Caleb tries to live quietly finding jobs as a carpenter, but his dark past is always close behind him. Abducted as a young boy and held against his will, just acclimating to society was an uphill climb. When a fall has him trapped in a sea cave, Caleb is resigned to the fact that he may drown until March comes to his rescue.
March can’t seem to get his life on track even though he has a secure job as a history teacher and volunteers on the life boat crew. After a broken engagement to a woman, he fights an internal battle to let himself have what he truly wants. March takes his frustration out in nature as he attempts extreme sports to amp up his adrenaline. But when he sees Caleb, there is no escaping what the man does to him.
March has a past that he can never forgive himself for and Caleb has a past that he knows March will surely run from, but even as they try their hand at love, shadows from Caleb’s past have no intention of letting him be free.
I like books that go into darker themes and this one offers a story line of an eleven-year-old being abducted and abused. The darker theme was not at all the issue here and much of the abuse and violence was off page, leaving just a general sense of what happened. The book is back and forth between present day and flashbacks, sometimes alternating chapters and sometimes split between a chapter. The issue here, while it may have been a device to temper Caleb’s time being held, was that we were never fully there and also never fully here. The point of view shifted between characters sometimes within the same conversation and, while dual POV is by far my favorite, this execution was jarring.
For as terrible as what happened to Caleb was, once he was out of captivity the story had many coincidences and lacked realistic credibility. Caleb was held for 12 years and was never given clothes. When he makes his escape, he did not want the media to know his story, so he acclimated himself back into society privately. When he was abducted, the internet was not even in use and there were a lot of concessions and jumps that had to be made for him to become a functioning member of society. There was also a maybe Saudi prince who had a big impact on Caleb’s story, but remained too much of a mystery throughout the book to then be a viable contributing component.
March never let himself be attracted to men and we know from vague references that something happened in his past. He is shrouded in mystery and then when the eventual reveal happens, while I did see it coming, it took so long to know his full story that the impact and the connection to him were missed. We know early on that March has never been with a man as his inexperience and hesitation is mentioned many times, yet he then is fairly confident when he is with Caleb and it didn’t come together well. March also discusses his intimate moments with women and, while he is entitled to his opinion, I didn’t agree, and it wasn’t a thought process I wasn’t interested in reading.
The draw here was possibly a hurt/comfort theme of Caleb saving March from years of guilt and March saving Caleb’s life physically and emotionally and it all wrapped up so very neatly. The style of this book and the way the story was told was not for me.