I received this book via Lady Amber's Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.In All My Years by Ciara Knight
Series: Riverbend, #2
Published by Defy the Dark on 2016-04-18
Length: 126 pages
Reviewing eARC from Lady Amber's Book Tours
Kathleen Baker fled Riverbend, TN in the middle of the night to escape her mafia, drug running husband. She also left behind the man she loved. Now, Ten years later, Kathleen returns to Riverbend, the one place she’d ever felt at home. After a letter arrives, Kathleen realizes her husband is still alive. With her past now in the present, Kathleen’s future is in jeopardy.
Column Harrow kicked his nephew out of his home so that he’d move on with his life and stop moping around the house over a lost love. Unfortunately, he was unable to follow his own advice, and has lived in isolation for years with the guilt he had failed to protect the woman he loved from an abusive husband. Now, she returns to his hometown to see the birth of her granddaughter, and he must face his failures and the woman who owns his heart.
In All My Years by Ciara Knight is the second book in the Riverbend series and this time follows Anna’s mom Kathleen and Liam’s uncle Column. These characters were introduced in the first book of the series so I was really excited to finally read their story and version of events that were mentioned in In All My Wishes. If you have not read the first book, do not read this review as there are minor, unavoidable spoilers. Ten years ago Kathleen Baker fled Riverbend with her daughter in the middle of the night to escape her husband. Now she’s back in the only place that ever felt like home. Column Harrow has lived those 10 years with guilt that he didn’t protect the woman he loved, but now he might get a second chance.
I really liked Kathleen. She’s a survivor. Her husband is a part of the drug mafia, used to beat on her, and instilled at an early part of their marriage that she had no power. The first chance she got she escaped him, but then he found her. One night ten years ago, Kathleen fled but thought him dead. She spent years dealing with depression and overwhelming anxiety. Her body shut down and she couldn’t be there for her daughter. Now with Anna pregnant, she wants to make up for her past and gain her daughter’s forgiveness. BUT she’s also ready to move on if Column will have her.
My heart bled for Column Harrow. In the first book, he’s portrayed as this mean, bitter old man. But in reality he’s a man who has lived with guilt for ten years. He was awful to Liam his nephew, kicking him out of their home at a young age to force him to move on with his life after Anna and Kathleen left. Now with Kathleen back, he finds himself at a loss. He doesn’t know how to feel about her. Does she love him still? She’s the only woman he ever loved and he took her leaving hard. He will suck up his pride if it means she’ll love him.
The plot of this book focuses on one important fact: Kathleen’s husband who she thought dead is in fact alive. After living the last ten years thinking that Column killed him, she now finds herself at a crossroads. She can either let the man continue to rule her life or she can ask for help. I found this part of the story interesting. Miscommunication kept Column and Kathleen apart for years and now with the choice she faces, will she turn to him? I was impressed with the way the author portrayed the danger she and her family were in AND the constant terror they faced from her husband.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the last in the series which will feature the FBI agent and journalist introduced in this story. I love Ciara Knight‘s story-telling. It is so easy to fall in love with the characters, the town, and the sweet romance. If you enjoy contemporary romance, I highly recommend this one! While it is the 2nd in a series and it’s recommended you read them in order, it can be read as a standalone.