blue. Something isn't adding up and it all eventually comes out. During all of this she asks him to marry her and he says yes and then he turns around and proposes to her. Even after everything they are so in love it's almost sickening. Like I said, I was such a girl with this book. I never really saw Trace as a bad boy, just a guy trying to purge himself of his demons.
Dane almost kidnaps Ember but Trace gets to her before they can leave. He beats the guy within an inch of his life. The issue with him is never really solved because the guy is pretty much untouchable with who his parents are. We find out that his mother didn't die in the home invasion, her mother was killed because she found out what his father was up too and tried to save the children. Trace reconnects with his mother while also forming a strong bond with her father and uncle. They get married in a beautifully described ceremony. He cries and she does too. He's gone from the haunted, unlovable man to the very much wanted and open husband he deserved to be.
In the epilogue they have been married for 3 weeks and she gives him the cooking school he's always dreamed of having.
There are Ralf, Trent, and Lucien who are great supporting characters and friends. I would love to have books about them.
This was such an amazing story! I recommend this book to everyone! Read it, you won't be disappointed. I am giving it 5 stars but it deserves so many more.
"I just need a minute, Ember."
"It isn't everyday a wish comes true and you, Ember, are the answer to my wish."
"You said once that you thought I used sex as a way of seeking value and maybe I did. In the past, I didn't mind when women touched me because they were only touching my body. Never, in any of my experiences, did a woman touch something in me that went deeper than the flesh, until you. My soul ached for you, Ember, long before we ever made love but the truly humbling part is that your soul ached for me, too, and not just my body but all of me. Even now, you still love me when you know all the worst things about me. You own me, Ember, body and soul and I crave your touch both inside and out."
"No one ever has, or ever will, know me the way you do. You're inside me, Ember, you are my heart and you are my soul."